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Build a Value Measurement Framework

Focus product delivery on business value–driven outcomes.

  • Rapid changes in today’s market require rapid, value-based decisions, and organizations that lack a shared definition of value fail to maintain their competitive advantage.
  • Different parts of an organization have different value drivers that must be given balanced consideration.
  • Focusing solely on revenue ignores the full extent of value creation in your organization and does not necessarily result in the right outcomes.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Business is the authority on business value. While IT can identify some sources of value, business stakeholders must participate in the creation of a definition that is meaningful to the whole organization.
  • It’s about more than profit. Organizations must have a definition that encompasses all of the sources of value or they risk making short-term decisions with long-term negative impacts.
  • Technology creates business value. Treating IT as a cost center makes for short-sighted decisions in a world where every business process is enabled by technology.

Impact and Result

  • Standardize your definition of business value. Work with your business partners to define the different sources of business value that are created through technology-enabled products and services.
  • Weigh your value drivers. Ensure that business and IT understand the relative weight and priority of the different sources of business value you have identified.
  • Use a balanced scorecard to understand value. Use the different value drivers to understand and prioritize different products, applications, projects, initiatives, and enhancements.

Build a Value Measurement Framework Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read this Executive Brief to understand why building a consistent and aligned framework to measure the value of your products and services is vital for setting priorities and getting the business on board.

1. Define your value drivers

This phase will help you define and weigh value drivers based on overarching organizational priorities and goals.

2. Measure value

This phase will help you analyze the value sources of your products and services and their alignment to value drivers to produce a value score that you can use for prioritization.


Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

9.0/10


Overall Impact

$30,999


Average $ Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Victoria Mutual Building Society

Guided Implementation

9/10

$30,999

N/A

Omaha Public Power District

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

N/A

Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago

Guided Implementation

9/10

$123K

50

BDO Canada LLP

Guided Implementation

9/10

$50,000

50

LPL Financial

Guided Implementation

10/10

$123K

5

Data Recognition Corporation

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A


Build a Value Measurement Framework

Focus product delivery on business value–driven outcomes.

ANALYST PERSPECTIVE

"A meaningful measurable definition of value is the key to effectively managing the intake, prioritization, and delivery of technology-enabled products and services."

Cole Cioran,

Senior Director, Research – Application Development and Portfolio Management

Info-Tech Research Group

Our understanding of the problem

This Research Is Designed For:

  • CIOs who need to understand the value IT creates
  • Application leaders who need to make good decisions on what work to prioritize and deliver
  • Application and project portfolio managers who need to ensure the portfolio creates business value
  • Product owners who are accountable for delivering value

This Research Will Help You:

  • Define quality in your organization’s context from both business and IT perspectives.
  • Define a repeatable process to understand the value of a product, application, project, initiative, or enhancement.
  • Define value sources and metrics.
  • Create a tool to make it easier to balance different sources of value.

This Research Will Also Assist:

  • Product and application delivery teams who want to make better decisions about what they deliver
  • Business analysts who need to make better decisions about how to prioritize their requirements

This Research Will Help Them:

  • Create a meaningful relationship with business partners around what creates value for the organization.
  • Enable better understanding of your customers and their needs.

Executive summary

Situation

  • Measuring the business value provided by IT is critical for improving the relationship between business and IT.
  • Rapid changes in today’s market require rapid, value-based decisions.
  • Every organization has unique drivers that make it difficult to see the benefits based on time and impact approaches to prioritization.

Complication

  • An organization’s lack of a shared definition of value leads to politics and decision making that does not have a firm, quantitative basis.
  • Different parts of an organization have different value drivers that must be given balanced consideration.
  • Focusing solely on revenue does not necessarily result in the right outcomes.

Resolution

  • Standardize your definition of business value. Work with your business partners to define the different sources of business value that are created through technology-enabled products and services.
  • Weigh your value drivers. Ensure business and IT understand the relative weight and priority of the different sources of business value you have identified.
  • Use a balanced scorecard to understand value. Use the different value drivers to understand and prioritize different products, applications, projects, initiatives, and enhancements.

Info-Tech Insight

  1. Business is the authority on business value. While IT can identify some sources of value, business stakeholders must participate in the creation of a definition that is meaningful to the whole organization.
  2. It’s about more than profit. Organizations must have a definition that encompasses all of the sources of value, or they risk making short-term decisions with long-term negative impacts.
  3. Technology creates business value. Treating IT as a cost center makes for short-sighted decisions in a world where every business process is enabled by technology.

Software is not currently creating the right outcomes

Software products are taking more and more out of IT budgets.

38% of spend on IT employees goes to software roles.

