The Value Management Workshop

The 7 Wastes of Lean

Over Production - The Waste of Unnecessary Requirements

Over Processing - The Waste of Unnecessary Detail

Inventory - The Waste of Unimplemented Requirements

Transport - The Waste of Hand-offs

Defects - The Waste of Incorrect Requirements

Delay - The Waste of Long Cycle Times and Slow Feedback

Motion - The Waste of Multi-Tasking

Defeat the Waste in Your Processes!

Enabling Better Business Outcomes for Software Projects

“There is nothing so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not have been done at all”  – Peter Drucker

Are We Building the Right Things? Not Just Building Things Right?

Agile software development practices enable organizations to more efficiently and reliably deliver software projects – that is, build things “right”. But are we achieving better business outcomes – that is, building the “right” things? For many organizations, agility is just an IT or product development cost reduction strategy that in Peter Drucker’s words enables us to “…do with great efficiency something that should not have been done at all”  Long before the software community discovered agility, it was a well known competitive strategy for business success and not just an IT practice. This workshop provides those in your value management chain the tools and practices to work together so they can use to create better business outcomes for their software projects – to create business value building the right things.  After all, building the wrong thing right is just creating waste with great efficiency.


Learning Outcome

Understand how to exploit agility as a competitive business strategy to create superior value and create better business outcomes for software projects.


Flipped Mastery workshop: 16 hours on-demand and Virtual Instructor Lead Training (VILT) organized as four “micro-courses” plus two days onsite workshop. Additional days available for user story writing workshop.


Everyone with a role the value management chain, Business Analyst, Product Managers, Product Owners, Subject Matter Experts.


Registered participants receive a workbook which they use to develop and agree to their “practice library”. In addition they create a value management process improvement backlog – use agile to roll out agile.

Specific Learning Outcomes

The primary outcome of this workshop is to know how to exploit disruption, feedback and learning to create greater business value. Specifically:

  • Know what value management is and how it creates better business outcomes
  • Understand the true economics of software projects – use the “wastes of lean” to see the invisible value destroying impediments to your project.
  • Know the roles in the value management chain and how those roles work together to create value
  • Learn 5 Principles for managing the flow of value.
  • Understand how to exploit adaptive planning and progressive elaboration to speed learning and value creation while avoiding destructive scope creep.
  • Learn three classes of practices for creating and managing valuable user stories
  • Construct a backlog of process improvement elements


Workshop Structure

On-Demand and Virtual Instructor Lead (VILT)

There is 7 hours of on-demand training (including video lessons and self directed reading) plus 6 structured contact hours with the instructor (Virtual Instructor Lead Training).  The course agenda presented here assumes a 5 week delivery schedule.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Our on-demand course material is built around the story of Carlos the Agile BA and the tech team at Wings over the World (WoW). The WoW team has worked hard for 18 months to deliver their project on time and on budget, yet no one is happy with results. In each lesson, participants work with Carlos to seek a better business outcome on the next project. The exciting conclusion will surprise you!

Week 1, Micro Unit 1: Lean Agile Economics (2 hours VOD, 1 hour VILT  + quiz )

Our models of software development are driven by economic models that frequently fail to reveal waste and suppress value creation.  In this unit, participants follow Carlos, our Agile BA as he tries to convince Camilla the CIO to try a new approach to analysis after the less than satisfying success of a recent project

Instructor Lead Activity: Workbook exercise, Can you make an economic argument for agility that will convince your CIO?

Week 2, Micro Unit 2: The Value Manager? (2 hours VOD, 1 hours VILT + quiz)

Dragan and Carlos quickly learn value management is not merely gathering requirements.  Dragan wonders if the Business Analyst role still has any value in an agile organization.

Instructor Lead Activity: Workbook exercise, Who are the value managers in your organization?

Week 3, Micro Unit 3: Practices for Managing Value (2 hours VOD, 2 hours VILT, + quiz)

Everyone on the team has their vision and priorities for the new Air Cruise project. Already two of the primary stake holders are ready to come to blows over competing priorities. Can you work with Carlos and use adaptive planning to help keep old friends, friends and still deliver value?

Instructor Lead Activity: Workbook exercise, Can you prioritize the competing requests in the backlog? 

Week 4, Micro Unit 4: Principles of Flow (1 hour VOD, 2 hours VILT )

In a virtual coffee shop interview, Shane Hastie interviews Steve Adolph to understand the Five Principles of Flow for value management.

Instructor Lead Activity: Workbook exercise, using the principles of flow what are some practices we can change to improve our flow of value? 

Onsite Instructor Lead Workshop

Goal of the workshop is to understand value management practices in the participants context and create a backlog of value management process improvement activities. Specifically:

  • Solidify understanding of value management
  • Obtain alignment on value management practices
  • Understand how
  • Apply those practices to a project to either a course project (canned) or a project of the attendee’s choosing (e.g. their project).

Morning Day 1: – What is Value Management?

A set of activities to provide a deeper understanding of concepts previously explored in the virtual segment of the course.

  • Myth or Truth – as a review exercise participants sort a set of value management statements as either Myth or Truth
  • We are having a party! Participants learn first hand how small batches enable fast learning, feedback, and  value management as they try to open their first entrepreneurial venture.
  • Understand the Build-Measure-Learn cycle and how it is slowed by the “Wastes of Lean”
  • Uncover the impediments in our organization to fast Build-Measure-Learn cycles.

Afternoon Day 1: The “Rock Crusher”

The Rock Crusher – a simple conceptual model for understanding backlog management and the user story creation process.

  • Putting the Story back into user stories  – use the wastes of lean to analyze and critique our user stories and identify opportunities for improvement the user story creation process
  • De-constructing the Epic Tower of Babel – Epic and user story are the most overloaded terms in our community. Create consensus on our use of these terms.
  • Multi-level planning – how to use cadence to manage the process of progressive elaboration.
  • Our Rock Crusher – participants construct a model of how the Rock Crusher may work in their organization. Outcome is a model for our user story creation process and a user story template.

Morning Day 2: Rock Crushing Techniques to Quicken the Build-Measure-Learn Cycle

Apply the Rock Crusher to our environment to understand how we can use it to quicken the Build-Measure-Learn cycle. Goal is to construct a roadmap for the project including an MVP and even have the first set of user stories (PI)

  • The Vision and Roadmap – Expressing good intentions, participants create a vision for their projects.
  • The MVP – How to use the Minimal Viable Product to accelerate the Build-Measure-Learn Cycle and validate our good intentions and avoid over production.
  • Model Driven – use models to guide the creation of valuable user stories.
  • Acceptance Criteria Driven – use the user story acceptance criteria to guide the creation of valuable stories
  • Low-Fidelity / High Fidelity – incrementally deliver value.

Afternoon Day 2: What Stands in Our Way?

  • What stands in our way to deploying the “Rock Crusher” in our environment and what can we do to remove those impediments?
  • Where are the wastes in our process?
  • How can we make those wastes visible?
  • Who do we need to support us?
  • Construct a backlog of process improvement elements.