Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Toward a general theory of business value

I did a presentation yesterday at Agile2008. Here is the link to the slide deck.

I hope it would be accurate to say that being there would have been more useful than just reading the deck. But here it is.

Two key ideas.

Business value is about learning. As a team. BV is always changing (on many dimensions) and we learn, in part, to keep up with that change.

Business value is about communicating to change behavior. As in a lot of situations, it takes some effort to communicate successfully. It might not happen very well the first time you do it. Inspect & adapt.

In addition to trying to reveal all the ideas and assumptions around our use of "Business Value" (or at least many of them), the deck also talks about:
(A) definitions of business value
(B) relatively specific actions during the course of an effort where we can improve our business value engineering

This is a quest for mastery in a very difficult skill. Even intermediate skill levels take a good time to achieve. It is my belief that the effort pays real dividends. So I think I have seen and so I think others have told me is their experience.

The deck uses a circular and episodic approach. All the interconnections between the ideas are not spelled out, and it is for the observer's mind to actively engage and discover them for themselves. The whole is more than the sum of the parts. At least in my opinion.

One hope you can use with benefit.

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