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Unlocking Agile's Missed Potential

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2022-08-02
  • Publisher: Wiley-IEEE Computer Society Pr
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?



Agile has not delivered on its promises. The business side expected faster time to market, but they still experience the long delays of bloated releases. Engineers thought they would be given time to build the product right the first time, but they are rushed under pressure to deliver new features within impossible schedules. What went wrong?

The culprit is feature-based waterfall release planning perpetuated in a vain attempt to achieve business predictability. Agile didn't address the business need for multi-year financial predictability. The Agile community's answer was the naïve response, "The business needs to be more Agile." Waterfall release planning with fixed schedules undercuts a basic tenet of Agile development – the need to adjust content delivered within a timebox to account for evolving requirements and incorporation of feedback. Agile without flexible content is not Agile.

This book introduces a novel solution that enables product teams to deliver higher value within shorter cycle times while meeting the predictability needs of the business. Organizations today want product teams that break down walls between product management and engineering to achieve schedule and financial objectives. Until now they haven’t had a way to implement product teams within the rigid constraints of traditional organizational structures.

The Investment planning approach described in this book supports small development increments planned and developed by product teams aligned by common schedule and financial goals. It uses Cost of Delay principles to prioritize work with the highest value and shortest cycle times. Investments provide a vehicle for collaboration and innovation and fulfill the promise of highly motivated self-directed Agile development teams.

This book is for engineers, product managers and project managers who want to finally do Agile the way it was envisioned. This book is also for leaders who want to build high-performance teams around the inherent motivational environment of Agile when done right.

Foreword by Steve McConnell, author of More Effective Agile: A Roadmap for Software Leaders (Construx Press, 2019).

Author Biography

Robert Webber’s experience leading engineering and product management, combined with years of consulting with Fortune 500 companies, provide the broad perspective to create a win-win solution for business and product development that finally achieves the promises of Agile development. Organizations can increase R&D ROI by over 25% using existing Agile development capabilities. Break the chains of waterfall planning!