Source: Info-Tech’s Staffing Survey

18% of opex is spent on software licenses.

Source: SoftwareReviews.com

33% of capex is spent on new software.

However, the reception and value of software products do not justify the money invested.

Only 34% of software is rated as both important and effective by users.

Source: Info-Tech’s CIO Business Vision

IT benchmarks do not help or matter to the business. Focus on the metrics that represent business outcomes.

A pie chart is shown as an example to show how benchmarks do not help the business.

IT departments have a tendency to measure only their own role-based activities and deliverables, which only prove useful for selling practice improvement services. Technology doesn’t exist for technology's sake. It’s in place to generate specific outcomes. IT and the business need to be aligned toward a common goal of enabling business outcomes, and that’s the important measurement.

"In today’s connected world, IT and business must not speak different languages. "

– Cognizant, 2017

CxOs stress the importance of value as the most critical area for IT to improve reporting

A bar graph is shown to demonstrate the CxOs importance of value. Business value metrics are 32% of significant improvement necessary, and 51% where some improvement is necessary.

N=469 CxOs from Info-Tech’s CEO/CIO Alignment Diagnostic

Key stakeholders want to know how you and your products or services help them realize their goals.

While the basics of value are clear, few take the time to reach a common definition and means to measure and apply value

Often, IT misses the opportunity to become a strategic partner because it doesn’t understand how to communicate and measure its value to the business.

"Price is what you pay. Value is what you get."

– Warren Buffett

Being able to understand the value context will allow IT to articulate where IT spend supports business value and how it enables business goal achievement.

Value is...

Derived from business context

  • What is our business context?
  • Enabled through governance and strategy

  • Who sees the strategy through?
  • The underlying context for decision making

  • How is value applied to support decisions?
  • A measure of achievement

  • How do I measure?
  • Determine your business context by assessing the goals and defining the unique value drivers in your organization

    Competent organizations know that value cannot always be represented by revenue or reduced expenses. However, it is not always apparent how to envision the full spectrum of sources of value. Dissecting value by the benefit type and the value source’s orientation allows you to see the many ways in which a product or service brings value to the organization.

    A business value matrix is shown. It shows the relationship between reading customers, increase revenue, reduce costs, and enhance services.

    Financial Benefits vs. Improved Capabilities

    Financial Benefits refers to the degree to which the value source can be measured through monetary metrics and is often quite tangible. Human Benefits refers to how a product or service can deliver value through a user’s experience.

    Inward vs. Outward Orientation

    Inward refers to value sources that have an internal impact and improve your organization’s effectiveness and efficiency in performing its operations.Outward refers to value sources that come from your interaction with external factors, such as the market or your customers.

    Increase Revenue

    Reduce Costs

    Enhance Services

    Reach Customers

    Product or service functions that are specifically related to the impact on your organization’s ability to generate revenue.

    Reduction of overhead. They typically are less related to broad strategic vision or goals and more simply limit expenses that would occur had the product or service not been put in place.

    Functions that enable business capabilities that improve the organization’s ability to perform its internal operations.

    Application functions that enable and improve the interaction with customers or produce market information and insights.

    See your strategy through by involving both IT and the business

    Buy-in for your IT strategy comes from the ability to showcase value. IT needs to ensure it has an aligned understanding of what is valuable to the organization.

    Business value needs to first be established by the business. After that, IT can build a partnership with the business to determine what that value means in the context of IT products and services.

    The Business

    What the Business and IT have in common

    IT

    Keepers of the organization’s mission, vision, and value statements that define IT success. The business maintains the overall ownership and evaluation of the products along with those most familiar with the capabilities or processes enabled by technology.

    Business Value of Products and Services

    Technical subject matter experts of the products and services they deliver and maintain. Each IT function works together to ensure quality products and services are delivered up to stakeholder expectations.

    Measure your product or services with Info-Tech’s Value Measurement Framework (VMF) and value scores

    The VMF provides a consistent and less subjective approach to generating a value score for an application, product, service, or individual feature, by using business-defined value drivers and product-specific value metrics.

    Info-Tech's Value Measurement Framework is shown.

    A consistent set of established value drivers, sources, and metrics gives more accurate comparisons of relative value

    Value Drivers

    Value Sources

    Value Fulfillment Metrics

    Broad categories of values, weighed and prioritized based on overarching goals

    Instances of created value expressed as a “business outcome” of a particular function

    Units of measurement and estimated targets linked to a value source

    Reach Customers

    Customer Satisfaction

    Net Promoter Score

    Customer Loyalty

    # of Repeat Visits

    Create Revenue Streams

    Data Monetization

    Dollars Derived From Data Sales

    Leads Generation

    Leads Conversation Rate

    Operational Efficiency

    Operational Efficiency

    Number of Interactions

    Workflow Management

    Cycle Time

    Adhere to regulations & compliance

    Number of Policy Exceptions

    A balanced and weighted scorecard allows you to measure the various ways products generate value to the business

    The Info-Tech approach to measuring value applies the balanced value scorecard approach.

