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.

Additional Resources

About the Speaker(s)

Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” provides frank advice for your tough problems. She helps leaders and teams see problems and resolve risks and manage their product development. Johanna is the author of more than ten books, including: - Create Your Successful Agile Project: Collaborate, Measure, Estimate, Deliver - Agile and Lean Program Management: Scaling Collaboration Across the Organization - Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects, 2nd ed. - Diving for Hidden Treasures: Finding the Value in Your Project Portfolio (with Jutta Eckstein) - Predicting the Unpredictable: Pragmatic Approaches to Estimating Project Schedule or Cost See more of Johanna’s books and writing on http://www.jrothman.com, and http://www.createadaptablelife.com.

Jutta works as an independent coach, consultant, trainer, author, and speaker (https://www.jeckstein.com/). She has helped many teams and organizations worldwide to make an agile transition. She has a unique experience in applying agile processes within medium-sized to large distributed mission-critical environments. She has published her experience in many books: - Company-wide Agility with Beyond Budgeting, Open Space & Sociocracy (with John Buck), see https://www.agilebossanova.com/ - Diving for Hidden Treasures: Uncovering the Cost of Delay in your Project Portfolio’ (with Johanna Rothman) - Agile Software Development in the Large’ - Agile Software Development with Distributed Teams’ - Retrospectives for Organizational Change She is a member of the Agile Alliance (having served the board of directors from 2003-2007) and a member of the program committee of many different American, Asian, and European conferences, where she has also presented her work. Jutta holds a M.A. in Business Coaching & Change Management, a Dipl.Eng. in Product-Engineering, and a B.A. in Education.