Feb 27th, 2020

Business Insights

Agile Is About Choices

  Written by: Craig Vosper, Chief Delivery Officer

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Last month Kirk Hoaglund, Chief Executive Officer, wrote about Value Focused Analysis (VFA). In this, he talked about how a VFA helps you identify what it is you’re trying to accomplish. It also greatly assists with creating options for accomplishing it.

This analysis not only aids in deciding what to do next, but it also helps identify how to plan for your initiative. That means you can make choices that provide earlier value, reduce risk, and improve quality. These decisions become much easier to execute when you’re delivering using an Agile Delivery Model.

In some scenarios, organizations may struggle in choosing where to deliver value first. On a project we did with a dental claims’ organization, we chose to deliver our initial solution to states with the least regulations and focus on very specific services. This allowed our customer to validate the solution approach and gather valuable feedback for the rest of the rollout.

In other cases the value of an early delivery may be worth the risk and cost of a future refactoring effort. In another project, our customer decided to reuse their existing integration model, even though they were planning to retire it. During the VFA it was determined that the existing model was an acceptable option to deliver the expected business value.

A thorough VFA might also lead organizations to change their original plans; selecting new/different features to deliver first. One of our customers was processing customer demographic changes manually. During our VFA we had identified 8 different manual changes that were happening. As we incrementally fixed each, one by one, the customer chose to stop after the first 3 because they had received the required benefits. This allowed us to move on to another project altogether.

Disciplined Agile Delivery can provide an organization with many benefits, especially when combined with a Value Focused Analysis of the problem at hand. Most importantly it allows you to make choices as you go and understand the impact of those choices quickly!