Business Value Engineering – 3 questions

I want to slightly change my definition of Business Value Engineering (see earlier post). It is the values, principles and practices that we use help us continuously improve the Business Value we deliver.

Some questions and answers:

Q. “Business Value.” OK, always good. Why add the word “engineering”?

A. Scrum says you must always improve your engineering practices. I think the most important set of engineering practices typically are around BV (Business Value).

Merriam-Webster defines Engineering: “The work of designing and creating large structures (such as roads and bridges) or new products or systems by using scientific methods.”

So, engineering implies that metrics and rigor are involved. This is important as an attitude. Often we lack rigor, discipline, and metrics.

Q. What is the relationship of BV Engineering to Scrum?

A. To me, BV Engineering is best done in the context of Scrum, but Scrum is not required.

And, you would think that Lean and Scrum implied or would foster a whole set of approaches to BV in software development, but in practice, this does not seem to be the case.

To me, it is fundamental that a team is producing Business Value (whether using Scrum or some other approach) and continuously more Business Value.

Q. What is the first thing to do in BV Engineering?

A. In my opinion, the first thing to do is “draw a clear picture” of what BV Engineering means for your team (or area) currently.

This typically makes more concrete and specific three things: The customers (external and internal), the business (the customer facing groups and the internal groups that, for example, have some input about features) and the team.

Then you diagram how the BV practices actually work together as you flow between and through these things. Then describe the values and principles, theories, models and assumptions behind the BV practices.

Typically the processes you are diagramming involve explaining Business Value and requirements to the team, and then delivering the product from the team to the real customers.

You make this specific to your situation. Not in infinite detail, but with some flesh on the bones. Let’s say 30 stickies with arrows to start.

The purpose of this simplistic “picture” of your BV Engineering is to enable the team and the right people to identify where the biggest improvements can be made.

More later.




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