    Importance of value source

    X

    Impact of value source

    = Value Score

    Which is based on…

    Which is based on…

    Alignment to value driver

    Realistic targets for the KPI

    Which is weighed by…

    Which is estimated by…

    A 1-5 scale of the relative importance of the value driver to the organization

    A 1-5 scale of the application or feature’s ability to fulfill that value source

    +

    Importance of Value Source

    X

    Impact of Value Source

    +

    Importance of Value Source

    +

    Impact of Value Source

    +

    Importance of Value Source

    +

    Impact of Value Source

    +

    Importance of Value Source

    +

    Impact of Value Source

    =

    Balanced Business Value Score

    Value Score1 + VS2 + … + VSN = Overall Balance Value Score

    Value scores help support decisions. This blueprint looks specifically at four use cases for value scores.

    A value score is an input to the following activities:

    1. Prioritize Your Product Backlog
    2. Estimate the relative value of different product backlog items (i.e. epics, features, etc.) to ensure the highest value items are completed first.

      This blueprint can be used as an input into Info-Tech’s Build a Better Backlog.

    3. Prioritize Your Project Backlog
    4. Estimate the relative value of proposed new applications or major changes or enhancements to existing applications to ensure the right projects are selected and completed first.

      This blueprint can be used as an input into Info-Tech’s Optimize Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization.

    5. Rationalize Your Applications
    6. Gauge the relative value from the current use of your applications to support strategic decision making such as retirement, consolidation, and further investments.

      This blueprint can be used as an input into Info-Tech’s Visualize Your Application Portfolio Strategy With a Business Value-Driven Roadmap.

    7. Categorize Application Tiers
    8. Gauge the relative value of your existing applications to distinguish your most to least important systems and build tailored support structures that limit the downtime of key value sources.

      This blueprint can be used as an input into Info-Tech’s Streamline Application Maintenance.

    The priorities, metrics, and a common understanding of value in your VMF carry over to many other Info-Tech blueprints

    Transition to Product Delivery

    Build a Product Roadmap

    Modernize Your SDLC

    Build a Strong Foundation for Quality

    Implement Agile Practices That Work

    Use Info-Tech’s Value Calculator

    The Value Calculator facilitates the activities surrounding defining and measuring the business value of your products and services.

    Use this tool to:

    • Weigh the importance of each Value Driver based on established organizational priorities.
    • Create a repository for Value Sources to provide consistency throughout each measurement.
    • Produce an Overall Balanced Value Score for a specific item.

    Info-Tech Deliverable

    A screenshot of Info-Tech's Value Calculator is shown.

    Populate the Value Calculator as you complete the activities and steps on the following slides.

    Limitations of the Value Measurement Framework

    "All models are wrong, but some are useful."

    – George E.P. Box, 1979

    Value is tricky: Value can be intangible, ambiguous, and cause all sorts of confusion, with the multiple, and often conflicting, priorities any organization is sure to have. You won’t likely come to a unified understanding of value or an agreement on whether one thing is more valuable than something else. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. The VMF provides a means to organize various priorities in a meaningful way and to assess the relative value of a product or service to guide managers and decision makers on the right track and keep alignment with the rest of the organization.

    Relative value vs. ROI: This assessment produces a score to determine the value of a product or service relative to other products or services. Its primary function is to prioritize similar items (projects, epics, requirements, etc.) as opposed to producing a monetary value that can directly justify cost and make the case for a positive ROI.

    Apply caution with metrics: We live in a metric-crazed era, where everything is believed to be measurable. While there is little debate over recent advances in data, analytics, and our ability to trace business activity, some goals are still quite intangible, and managers stumble trying to link these goals to a quantifiable data source.

    In applying the VMF Info-Tech urges you to remember that metrics are not a magical solution. They should be treated as a tool in your toolbox and are sometimes no more than a rough gauge of performance. Carefully assign metrics to your products and services and do not disregard the informed subjective perspective when SMART metrics are unavailable.

    "One of the deadly diseases of management is running a company on visible figures alone."

    – William Edwards Deming, 1982

    Info-Tech’s Build a Value Measurement Framework glossary of terms

    This blueprint discusses value in a variety of ways. Use our glossary of terms to understand our specific focus.

