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Business Value session

Page history last edited by Joe Little 10 years, 5 months ago

Business Value

 

There will be a session at Agile 2007 on "Business Value: What is it and what do we do about it?"

 

Business Value Reference Material - This page lists some reference materials on this subject.

 

Feedback and your participation in the session are welcome.

 

Business Value proposal gives the details of the proposal. This is summarized below.

 

Business Value Questions gives the list of questions to be discussed.

 

Bus Val Aug 14 Part One.pdf

 

Bus Val - Doing - Aug 14 Part Two.pdf

 

Bus Val session.xls

 

 

What the session is

 

The session will attempt to enable you to see Business Value from several new angles. And to see how others see it. It will not be a lecture.

 

The session will be a lot like an Open Space topic, if you have done Open Space.

You all will share views, and attempt to find out where the meat is. (I have questions to facilitate this. See below.)

 

The session will last 180 minutes (in two 90 minute parts).  The session at Agile 2007 will be on Tuesday, August 14th. Hope you can attend.

 

 

Rationale for approach

 

Some topics are well understood, and at least some people feel there is a right way (and perhaps a wrong way) to do that kind of work in Agile.

 

I do not see Business Value that way.  At least not yet.  Perhaps it should be that way, but we are far from that place now, in my opinion.

 

So, I want to foster greater discussion.

 

My greatest concern is that Business Value is not being discussed enough in and around Agile projects. So, I expect the sessions to enable participants to have better ways of talking about Business Value.

 

In prior sessions on this topic, I have noticed that people don't have much to say after they say "well, business value is very important, and it should be done my way". And usually their way is not very involved. Maybe add BV story points to cards, or identify the NPV at the beginning of the project.

 

Yogi Berra said:

"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."

 

Business Value defines where you are going.

 

Now, I do not wish to extend the "traveling by car" metaphor, and say that we must know everything about where we are going up-front. In fact, I think we are discovering what Business Value is (eg, what the customer really wants) all along the way, and we need to respect that learning.

 

 

Approach to discussing Business Value

 

I am expecting to have 20-25 people. If we have more, something will need to give. Probably this becomes a modified fish bowl, where 20 people participate and the others watch.

 

Duration (mins)

Step

1

10

Introductions and why you are interested in this topic

2

5

Basic organization of the workshop

 

 

What is Business Value

3

10

Why is Business Value important? Ideas and experiences.

4

20

What is Business Value? (Break into small teams to discuss.) Then each team shares.

5

15

Which definitions of business value align best with which people? (eg, with customers, with shareholders, with workers)

6

15

What do customers really want? What did you buy “today” and why?

7

10

Does the Business Value of a project ever change? Why? How do we discover that change? Ideas and experiences.

8

10

Tools used to identify Business Value. Brief discussion to identify and explain. Small teams and report.

9

5

In a project, who should care about Business Value? And who is responsible?

10

5

Does Business Value seem easier or harder now?

 

 

What do we do about it?

 

1

5

Quick review of what we’ve done so far

2

7

What is your biggest learning so far?

3

5

Do we need some basic concepts around using Business Value? (eg, cost-benefit analysis and decision-making)

3

10

What should we do before we commission an IT project?

4

10

What should we do first, once a project is commissioned? (Product Backlog / Stories)

5

10

What should we do in the Iteration Planning Meeting?

6

5

What should we do during an Iteration?

7

10

What should we do at Iteration Review?

8

10

What should we do at Release Time? What should we do at the end of an IT Project? What do we do well after an IT project is over?

9

5

Can we use Business Value across multiple projects? If so, how and when?

10

5

If there is change and learning about Business Value, how is that best incorporated?

11

5

Who should take all the actions you’ve proposed?

12

8

What is the biggest thing you learned in this session?

 

 

 

 

Comments on some of the items above:

 

Introductions: I believe that conversations are between people. The more we know where a person is coming from, the better we can communicate.

 

First Section: The basic idea is to first discuss "what is it?" and then, in the second section, discuss "what do we do about it?". As usual, some people will want to jump immediately to action. And some won't be ready to discuss action when section two starts.

 

Why is Bus Val important? Before even defining what it is. This is why we even care.

 

What is Business Value? This is the basic definition. We go on to elaborate these definitions. I expect multiple, incongruent, conflicting, incompatiable definitions. We won't decide which one is "right".

 

Which definitions of business value align best with which people? I have a slight bias against big Hegelian principles. So this is an attempt to relate Ideas about Bus Val to real people.

 

What do customers really want? I expect one definition of Bus Val to be "what the customer wants" or something like that. This section is an attempt to peel the onion on what that really means. With a bias that what one customer wants is constantly changing. A moving target.

 

 

Does the Bus Val of a project ever change? On three levels: does it really, does our understanding of it change, and do we admit any of this to ourselves. Sometimes it probably does not change meaningfully (and we even understood it correctly "at the beginning").

 

 

Tools. I am expecting to hear about Kano Analysis, CTQs, VOC, NPV, ROI, Value Stream Mapping, the 7 wastes, etc, etc.

 

Who should care. People again. After people have seen the various definitions, and thought some about learning about Bus Val during a project, then I wanted to revisit who should be involved in Bus Val (who should care). My bias: more people than usually are thought to care.

 

 

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