We play organizational games with estimates, budgets and goals. And, we use them to make serious decisions in organizations. Value is how we reconcile these problems. If we make decisions by value, we change how we rank the backlog for the iteration, we change how we organize the project portfolio, and we change how we fund the projects for the organization.

How do we find the value? What feeds into the value? Cost of delay is part of it. Creation of market share is part of it. Waste is part of it. Investment is part of it. You will need to determine value for your organization by looking at all of these things and discussing them.

However, if we try to create a goal with an estimate, either the goal is wrong or the estimate is wrong. People estimate so they know it will fit into the iterations, instead of looking at what they need or they estimate a project so it fits the overall portfolio. People are forced to estimate to fit the date. We see this at the iteration, project, and project portfolio levels.

How do we value different projects and programs in the project portfolio? One common way is to use estimation. Especially for large programs, estimation is costly and wrong. The estimate becomes the target, the plan. The estimate is a trap for the eventual project or program. The estimate prevents feedback or continuous learning. The complexity of today’s projects and project portfolios puts an extra burden on decision making.

Estimation is insufficient for evaluating the project portfolio. We need to use value. Value is more difficult, and adheres to the agile principles. In this session we will learn how to evaluate the project portfolio by adhering to the core agile values.

In this workshop, participants will experience hands on techniques for determining the real value in their project portfolio based on their very own experiences. In small, collaborative groups, we will use a series of pinpoint questions, regularly debrief, and examine value from several dimensions.

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