Do your projects deliver value? One of our clients came to us when they discovered that £220,000 of investment had returned just £5,000 to the business. Another found functionality that had taken 9 months to develop but no-one was using.
Many leaders make the mistake of optimising flow and efficiency without focusing on value; they create teams that are highly efficient… at building the wrong thing.
Value-focused Agile takes your existing good skills and practices be they Scrum, Kanban or Waterfall and adds tools, techniques and a way of thinking that gets everyone focused on delivering business value effectively.
Paul showed us how to deliver what the business needed rather than what they said they wanted and how to build extremely high levels of trust with very senior stakeholders. Everyone came away with a huge sense of achievement, personal development and a belief that they took part in something special.
“The emphasis should be on why we do a job.”
W. Edwards Deming
Defining what’s valuable to your organisation in an unambiguous, quantified way is the key to Value-Focused Agile.
Suddenly, everyone has a common language. From senior leaders to technical professionals; from business strategy to detailed design; everyone knows how to contribute directly to business success. Stakeholder conflicts become collaborative discussions. Even 3rd party vendors can provide business value rather than vendor solutions.
No other technique has such potential to engage hundreds of people in a common business-focused purpose.
When there’s a burning issue, many people just do the first thing they think of to address that one thing.
Value-Focused Agile provides ways to uncover multiple competing factors and create a clear problem definition. It encourages brainstorming of ideas and uses the problem constraints and trade-offs to inspire creative collaboration. And it allows anyone to create ideas that can be quickly assessed and incorporated into your plans, leading to true business Agility.
The techniques scale from innovating at a business level, right down to making fast, effective day-to-day technical decisions in your products.
Prioritise by Value/Cost
With a shared definition of value, prioritisation can be a completely transparent process based on expected value and cost. Politics reduce as people engage in meaningful conversations about business success rather than their pet ideas.
It’s a powerful way to select the big ideas for your company and products. And by training everyone to think in terms of value, thousands of detailed decisions made on projects every day can be aligned to your business outcomes.
Measure & Learn
Agile and Lean Startup have taught us to be courageously honest about the level of uncertainty we face in our business and projects.
Value-Focused Agile provides a rigorous framework to define business outcomes and uncover assumptions numerically, and then to test and learn iteratively against data drawn from hard reality. It combines the best features of thinking with logic and metrics together with intuition and creativity.
Decompose by Value
Agile and Lean have taught us to limit work in process as a way to optimise processes and to measure & learn faster.
Value-Focused Agile’s quantified definitions of value make it much easier to break work down by value, plus it provides specific techniques for decomposition and for assessing the value of the breakdown. Now, everyone in your organisation can start thinking of the next small step they can take to deliver value for your business.