    Value Measurement Framework (VMF)

    A method of measuring relative value for a product or service, or the various components within a product or service, through the use of metrics and weighted organizational priorities.

    Value Driver

    A board organizational goal that acts as a category for many value sources.

    Value Source

    A specific business goal or outcome that business and product or service capabilities are designed to fulfill.

    Value Fulfillment

    The degree to which a product or service impacts a business outcome, ideally linked to a metric.

    Value Score

    A measurement of the value fulfillment factored by the weight of the corresponding value driver.

    Overall Balanced Value Score

    The combined value scores of all value sources linked to a product or service.

    Relative Value

    A comparison of value between two similar items (i.e. applications to applications, projects to projects, feature to feature).

    Info-Tech offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

    DIY Toolkit

    “Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful.”

    Guided Implementation

    “Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track.”

    Workshop

    “We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place.”

    Consulting

    “Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project.”

    Diagnostics and consistent frameworks used throughout all four options

    Build a Value Measurement Framework – project overview

    1. Define Your Value Drivers

    2. Measure Value

    Best-Practice Toolkit

    1.1 Identify your business value authorities.

    2.1 Define your value drivers.

    2.2 Weigh your value drivers.

    • Identify your product or service SMEs.
    • List your products or services items and components.
    • Identify your value sources.
    • Align to a value driver.
    • Assign metrics and gauge value fulfillment.

    Guided Implementations

    Identify the stakeholders who should be the authority on business value.

    Identify, define, and weigh the value drivers that will be used in your VMF and all proceeding value measurements.

    Identify the stakeholders who are the subject matter experts for your products or services.

    Measure the value of your products and services with value sources, fulfillment, and drivers.

    Outcome:

    • Value drivers and weights

    Outcome:

    • An initial list of reusable value sources and metrics
    • Value scores for your products or services

    Phase 1

    Define Your Value Drivers

    First determine your value drivers and add them to your VMF

    One of the main aspects of the VMF is to apply consistent and business-aligned weights to the products or services you will evaluate.

    This is why we establish your value drivers first:

    • Get the right executive-level “value authorities” to establish the overarching weights.
    • Build these into the backbone of the VMF to consistently apply to all your future measurements.
    An image of the Value Measure Framework is shown.

    Step 1.1: Identify Value Authorities

    Phase 1

    1.1: Identify Value Authorities

    1.2: Define Value Drivers

    Phase 2

    2.1: Identify Product or Service SMEs

    2.2: Measure Value

    This step will walk you through the following activities:

    • Identify your authorities on business value.

    This step involves the following participants:

    • Owners of your value measurement framework

    Outcomes of this step

    • Your list of targeted individuals to include in Step 2.1

    Business value is best defined and measured by the combined effort and perspective of both IT and the business

    Buy-in for your IT strategy comes from the ability to showcase value. IT needs to ensure it has an aligned understanding of what is valuable to the organization. First, priorities need to be established by the business. Second, IT can build a partnership with the business to determine what that value means in the context of IT products and services.

    The Business

    What the Business and IT have in common

    IT

    Keepers of the organization’s mission, vision, and value statements that define IT success. The business maintains the overall ownership and evaluation of the products along with those most familiar with the capabilities or processes enabled by technology.

    Business Value of Products and Services

    Technical subject matter experts of the products and services they deliver and maintain. Each IT function works together to ensure quality products and services are delivered up to stakeholder expectations.

    Engage key stakeholders to reach a consensus on organizational priorities and value drivers

    Engage these key players to create your value drivers:

    CEO: Who better holds the vision or mandate of the organization than its leader? Ideally, they are front and center for this discussion.

    CIO: IT must ensure that technical/practical considerations are taken into account when determining value.

    CFO: The CFO or designated representative will ensure that estimated costs and benefits can be used to manage the budgets.

    VPs: Application delivery and mgmt. is designed to generate value for the business. Senior management from business units must help define what that value is.

    Evaluators (PMO, PO, APM, etc.): Those primarily responsible for applying the VMF should be present and active in identifying and carefully defining your organization’s value drivers.

    Steering Committee: This established body, responsible for the strategic direction of the organization, is really the primary audience.

    Identify your authorities of business value to identify, define, and weigh value drivers

    1.1 Estimated Time: 15 minutes

    The objective of this exercise is to identify key business stakeholders involved in strategic decision making at an organizational level.

    1. Review your organization’s governance structure and any related materials.
    2. Identify your key business stakeholders. These individuals are the critical business strategic partners.
      1. Target those who represent the business at an organizational level and often comprise the organization’s governing bodies.
      2. Prioritize a product backlog – include product owners and product managers who are in tune with the specific value drivers of the product in question.

