How to Measure Value Earned for Enterprise Agile

October 23, 2019 Don Young

Agile and DevOps teams around the world have celebrated big wins as they move toward transforming their software delivery lifecycle. In general, they are delivering software faster while continuously innovating.  

As the role of software for the future of business catches on, software development has moved up the value chain and become a major priority at most organizations. Business leaders recognize the importance of fast, innovative, high-quality software in order to stay competitive and deliver value to customers.  

To drive the most value possible, there is a rising demand to align software development with the business strategy.  

Agile and DevOps teams are increasingly tasked with tying the value of software back to the business. This has created many new challenges - especially when it comes to scaling DevOps or Agile across an entire organization. There’s also the challenge of keeping development, IT operations and resources aligned while continuing to deliver high-quality software at speed.  

These are just a few of the challenges for any enterprise that is ultimately trying to increase positive outcomes and deliver more value through software. 

SAFe and Value Stream Management (VSM) have emerged to help make this next level of business transformation possible. SAFe provides the framework to develop Lean and Agile practices that are common in software development. Value Stream Management solutions allow companies to scale, create, deliver and measure the flow of business value throughout their application development life cycles. 

As the enterprise works to scale Agile and DevOps across the organization, it is more important than ever to track and measure the value of any development project. Historically, in project management, Earned Value Management is used to measure project performance and progress against a long-term plan. This is a great way to measure outputs and holds many beneficial practices for well understood business needs. Agile and DevOps measurement needs to be outcome-based and take into account the emergent nature where these practices are best suited. So, we developed a whitepaper about an Agile approach to Earned Value Measurement. 

Fittingly, this approach is called, “Agile Earned Value Measurement.”  

Agile Earned Value Measurement is how the organization tracks the value of its development projects delivered to end-users and stakeholders relative to the business investment it makes over time where you don’t know everything at project onset.  

Here are some of the core practices that lead to successful Agile Earned Value Management that we cover in the white paper:  

  1. Track Value Earned and Delivered on Agile Programs
  2. Establish the initial Agile Program Management Baseline (APMB)
  3. Predicting a Budget at Completion
  4. Track Agile Earned Value (AEV) against the Agile Program Management Baseline (APMB)
  5. Re-establish a new Agile Program Management Baseline as stakeholder needs evolve and the solution emerges over time
  6. Measure when true value has been delivered to stakeholders

With these strategies in place for Agile Earned Value Management, the organization will be able to demonstrate outcome-based value. Further, with effective Value Stream Management, one has perspective on the Stories, Features, and Epics delivered to production and to stakeholders, which provides situational awareness to the business and to the stakeholders - a true measure of Value Delivered and Earned! 

Want to see the whitepaper with formulas and graphics to help you measure earned value? Read here

About the Author

Don Young

Don Young, Senior Solutions Architect at CollabNet VersionOne, provides technical pre-sales support and product coaching on CollabNet VersionOne’s Agile solutions. Don has over 8+ years of experience in the Agile space and is a certified SAFe Agilist. Don received his BSEE from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

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