Value Delivery in Practice


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The practices of defining success in quantifiable business terms and then managing and measuring throughout execution are essential to business success yet still the exception in our industry.

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  • Setup: Open Bus. Objectives Deck, Open PT to project, Open to results pageI was originally going to present my talk “Value over Velocity: From Feature Building to Value Delivery” that I’ll be giving at the upcoming Agile2010 and Lean Kanban 2010 conferencesBut then two weeks ago it suddenly occurred to me that most all of you already know the Gilb’s methods and that I might bore you with material you already knowSo instead I decided to talk about how we’re applying these methods on real projects and in my company Dominion DigitalI’m very much a practitioner and not much of a theorist – perhaps this is the American in me (from Puritan Gift)But first a bit about myself…
  • My InfoMy Family:Regan, Indie, CashMy hometown: Richmond, VA (60 miles up the James River from Jamestown – the first English settlement in America and the capital of Virginia)
  • I primarily work in two roles within Dominion Digital a 50 person regional process and technology consulting companyI’m a leader in our Technology Solutions practice – formerly Architect but primarily today Engagement Management
  • I lead our ITPI practice – primarily around Agile Adoption including Agile Engineering practices for web-based products and services companiesToday I’ll discuss how we’re using Value Delivery with both types of engagements
  • Today’s working definition
  • A more practical definitionOur approach leverages the best practices of both methods
  • Value Focused – More than just working software and on-time, on-budgetQuantified Business Objectives – Focus on the end results first, not how to get thereQuantified Product Qualities – Not just ‘what’ but ‘how well’Planguage – A common way to define objectives and qualitiesImpact Estimation – In concept, but not in practice
  • Roles & Responsibilities – Product Owner, ScrumMaster, TeamIterative Delivery – Using 1 and 2 week delivery cyclesProduct Backlog – Prioritized set of things ‘to do’User Stories – Estimate-able elementary level of requirements “As a <Persona>, I would like to <Do Something> so I can <Accomplish a Goal>”Release & Sprint Planning – Schedule of delivery of User Stories over timeRetrospectives – Frequent reflection on what’s working well and what’s notStand-Up Meetings – Daily team synchronizations
  • We’re primarily using Value Delivery as a means to implement Technology Solutions projectsThis includes: Web-based eCommerce and self-service solutions and collaborative platformsWe primarily work with products and services companies, Fortune 500 and progressive mid-caps in Financial Services and (increasingly) Healthcare
  • Before we could convince our clients of the approach, we first had to convince ourselvesThis has been a journey starting in 2005 when I was first introduced to Evo (after using XP since 2000)
  • I was lucky that our CEO had a background in software engineering and a progressive ideas on delivering valueStory: When Chris was a teenager growing up in Ireland he got a job working with ??. He asked if he could come in on the weekends and play with their computer and within a few weeks had written software to automate a previously tedious manual process saving the company time and money. It quickly got his bosses attention and ever since he’s enjoyed connecting technology results with business value
  • Our organization has a fairly simple Operating modelMarketing – We market our services to organizations primarily in Central VirginiaSales – During the sales process we understand not just “what” needs to be done but “why” and “how well”Delivery – In Delivery we connect our solutions with the desired business results for our clientsThis is supported by Management including myself and Jimmy as members of the leadership team helping our company grow and evolve
  • Here’s our current 2010 goals (last reviewed in May)They (including our results) are shared with the entire company every quarter at all-employee meetings
  • One of the principle ways we market our company and our services is through our mission and core valuesWe don’t compete on price, we compete on value
  • In the sales process one of the principle things we try to establish are:1. What are the desired business results (not just the features)2. What is the budget & schedule3. Is this opportunity a good mutual fit that can produce a “win-win”At times this can be difficult, especially for clients who already ‘know what they want us to build’. In fact, this is probably our biggest challenge…
  • Clients many times already have a deadline and desired scope, they just want us to ‘build it’ quickly
  • When I’m the engagement manager, I will run the Inception kick-off meetingWe use the Kickoff meeting to validate, with executive stakeholders and all project members:Our understanding of what we’re being asked to doOur understanding of the critical business objectives and product qualities (draft versions of each)The meeting helps ensure everyone from the executive sponsor to the developers are focused on the right problem and we have agreement on what’s most importantI will often ask “if we can identify other solutions to” If they agree, this sets the precedent that we can build what they’re asking for but are free to explore alternative solutions as well
  • Let’s look at a real deliverable from a client project I’m leading right nowAction: Open up Deliverable deck - explain to group what they are about to seeAction: Open up to review page
  • Action: Open up PT to project, explain how backlog, stories and release planning work
  • Quickly quantify objectives and qualities and track down baselines for each (within 3-4 weeks for 3-4 month release)Desire to get to Scope / Schedule / Cost figures early enough to get SoW reviewed and signed without gapEnsure client understands roles and their responsibilities throughout project
  • We use Scrum pretty much by-the-book during Delivery
  • Its easy to lose focus on Objectives once into deliveryIf baselines aren’t captured before delivery starts, we’ll move on anyway (and it can be hard to circle back around after delivery starts)Value is Delivered when the Release is in production, not each Sprint (sometimes 2-4 months)
  • Low success rate in making this Value Delivery process stick after we have finished the engagementLack of priorityinto running down actual results afterwards (both us and clients)
  • Often times when I’m working with a new client, their current software development process is so broken the idea of quantifying business objectives and product qualities is nice but not critically important to them right now. They’re just trying to ship something soon.So I pursue two strategies and at different times alternate between the two
  • First focus on “Bottom Up”: 1. Getting team to deliver software in iterative cycles with cross-functional teams 2. Getting a backlog of stories developed and laying out a release plan 3. Introducing Agile Engineering practices (CI, automated testing, refactoring, TDD)Once we’ve started to make some progress on this, transition to focus on: 1. Product Qualities – Closer to team and product owner and within their control 2. Business Objectives – Tying their work back to the broader business problem and desired resultsTell story of HRP’s adoption
  • Value Delivery in Practice