    INFO-TECH TIP

    If your organization does not have a formal governance structure, your stakeholders would be the key players in devising business strategy. For example:

    • CEO
    • CFO
    • BRMs
    • VPs

    Leverage your organizational chart, governing charter, and senior management knowledge to better identify key stakeholders.

    INPUT

    • Key decision maker roles

    OUTPUT

    • Targeted individuals to define and weigh value drivers

    Materials

    • N/A

    Participants

    • Owner of the value measurement framework

    Step 1.2: Define Value Drivers

    Phase 1

    1.1: Identify Value Authorities

    1.2: Define Value Drivers

    Phase 2

    2.1: Identify Product or Service SMEs

    2.2: Measure Value

    This step will walk you through the following activities:

    • Define your value drivers.
    • Weigh your value drivers.

    This step involves the following participants:

    • Owners of your value measurement framework
    • Authorities of business value

    Outcomes of this step

    • A list of your defined and weighted value drivers

    Value is based on business needs and vision

    Value is subjective. It is defined through the organization’s past achievement and its future objectives.

    Purpose & Mission

    Past Achievement & Current State

    Vision & Future State

    Culture & Leadership

    There must be a consensus view of what is valuable within the organization, and these values need to be shared across the enterprise. Instead of maintaining siloed views and fighting for priorities, all departments must have the same value and purpose in mind. These factors – purpose and mission, past achievement and current state, vision and future state, and culture and leadership – impact what is valuable to the organization.

    Value derives from the mission and vision of an organization; therefore, value is unique to each organization

    Business value represents what the business needs to do to achieve its target state. Establishing the mission and vision helps identify that target state.

    Mission

    Vision

    Business Value

    Why does the company exist?

    • Specify the company’s purpose, or reason for being, and use it to guide each day’s activities and decisions.

    What does the organization see itself becoming?

    • Identify the desired future state of the organization. The vision articulates the role the organization strives to play and the way it wants to be perceived by the customer.
    • State the ends, rather than the means, to get to the future state.

    What critical factors fulfill the mission and vision?

    • Articulate the important capabilities the business should have in order to achieve its objectives. All business activities must enable business value.
    • Communicate the means to achieve the mission and vision.

    Understand the many types of value your products or services produce

    Competent organizations know that value cannot always be represented by revenue or reduced expenses. However, it is not always apparent how to envision the full spectrum of value sources. Dissecting value by the benefit type and the value source’s orientation allows you to see the many ways in which a product or service brings value to the organization.

    A business value matrix is shown. It shows the relationship between reading customers, increase revenue, reduce costs, and enhance services.

    Financial Benefits vs. Improved Capabilities

    Financial Benefits refers to the degree to which the value source can be measured through monetary metrics and is often quite tangible. Human Benefits refers to how a product or service can deliver value through a user’s experience.

    Inward vs. Outward Orientation

    Inward refers to value sources that have an internal impact and improve your organization’s effectiveness and efficiency in performing its operations. Outward refers to value sources that come from your interaction with external factors, such as the market or your customers.

    Increase Revenue

    Reduce Costs

    Enhance Services

    Reach Customers

    Product or service functions that are specifically related to the impact on your organization’s ability to generate revenue.

    Reduction of overhead. They typically are less related to broad strategic vision or goals and more simply limit expenses that would occur had the product or service not been put in place.

    Functions that enable business capabilities that improve the organization’s ability to perform its internal operations.

    Application functions that enable and improve the interaction with customers or produce market information and insights.

    Expand past Info-Tech’s high-level value quadrants and identify the value drivers specific to your organization

    Different industries have a wide range of value drivers. Consider the difference between public and private entities with respect to generating revenue or reaching their customers or other external stakeholders. Even organizations in the same industry may have different values. For example, a mature, well-established manufacturer may view reputation and innovation as its highest-priority values, whereas a struggling manufacturer will see revenue or market share growth as its main drivers.

    Value Drivers

    Increase Revenue

    Reduce Costs

    Enhance Services

    Reach Customers

    • Revenue growth
    • Data monetization
    • Cost optimization
    • Labor reduction
    • Collaboration
    • Risk and compliance
    • Customer experience
    • Trust and reputation

    You do not need to dissect each quadrant into an exhaustive list of value drivers. Info-Tech recommends defining distinct value drivers only for the areas you’ve identified as critical to your organization’s core goals and objectives.

    Understand value drivers that enable revenue growth

    Direct Revenue

    This value driver is the ability of a product or service to directly produce revenue through core revenue streams.

