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A couple of weeks ago, Dave West, Forrester Sr. Analyst hosted a webinar with us, entitled, "How Agile Value Management (AVM) can remove risk earlier in your agile process". Dave spoke about the benefits of removing risk earlier in your agile process, and streamlining key life cycle friction points between your product teams, analysts, engineering, manufacturing, and customers.
As is usually the case, we received more questions than Dave was able to respond to during the duration of the webinar. Dave has very graciously responded to your unanswered questions, which I've included below.
You can also listen to the full webinar replay here. You'll also want to follow Dave if you're not already, he's very fascinating guy.
1) Where does innovation in untested or unknown area fit into the value equation?
That is a really interested question. It is hard to know the true value of innovation, but there are techniques such as innovation games that provide a mechanism to at least prioritize one thing over another. The truth of the matter is when delivering new stuff (brand new, innovative product or service) the best thing to do is get something out and test the response ( measure in a controlled way) and then accept that change will happen. An example of this approach is what MS do with their extended Beta – The product is released almost a year before RTM, but to a small select group who provide LOTS of feedback and comment. During that exercise the value of the features are assessed and measured.
2) What is the value of Documentation in regards to the Agile Methodology?
The problem of documentation is that it is often aimed at two very different audiences. Firstly it is used to drive development in terms of requirements, designs, etc. Secondly it is used to describe the system for maintenance and support. These are two very different audiences. The result is documentation that is neither and good for nothing, thus it gets out of date and becomes irrelevant. Thus on most projects we see Agile documentation driving the development of great software and testing it in terms of stories, simple designs and test materials. The maxim for this documentation is just enough to enable the team to move to done, and is supported with tacit knowledge. In parallel other documentation is created to support the process of support – this is written by professional writers aimed at ONE audience with ONE set of needs.