Do we deliver value?

Working with Product Development teams and their Product Owners we see many – if not all – struggling with prioritization.

The most common issues we see are:

  • Every feature is important
  • Prioritization is based solely on effort (instead of value)
  • Lack of metrics that could support prioritization
  • Focus on scope instead of value.

A common solution to these issues would be quantifying value. To understand the need for this, it’s important to understand the paradigm shift Agile introduced first: Agile engagements focus on maximized value delivery over scope delivery.

Depending on your challenges and context you can try various ways for estimating the business value of your requirements. Below we are going to introduce one of these approaches that provides a consistent way for product owners, product management and business decision makers to prioritize requirements by discussing each story in terms of a set of business value buckets before deciding on the final business value points for each requirement.

First, define your value categories and their weight. What aspects do you want to take into account, when deciding between features to implement? Consider your business goals and USPs.

For example:

 


The next step is to discuss the impact of each requirement in each category and assign points based on this. For example, the following value system could be used:

  • (L) Light value: 10
  • (M) Medium value: 20
  • (H) High value: 30
  • (V) Very high value: 40

Then as a final step, add up the points, then order the requirements based on their total value.

Lets see an example.

On our webshop, we want to accept PayPal payments.


Scores:

 


Once you have completed this exercise, you have business value associated to your requirements. But remember, business value is just one factor in determining priorities. When ordering your backlog, take into consideration the effort estimation, all kind of dependencies, risks, and anything else that can impact your business priorities.