Tracking Value – How do you do it?

How do we track value? Some food for thought on a Friday.

One idea that I recently read about was a technique involving assigning value points to each feature or user story by the product owner. For example, the most important feature may get 10 points, some minor feature only gets one point (btw, business should assign value points).

As features are delivered, you track the points to show how much value is being delivered.

If you create a graph you should see the value goes up pretty quickly but then levels off since by the fourth or fifth iteration we won’t be delivering as much value.

Any ideas on how to track value?

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6 Responses to “Tracking Value – How do you do it?”

  1. Martin Wickman
    November 19, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    Yes, I’ve been playing around with that idea as well. Standard ways for management is to track some kind of ROI calculation. Maybe ROI can be used in combination with “value points” in some clever way?

    Treating story points as costs, then one obvious use is to divide the story’s value point with its story point to get the bang-for-buck ratio so to speak :)

    • ScoutMaster
      November 19, 2010 at 8:32 am #

      Martin thanks for your thoughts. Still trying to figure out the best way to do it. Googling it as well as what some of our books say doesn’t always seem to match what clients want.

      Assigning value to stories seems like a client-specific endeavor every time.

  2. Derek Huether
    November 19, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    Nice Venn diagram! I have a possible solution to what you’re asking. A few years back, I used a homegrown Excel spreadsheet (graph) that was nothing more than a burnup chart and burndown chart on the same page. On one point, you would see the actual cost to deliver value (per MMF) at a given time. On the other point, you would see the perceived value realized (per MMF) at a given time. Though the customer wouldn’t get the value until the end of the sprint, this graph worked really well on a release level. The customer could see when the greatest percentage of value would be delivered. It gave the customer more objective and less subjective data to work with.

    • ScoutMaster
      November 19, 2010 at 9:51 am #

      Ooo. Like this idea. Thanks Derek!

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