Table of Contents

Foreword 11

Preface 13

Introduction 16

The Lost Potential of Agile Development 16

Missed Business Expectations 18

A New Approach to Agile Planning 19

Addressing Traditional Software Development Challenges 21

Motivation and Innovation 22

Your Organization 22

Chapter 1: The Persistence of Waterfall Planning 23

Introduction to AccuWiz 23

The New COO 24

Product Management 24

PMO 25

Engineering 25

Customer Perspective 26

Synopsis 26

Summary 27

Chapter 2 – Why Agile has Struggled 29

Agile Development Fundamentals 30

The Agile Revolution 30

Scrum 31

Kanban 34

Barriers to Real Agile 35

Schedule Pressure 35

The “Motivation” Factor 37

The Mythical Product Owner 39

Feature Planning 40

Agile Scaling Frameworks 41

Summary 42

Chapter 3: Embracing Software Development Variance 43

The Cone of Uncertainty 43

Software Development Estimation Variance Explained 44

Making and Meeting Feature Commitments 45

How Other Departments Meet Commitments 47

Agile Development Implications 48

Summary 48

Chapter 4: Cost of Delay 49

Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF) 50

Cost of Delay Basics 50

Example 52

WSJF Proof 54

CoD and Net Present Value (NPV) Prioritization Methods 56

Non-linear Income Profiles 57

CoD for Non-Linear Cumulative Income Profiles 58

Payback Period CoD Method 58

Third-year Income Slope CoD Method 58

CoD NPV Method 63

CoD Computation Method 64

WSJF and Traditional Finance 66

ROI 66

Investment Rate of Return (IRR) 67

WSJF versus ROI Prioritization 67

Summary 69

Chapter 5: Investment Fundamentals 70

Investments, Initiatives and Programs 70

Investment Hierarchy 71

AccuWiz Investment Examples 74

Portfolio Allocation 75

Investment Forecasts 76

Development Effort and Cost 76

Investment Income Forecasts 78

Investment Backlogs 81

Investment WIP 82

Investment Backlog WIP 82

Investment WIP 83

Technical Debt Investments 84

Summary 86

Chapter 6: Maximizing Investment Value 87

Great Products 87

Business Model Value Considerations 89

Stakeholder Value Analysis 90

Gilb Stakeholder Definition 90

Ford’s Big Mistake 92

Trucking Fleet Management Example 93

Five Whys 95

User Scenarios 96

Summary 97

Chapter 7: Planning High-Value Investment Features 99

Avoiding the Feature Pit 99

Feature ROI 100

Summary 104

Chapter 8: Releasing Investments 105

Release Opportunity Cost 105

Investment Release Bundling 108

Investment Pricing 108

Lack of Customer Acceptance 110

Release Overhead Costs 111

Overcoming Modular Release Challenges 113

Architecture for Modular Deployment 113

Configuration Management 113

Release Investment Prioritization 114

Reducing Software Inventory Costs 115

Summary 118

Chapter 9: Meeting Investment Targets 120

Meeting Commitments 120

Investment Teams 120

Managing Investment Scope 123

Managing Sales Requests 127

Summary 129

Chapter 10: Investment Planning Template 130

Investment Description 130

Proxy Business Case 130

Product Stakeholder Analysis 132

Customer Product Stakeholders 132

Internal Product Stakeholders 132

Constraints 132

Competition 133

Acceptance Criteria 133

Go-to-Market Plan 134

Pricing Model 134

Deployment Model 134

Sales Channels 134

Investment Targets 134

Development Cost 134

Cycle Time 134

Income Projections 134

WSJF 136

Assumption Validation 136

Summary 138

Chapter 11: Managing the Agile Roadmap 139

The Agile Roadmap Management Database 139

The Agile Technology Roadmap 141

Stages of Technology Acquisition 142

Investment Technology Roadmaps 143

Summary 143

Chapter 12: Maximizing Investment Development Productivity 145

Measuring Software Productivity 145

Cost of Quality (CoQ) 146

Cost of Quality and Software Productivity 147

Sources of Software Rework 149

Agile Cost of Quality 150

Reducing Agile User Story Rework 152

Reducing Agile Defect Rework 153

Agile Cost of Quality Example 154

Summary 155

Chapter 13: Motivating Agile Teams 156

Background 156

Why You’re the Only Smart One in Your Organization 157

Consequences and Behavior 158

Performance and Organizational Culture 159

Behavior and Software Quality 163

Intrinsic Motivation 164

Agile and Motivation 165

Measuring Motivation 167

Motivation Advice 169

Summary 171

Chapter 14: Innovating with Investments 173

Innovation – A Working Definition 174

Investments as an Innovation Vehicle 175

Why Your Organization Can’t Innovate 176

An Organizational Behavior Model of Innovation 178

An Innovation Tale of Two Companies 181

Creating a Culture of Innovation 184

Summary 188

Chapter 15: AccuWiz Gets it Together 189

The Founder Meeting 189

The Announcement 190

Product Stakeholder Analysis 191

Creating the Investment Backlog 192

Customer Management 195

Investment Development 195

Project Management 196

Managers 197

Executive Team 198

Innovation is Revived 199

Synopsis 199

Chapter 16: Getting it Together in your Company: A Practical Guide 200

Step 1: Organizational Support 200

Influence Strategy 204

Step 2: Stakeholder Value Analysis 205

Step 3: Stakeholder Research 206

Step 4: Stakeholder Interviews 207

Step 5: Investments 207

User Scenarios 208

Feature Definition 209

WSJF Screening 209

Step 6: Initial Roadmap 210

Resource Allocation 211

Step 7: Investment Planning 214

Agile Roadmap Alignment Meeting 215

Program Review 216

Step 8: Consequence Alignment 217

Summary 220

Appendix 1: General Cost of Delay Formula 221

Reinertsen WSJF 222

Income Curve Approximation 223

Summary 225

Appendix 2: Investment Income Profile Forecasts 226

Appendix 3: Release Cycle Productivity Formula 228

Appendix 4: Rework and Productivity 232

Appendix 5: Innovation Behavior Survey 233

Glossary 238

Index 246

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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