    Can be derived from:

    • Creating revenue
    • Improving the revenue generation of an existing service
    • Preventing the loss of a revenue stream

    Be aware of the differences between your products and services that enable a revenue source and those that facilitate the flow of capital.

    Funding

    This value driver is the ability of a product or service to enable other types of funding unrelated to core revenue streams.

    Can be derived from:

    • Tax revenue
    • Fees, fines, and ticketing programs
    • Participating in government subsidy or grant programs

    Be aware of the difference between your products and services that enable a revenue source and those that facilitate the flow of capital.

    Scale & Growth

    In essence, this driver can be viewed as the potential for growth in market share or new developing revenue sources.

    Does the product or service:

    • Increase your market share
    • Help you maintain your market share

    Be cautious of which items you identify here, as many innovative activities may have some potential to generate future revenue. Stick to those with a strong connection to future revenue and don’t qualify for other value driver categories.

    Monetization of Assets

    This value driver is the ability of your products and services to generate additional assets.

    Can be derived from:

    • Sale of data
    • Sale of market or customer reports or analysis
    • Sale of IP

    This value source is often overlooked. If given the right attention, it can lead to a big win for IT’s role in the business.

    Understand value drivers that reduce costs

    Cost Reduction

    A cost reduction is a “hard” cost saving that is reflected as a tangible decrease to the bottom line.

    This can be derived from reduction of expenses such as:

    • Salaries and wages
    • Hardware/software maintenance
    • Infrastructure

    Cost reduction plays a critical role in an application’s ability to increase efficiency.

    Cost Avoidance

    A cost avoidance is a “soft” cost saving, typically achieved by preventing a cost from occurring in the first place (i.e. risk mitigation). Cost avoidance indirectly impacts the bottom line.

    This can be derived from prevention of expenses by:

    • Mitigating a business outage
    • Mitigating another risk event
    • Delaying a price increase

    Understand the value drivers that enhance your services

    Enable Core Operations

    Some applications are in place to facilitate and support the structure of the organization. These vary depending on the capabilities of your organization but should be assessed in relation to the organization’s culture and structure.

    • Enables a foundational capability
    • Enables a niche capability

    This example is intentionally broad, as “core operations” should be further dissected to define different capabilities with ranging priority.

    Compliance

    A product or service may be required in order to meet a regulatory requirement. In these cases, you need to be aware of the organizational risk of NOT implementing or maintaining a service in relation to those risks.

    In this case, the product or service is required in order to:

    • Prevent fines
    • Allow the organization to operate within a specific jurisdiction
    • Remediate audit gaps
    • Provide information required to validate compliance

    Internal Improvement

    An application’s ability to create value outside of its core operations and facilitate the transfer of information, insights, and knowledge.

    Value can be derived by:

    • Data analytics
    • Collaboration
    • Knowledge transfer
    • Organizational learning

    Innovation

    Innovation is typically an ill-defined value driver, as it refers to the ability of your products and services to explore new value streams.

    Consider:

    • Exploration into new markets and products
    • New methods of organizing resources and processes

    Innovation is one of the more divisive value drivers, as some organizations will strive to be cutting edge and others will want no part in taking such risks.

    Understand business value drivers that connect the business to your customers

    Policy

    Products and services can also be assessed in relation to whether they enable and support policies of the organization. Policies identify and reinforce required processes, organizational culture, and core values.

    Policy value can be derived from:

    • The service or initiative will produce outcomes in line with our core organizational values.
    • Products that enable sustainability and corporate social responsibility

    Experience

    Applications are often designed to improve the interaction between customer and product. This value type is most closely linked to product quality and user experience. Customers, in this sense, can also include any stakeholders who consume core offerings.

    Customer experience value can be derived from:

    • Improving customer satisfaction
    • Ease of use
    • Resolving a customer issue or identified pain point
    • Providing a competitive advantage for your customers

    Customer Information

    Understanding demand and customer trends is a core driver for all organizations. Data provided through understanding the ways, times, and reasons that consumers use your services is a key driver for growth and stability.

    Customer information value can be achieved when an app:

    • Addresses strategic opportunities or threats identified through analyzing trends
    • Prevents failures due to lack of capacity to meet demand
    • Connects resources to external sources to enable learning and growth within the organization

    Trust & Reputation

    Products and services are designed to enable goals of digital ethics and are highly linked to your organization’s brand strategy.

    Trust and reputation can also be described as:

    • Customer loyalty and sustainability
    • Customer privacy and digital ethics

    Prioritizing this value source is critical, as traditional priorities can often come at the expense of trust and reputation.

