“Value” is the beacon, watchword, end game, justification, and mantra for Agile practitioners. You make product decisions in Scrum at every turn throughout discovery and delivery, balancing multiple perspectives.
Delivering value with the Scrum framework for Agile product and project management approach.
Any framework worth using is built on principles and values. Each of the original agile practices – XP, Scrum, DSDM, Crystal, and FDD – as well as Kanban and Lean, has a set of core values. These values guide us, provide clarity in times of ambiguity, and, most importantly, help us understand why we do what we do. As you read in the story above, the team was attempting to go through the motions of Scrum, but they did not understand why.
When you explain the iterative/incremental nature of Agile, most people coming from a waterfall lifecycle say “What? No up-front planning at all?” Some Agile coaches would glibly say yes, but the truth is more complex. Sprint Zero is an Agile term for a time-boxed amount of up-front planning. During Sprint Zero, you identify value stories, get a decent backlog of user stories and you do some architectural proof-of-concepts. The trick is to balance between insufficient planning and analysis paralysis.
Scrum focuses on maximizing Return on Investment (ROI), but it does not define how to manage and track costs to evaluate actual ROI against the vision. A cost measurement that integrates with Scrum would be an additional feedback tool. This article presents the adaptation of the Earned Value Management (EVM) approach to the Scrum framework. The result is called AgileEVM (Agile Earned Value Management) and is a simplified set of earned value calculations. From the values in Scrum, a release date estimate is derived using mean velocity. Using this equation, you can generate a similar equation with traditional EVM techniques, thus establishing the validity of using EVM with the Scrum framework. This technique was applied to two projects to validate the approach. This experience also helped to determine the utility of AgileEVM.
Martin von Weissenberg explains in his blog post that focus and rapid feedback not only improve software development projects but shorten them dramatically as well. He use an experimental setting to compute the ROI for four different approaches: traditional plan-driven project delivering near the end, an unfocused project with continuous delivery, a focused project with an 80/20 Pareto distribution of value and a focused project with an 80/50 Pareto distribution of value. The results prove that focus and rapid feedback in the form of continuous delivery are game-changer.
Learn how you can improve your business analysis with Agile story mapping, a technique that maps your stories back to business value. Thus you will be able to know if they make or save the company money and you will learn the benefits of bi-directional requirements traceability .
How in the world do agile teams produce real value every few weeks? In this video, Lyssa Adkins explains how agile puts the business in the driver’s seat to slice the wedding cake of value one slice at a time.