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A Scrum Master Guide to Improving Value Delivered

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Focuses on measuring the value delivered and provides practices to improve the value you deliver over time.

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This chapter is from the book

Producing a “Done” Product Increment isn’t the end of the journey—it’s merely the start of the learning journey to deliver more value. A Scrum Team now has the capability to measure the value they deliver and to use empiricism to improve the value that customers experience.

What is Value?

The term value is used many times in the Scrum Guide. The first time this term is used is in the definition of Scrum: “delivering products of the highest possible value.” It is an interesting experiment to ask people how they define “value.” It is actually difficult to define what value means without using the words “value” or “valuable.” Value is, ultimately, determined by customer experiences.

These questions can help you determine whether you are delivering value:

  • Are your customers happy? Do you help them achieve outcomes that they find important?

  • Is that happiness reflected in ways that can be profitably monetized?

  • Are you adding or shedding customers?

  • How quickly can you deliver a new idea to a customer and measure the result?

  • Are your employees happy?

Not-for-profit and social enterprises don’t have concerns about profitably monetizing customer outcomes. Even so, they are still concerned with customer outcomes—although they may use names like “citizens” or “clients” instead of “customers.” Some for-profit enterprises are also mission-driven, but missions can be described in terms of achieving a set of outcomes for a group of people, as in the following examples:

  • Increasing local employment

  • Improving the well-being of a community

  • Reducing negative ecological or environmental impacts

Noted management consultant, educator, and author Peter Drucker observed, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” The same is true of value: Producing and delivering “Done” Product Increments is not enough; you have to measure the value you are delivering to improve it.

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