    Define your value drivers

    1.2 Estimated Time: 1.5 hours

    The objective of this exercise is to establish a common understanding of the different values of the organization.

    1. Place your business value authorities at the center of this exercise.
    2. Collect all the documents your organization has on the mission and vision, strategy, governance, and target state, which may be defined by enterprise architecture.
    3. Identify the company mission and vision. Simply transfer the information from the mission and vision document into the appropriate spaces in the business value statement.
    4. Determine the organization’s business value drivers. Use the mission and vision, as well as the information from the collected documents, to formulate your own idea of business values.
    5. Use value driver template on the next slide to define the value driver, including:
      • Value Driver Name
      • Description
      • Related Business Capabilities – If available, review business architecture materials, such as business capability maps.
      • Established KPI and Targets – If available, include any organization-wide established KPIs related to your value driver. These KPIs will likely be used or influence the metrics eventually assigned to your applications.

    INPUT

    • Mission, vision, value statements

    OUTPUT

    • List and description of value drivers

    Materials

    • Whiteboard
    • Markers

    Participants

    • Business value authorities
    • Owner of value measurement framework

    Example Value Driver

    Value Driver Name

    Reach Customers

    Value Driver Description

    Our organization’s ability to provide quality products and experience to our core customers

    Value Driver Weight

    10/10

    Related Business Capabilities

    • Customer Services
    • Marketing
      • Customer Segmentation
      • Customer Journey Mapping
    • Product Delivery
      • User Experience Design
      • User Acceptance Testing

    Key Business Outcomes, KPIs, and Targets

    • Improved Customer Satisfaction
      • Net Promotor Score: 80%
    • Improved Loyalty
      • Repeat Sales: 30%
      • Customer Retention: 25%
      • Customer Lifetime Value: $2,500
    • Improved Interaction
      • Repeat Visits: 50%
      • Account Conversation Rates: 40%

    Weigh your value drivers

    1.3 Estimated Time: 30 minutes

    The objective of this exercise is to prioritize your value drivers based on their relative importance to the business.

    1. Again, place the business value authorities at the center of this exercise.
    2. In order to determine priority, divide 100% among your value drivers, allocating a percentage to each based on its relative importance to the organization.
    3. Normalize those percentages on to a scale of 1 to 10, which will act as the weights for your value drivers.

    INPUT

    • Mission, vision, value statements

    OUTPUT

    • Weights for value drivers

    Materials

    • Whiteboard
    • Markers

    Participants

    • Business value authorities
    • Owner of value measurement framework

    Weigh your value drivers

    1.3 Estimated Time: 30 minutes

    Value Driver

    Percentage Allocation

    1 to 10 Weight

    Revenue and other funding

    24%

    9

    Cost reduction

    8%

    3

    Compliance

    5%

    2

    Customer value

    30%

    10

    Operations

    13%

    7

    Innovation

    5%

    2

    Sustainability and social responsibility

    2%

    1

    Internal learning and development

    3%

    1

    Future growth

    10%

    5

    Total

    100%

    Carry results over to the Value Calculator

    1.3

    Document results of this activity in the “Value Drivers” tab of the Value Calculator.

    A screenshot of Info-Tech's Value Calculator is shown.

    List your value drivers.

    Define or describe your value drivers.

    Use this tool to create a repository for value sources to reuse and maintain consistency across your measurements.

    Enter the weight of each value driver in terms of importance to the organization.

    Phase 2

    Measure Value

    Step 2.1: Identify Product or Service SMEs

    Phase 1

    1.1: Identify Value Authorities

    1.2: Define Value Drivers

    Phase 2

    2.1: Identify Product or Service SMEs

    2.2: Measure Value

    This step will walk you through the following activities:

    • Identify your product or service SMEs.
    • List your product or services items and components.

    This step involves the following participants:

    • Owners of your value measurement framework
    • Product or service SMEs

    Outcomes of this step

    • Your list of targeted individuals to include in Step 2.2

    Identify the products and services you are evaluating and break down their various components for the VMF

    In order to get a full evaluation of a product or service you need to understand its multiple facets, functions, features capabilities, requirements, or any language you use to describe its various components.

    An image of the value measure framework is shown.

    Decompose a product or service:

    • Get the right subject matter experts in place who know the business and technical aspects of the product or service.
    • Decompose the product or service to capture all necessary components.

    Before beginning, consider how your use case will impact your value measurement approach

    This table looks at how the different use cases of the VMF call for variations of this analysis, is directed at different roles, and relies on participation from different subject matter experts to provide business context.

