We often hear about the need to maximize the business value we deliver. However, whether we like it or not, the business value is more ambiguous and complex than we think. It is hard to define it and requires a conversation to gain alignment and agreement on experiments based on outcome hypothesis and key results. Large organizations define their strategy at the top level and plan impact over a number of years but fail to link that strategy to execution in the form of nested business outcomes. As a consequence, we see a disconnect between what the organization’s strategy is and what the delivery teams are actually working on. CEOs typically change faster than they can see their strategy delivered, organizations remain too slow to adapt to fast-changing market conditions, everyone makes themselves busy thinking that this ‘business’ is a good thing and effort is spent on low-value initiatives, not linked to strategy. Another problem is that success is measured in terms of outputs like a number of features released, meeting the budget and scope goals rather than outcomes and impact, such as improving customer retention, increasing business profitability or market share.
Business value at an organizational level can be a lot more meaningful by focusing more on strategy alignment initiatives, favoring fast and frequent experiments in psychologically safe environments, using outcome-based hypothesis with leading and lagging indicators, taking advantage of constant learning, continuous improvement and faster delivery of real strategic business outcomes. We will see the importance of creating a mindset of safe-to-fail experiments and we will have some basic exercises on how to write a business outcome with meaningful key results linked to organizational strategy.
This talk explores different perspectives around the identification of business value, starting with the difference between output, outcome, and impact, leading and lagging indicators, strategy alignment and execution, hypothesis, and key results, together with a list of good metrics to demonstrate outcome flow.