There’s a dirty little secret in the IT department of most organizations…
Ok, there’s probably more than one dirty secret, but the one relevant to this week’s Inside Product is that organizations rarely know, for sure, whether their products actually deliver the benefits promised.
If organizations measure success of their products at all, they typically look at whether the agreed upon scope of a specific change to the product was delivered on time and on budget. This is an output based measure and does not provide a reliable indication of whether the product produces the desired outcome.
The good news is that there are several different ways to get an outcome focused way to tell whether a product is successful. Those approaches are all very similar, but go by different names such as validated learning, benefits realization or evidenced based management.
The bad news is that many organizations still do not use any of them.
I’m sharing more information about these approaches so that you can encourage your organization to start using one of these methods to really measure the success of your products.
How agile business analysts assess value
This is the 9th in a series about the agile business analyst. This post looks at how agile business analysts assess value and use that to determine subsequent action.
When Eric Ries was recording his startup lessons learned on way to describing the Lean Startup, he coined the term validated learning and described it as a definition of progress for a startup. The validation comes in the form of data that demonstrates that the key risks in the business have been addressed by the current product.
To get a better understanding of validated learning, watch this short video where describes the value of validated learning.
5 Simple questions to drive validated learning
John Cutler provides a simple model that frames product development as an effort to trigger a change in user behavior. It is accessible and not too jargon-laden. It can be used to describe things on the highest level — a whole business, for example — or a specific, low-level design change.
Benefits Realization: The Agile Way
Traditionally, organizations have used an execution focused approach to gauge progress and success of their projects. They focused primarily on their ability to deliver project scope within time, cost and schedule constraints.
Benefits realization is a different approach that requires you to understand the desired outcome of your project with all of its nuances, in order to help shape the project to better deliver that outcome. Kevin Aguanno describes benefit realization and how it fits in with an agile approach.
Evidence Based Management
Scrum.org produced the Evidence-Based Management (EBM) Guide which describes Evidence Based Management as an empirical approach that provides organizations with the ability to measure the value they deliver to customers and the means by which they deliver that value, and to use those measures to guide improvements in both.
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Talk to you next week,
Kent J. McDonald
Founder | KBP.Media