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The Art of Business Value

Book Description

Do you really understand what business value is? Information technology can and should deliver business value. But the Agile literature has paid scant attention to what business value means and how to know whether or not you are delivering it. This problem becomes ever more critical as you push value delivery toward autonomous teams and away from requirements ?tossed over the wall? by business stakeholders. An empowered team needs to understand its goal!Playful and thought-provoking, The Art of Business Value explores what business value means, why it matters, and how it should affect your software development and delivery practices. More than any other IT delivery approach, DevOps (and Agile thinking in general) makes business value a central concern. This book examines the role of business value in software and makes a compelling case for why a clear understanding of business value will change the way you deliver software.This book will make you think deeply about not only what it means to deliver value but also the relationship of the IT organization to the rest of the enterprise. It will give you the language to discuss value with the business, methods to cut through bureaucracy, and strategies for incorporating Agile teams and culture into the enterprise. Most of all, this book will startle you into new ways of thinking about the cutting-edge of Agile practice and where it may lead.

Table of Contents

  1. A mystery solved, in seven chapters.
  2. Praise
  3. FOREWORD BY GENE KIM
  4. Preface
  5. Chapter 1: The Problem
  6. Agile and Lean practices are all about maximizing the business value we deliver. Agile books tell us that business value is important, but none of them seem to tell us what business value is, though they do scatter clues here and there. In this chapter, however, we examine the clues and find that they come to nothing. Business value is a mystery at the core of Agile practice.1
  7. Chapter 2: The Meaning
  8. Our first step in solving the mystery is to consult the experts. Unfortunately, the experts just deepen the mystery for us.2 It turns out that we need to cast a wider net to catch our elusive target.
  9. Chapter 3: The Culture
  10. Good detective work involves observing people. We find that there seems to be a connection between organizational culture and business value. But to understand it, we have to immerse ourselves in corporate culture, rather than reject it or stand apart from it.3
  11. Chapter 4: The Rules
  12. What could bureaucracy possibly have to do with business value? A lot, perhaps. Warning: this chapter contains graphic depictions of bureaucracy being applied to agility. You may come away wanting to produce burndown charts in triplicate.
  13. Chapter 5: The CIO
  14. Someone has been forgotten in all this talk about business value. She makes a mysterious entrance, claiming to be following the same trail of clues that we are. Or . . . could it be that she is responsible?
  15. Chapter 6: The Clue
  16. Aha—the case (or the CAS) takes a turn. We skip lightly into the fourth dimension, take a look back, and all becomes clear. But you’ll find no spoilers here in the Table of Contents.
  17. Chapter 7: The Delivery
  18. We lock up the culprit and explain the tools we have used to solve the mystery. You will begin to see business value as an art and walk away with surprising new ideas on how to go about creating it.
  19. Bibliography
  20. Acknowledgments
  21. About the Author
  22. 1 cf. Jean-Paul Sartre’s claim that “nothingness lies coiled at the heart of being— like a worm,” in like a worm,” in Being and Nothingness.
  23. 2 cf. Dante, The Inferno. It gets worse and worse the deeper you look.
  24. 3 Alienation has been covered thoroughly—some might say excessively— in The Stranger by Camus and “Bartleby, the Scrivener” by Melville. by Camus and “Bartleby, the Scrivener” by Melville.