V11 – Paying Attention to Value
The last variation we’ll talk about is assigning value to the requirements. The Ball Game simulation is troublesome enough without giving each ball a unique ‘business value’. Numbers are written on the tennis balls, from 5-1000 points. Requirements are assigned at random (ie, nobody paid attention to the numbers when the balls were distributed), but the product owner can still maximize value delivered by trying to send the higher-valued balls through first. Obviously, dropping those high-value balls is especially hurtful.
Origin: I was working with a client that had actually developed a way of articulating business value and ROI. I decided to give them an analogue for value in the exercise to give the Product Owner something extra to consider. When they reported Velocity (number of balls), they also reported the total of all the Value points they delivered.
Reality Check: I actually like this variation a lot. The reality is that all stories are not the same size, or the same value. There is no uniformity to the work we do. There is no one way to prioritize, and no one way to execute. We do the best with what we’re handed, and we work together to deliver as best we can. And that’s really, the point of all this.