The Liberators
Published in

The Liberators

Christiaan Verwijs

Feb 24, 2014

7 min read
Business Value is not just ‘money’

What Is This Thing Called “Value”?

How to have a conversation about what value means to you and your stakeholders

Maximizing Value in Scrum

  • How can you state with certainty when value was delivered by your Scrum Team? What would you need to observe or see happening?
  • Should all the work that your team delivers be immediately valuable to the stakeholders? Or can there be some delay?
  • What does “maximizing value” mean in terms of behavior and decisions that a Scrum Team makes?
  • How does a Scrum Team decide which items on the Product Backlog are more valuable than others? What do they base these decisions on?
  • Whose perspective do you take when deciding what has “value”?

Value & stakeholders

Business value is an informal term that includes all forms of value that determine the health and well-being of the firm in the long run.

1. Commercial value

  • A new version of a software package that customers will pay for to acquire;
  • A new piece of functionality that can be paid for, like modules in on-demand web-apps;
  • Changes that reduce operating costs, like reduction in required servers by improving code or cheaper distribution to customers (e.g. via Steam instead of packaged);
  • Being able to send a bill to a customer for the work that was done;
  • Improve the subjective value of the application so people are willing to pay more for it (in Lean Six Sigma this is considered quality or customer value, something Apple is quite good at);

2. Market value

  • Functionality that draws in a new group of customers;
  • Porting applications to other platforms, like smartphones, from iOS to Android, etc;
  • Adding features that the competitors doesn’t have (or implement them better);

3. Efficiency value

  • Reduce the amount of errors in a task or increase speed (by automating it or parts of it)
  • Increasing the usability or quality of an application to reduce load on support desks;
  • Reducing the amount of time needed to set up new customer environments or deploy them;
  • Decreasing the time to market;

4. Customer value

  • Improving usability in an application to make it easier to use (and reduce frustration);
  • Adding a new feature that is commonly requested by users;

5. Future value

  • Investing in a new (custom or open source) framework that can be used for future development;
  • Reducing technical debt in code to make future changes in the code easier or less error-prone;

Measuring business value?

You can already support us with $1/month. Find out more on