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How Do I Determine User Story Value? Part 2

Tags: agile, Scrum, Portfolio

In my previous blog post I introduced the concept that Product Onwers need some kind of system for determining the value of a user story.  This post explores the what I think is needed in a framework for determining value, based in simplicity.  This post describes the criteria needed, and then delves into what teams want in order to implement it.  Later posts will discuss actual implementation sceanarios and pracctices. 

To start, this frameworks fits into four criteria:

  • It must be simple enough to be introduced with other scrum ceremonies. 
  • The value is clear to the each organization it is used in. 
  • The value should be estimable in some way.
  • Teams measure the value produced.

Once the framework meets this criteria, we need to know how to implement it with your team.   To implement this, teams need to have a practice to use.  For instance, planning poker is used by many to estimate user stories.  While not a specified scrum ceremony, this practice helps teams to determine sizing of requirements.  This practice also gives teams a place to begin understanding the requirement.  

Teams also need some type of artifact to use.  As most teams user stories, this approach suggests using Features to assign value.  This should align with Lean Startup ideas of Minimum Marketable features as well as other standard ways to group requirements together in understandable ways.  Using this approach, when presenting roadmaps to your managment, you use a well known approach, supplementing the approach with valuation.  In my next post we review best ways to assign a value, and go over value levels.

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