Federal IT programs in the United States have a long, troubled history of failure to meet cost, schedule, and capability objectives. The recent implementation of FITARA has been aimed at “streamlining our obsolete approach to Federal IT, providing a better value for the American taxpayer” (according to Chairman Darrell Issa). The timing is perfect for the increased adoption of Agile principles and practices focused on frequent delivery of value in the form of quality working software and digital services. But in the Federal context, what is value? How is it defined and measured? What methods for defining value can be used by government leaders in order to prioritize portfolio backlogs and measure program performance?

This workshop presents a peer-reviewed, research-validated methodology called Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) that leaders of enterprise Federal IT portfolios can use to define value in the context of their specific agency mission and strategy. This approach leads to a single, quantitative representation of agency specific value (value points) for each item in the portfolio or program backlog. This metric is useful for calculating weighted shortest job first (WSJF) to prioritize backlogs, and for burn-up charts showing program performance in the form of value delivery over time. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a team based exercise building a simple MCDA value matrix for a hypothetical government program.

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