    1. 1. Value Delivery in Practice
    2. 2. Ryan Shriver | Managing Consultant | | | twitter: ryanshriver
    3. 3. Value Delivery in Technology Solutions
    4. 4. Value Delivery in IT Performance Improvement
    5. 5. Value is Delivered in the form of progress towards stakeholder’s objectives
    6. 6. Value Delivery = Evo + Scrum
    7. 7. From Evo: Value Focused | Quantified Business Objectives | Quantified Product Qualities | Planguage | Impact Estimation*
    8. 8. From Scrum: Roles & Responsibilities | Iterative Delivery | Product Backlog | User Stories | Release & Sprint Planning | Retrospectives | Stand-Up Meetings
    9. 9. Over half our Business and Technology consultants are Certified Scrum Masters and trained in Evo methods Our Training
    10. 10. Value Delivery in Technology Solutions
    11. 11. Convincing Ourselves Introduced to Introduced First used Defined Standardized Trained Evo at Agile Evo to our Evo with Value approach and organization Business CEO, started Scrum on Delivery as market to in Evo Conference migration to client project our approach clients methods Scrum 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
    12. 12. "In an industry where so many are challenged to build the solution right, not to mention building the right solution, Value Delivery has been tantamount to Dominion Digital's success on both fronts. The practices of defining success in quantifiable business terms and then managing and measuring throughout execution are essential to business success yet still the exception in our industry. – Chris Little, Founder and CEO, Dominion Digital
    13. 13. Our Operating Model Marketin Sales Delivery Inception g Implementation Transition Management
    14. 14. Value Delivery in Management High Level Goals Sub Goals Improve employee Develop future leaders satisfaction and motivation Better communicate career Improve revenue growth tracks and promotion process Ensure challenging project Improve delivery opportunities Improve collaboration (both Improve profitability at office and on client sites) All goals are quantified with Scales, Meters, Targets, Constraints and Baselines They are reviewed and refined quarterly by the leadership team
    15. 15. Mission and Core Values By developing healthy relationships, we establish sustainable success for the people we care most about: our clients, our employees, and our community. We are on a mission to: -Raise the industry standards for professional services consulting -Deliver high-impact business value to our clients -Remain a great place to work for our associates -Continue to serve the best interests of our community -Remain true to our core values of service, value, passion, excellence, teamwork, and respect service & value - We always act in the best interest of our clients, as measured by client satisfaction and value created passion & excellence - We do our best in every situation and set the standards for excellence in our industry teamwork & respect - We embrace individual initiative and team collaboration, such that in mutual partnership with our clients and in our communities, we are all stronger and more successful. Value Delivery in Marketing – from our web site
    16. 16. Value Delivery in Sales
    17. 17. Challenges in Sales – Just Do It!
    18. 18. Value Delivery in Inception
    19. 19. Inception Deliverables: Business Objectives & Product Qualities
    20. 20. Inception Deliverables: Product Backlog, User Stories & Release Plan
    21. 21. Challenges in Inception – Quickly quantify success
    22. 22. Value Delivery in Delivery
    23. 23. Challenges in Delivery - Losing Focus on Ends
    24. 24. Challenges in Transition – Making it Stick
    25. 25. Value Delivery in IT Performance Improvement
    26. 26. Value Delivery when things are broken
    27. 27. Pursuing Bottom Up & Top Down Strategies
    28. 28. Thank you Recent Papers & Presentations: Upcoming Presentations: Hyper Productive Agile Agile 2010 (Orlando, FL) Measurable Business Value - Value over Velocity Product Qualities Approach, Agile Style - Non-Functional Requirements, Agile Style Lean Kanban 2010 (Antwerp, Belgium) - Value over Velocity