    Use Case (uses of the VMF applied in this blueprint)

    Value (current vs. future value)

    Item (the singular entity you are producing a value score for)

    Components (the various facets of that entity that need to be considered)

    Scope (# of systems undergoing analysis)

    Evaluator (typical role responsible for applying the VMF)

    Cadence (when and why do you apply the VMF)

    Information Sources (what documents, tools, etc., do you need to leverage)

    SMEs (who needs to participate to define and measure value)

    1. Prioritize Your Product Backlog

    You are estimating future value of proposed changes to an application.

    Product backlog items (epic, feature, etc.) in your product backlog

    • Features
    • User stories
    • Enablers

    A product

    Product owner

    Continuously apply the VMF to prioritize new and changing product backlog items.

    • Epic hypothesis, documentation
    • Lean business case

    Product manager

    ????

    2. Prioritize Your Project Backlog

    Proposed projects in your project backlog

    • Benefits
    • Outcomes
    • Requirements

    Multiple existing and/or new applications

    Project portfolio manager

    Apply the VMF during your project intake process as new projects are proposed.

    • Completed project request forms
    • Completed business case forms
    • Project charters
    • Business requirements documents

    Project manager

    Product owners

    Business analysts

    3. Application Rationalization

    You are measuring current value of existing applications and their features.

    An application in your portfolio

    The uses of the application (features, function, capabilities)

    A subset of applications or the full portfolio

    Application portfolio manager

    During an application rationalization initiative:

    • Iteratively collect information and perform value measurements.
    • Structure your iterations based on functional areas to target the specific SMEs who can speak to a particular subset of applications.
    • Business capability maps

    Business process owners

    Business unit representatives

    Business architects

    Application architects

    Application SMEs

    4. Application Categorization

    The full portfolio

    Application maintenance or operations manager

    • SLAs
    • Business capability maps

    Identify your product or service SMEs

    2.1 Estimated Time: 15 minutes

    The objective of this exercise is to identify specific business stakeholders who can speak to the business outcomes of your applications at a functional level.

    1. Review your related materials that reference the stakeholders for the scoped products and services (i.e. capability maps, org charts, stakeholder maps).
    2. Identify your specific business stakeholders and application SMEs. These individuals represent the business at a functional level and are in tune with the business outcomes of their operations and the applications that support their operations.
      1. Use Case 1 – Product Owner, Product Manager
      2. Use Case 2 – Project Portfolio Manager, Project Manager, Product Owners, Business Process Owners, Appropriate Business Unit Representatives
      3. Use Case 3 – Application Portfolio Manager, Product Owners, Business Analysts, Application SMEs, Business Process Owners, Appropriate Business Unit Representatives
      4. Use Case 4 – Application Maintenance Manager, Operations Managers, Application Portfolio Manager, Product Owners, Application SMEs, Business Process Owners, Appropriate Business Unit Representatives

    INPUT

    • Specific product or service knowledge

    OUTPUT

    • Targeted individuals to measure specific products or services

    Materials

    • Whiteboard
    • Markers

    Participants

    • Owner of value measurement framework

    Use Case 1: Collect and review all of the product backlog items

    Prioritizing your product backlog (epics, features, etc.) requires a consistent method of measuring the value of your product backlog items (PBIs) to continuously compare their value relative to one another. This should be treated as an ongoing initiative as new items are added and existing items change, but an initial introduction of the VMF will require you to collect and analyze all of the items in your backlog.

    Regardless of producing a value score for an epic, feature, or user story, your focus should be on identifying their various value sources. Review your product’s artifact documentation, toolsets, or other information sources to extract the business outcomes, impact, benefits, KPIs, or any other description of a value source.

    High

    Epics

    Carefully valuated with input from multiple stakeholders, using metrics and consistent scoring

    Level of valuation effort per PBI

    User Stories

    Collaboratively valuated by the product owner and teams based on alignment and traceability to corresponding epic or feature

    Low

    Raw Ideas

    Intuitively valuated by the product owner based on alignment to product vision and organization value drivers

    What’s in your backlog?

    You may need to create standards for defining and measuring your different PBIs. Traceability can be critical here, as defined business outcomes for features or user stories may be documented at an epic level.

    Additional Research

    Build a Better Backlog helps you define and organize your product backlog items.

    Use Case 2: Review the scope and requirements of the project to determine all of the business outcomes

    Depending on where your project is in your intake process, there should be some degree of stated business outcomes or benefits. This may be a less refined description in the form of a project request or business case document, or it could be more defined in a project charter, business requirements document/toolset, or work breakdown structure (WBS). Regardless of the information source, to make proper use of the VMF you need a clear understanding of the various business outcomes to establish the new or improved value sources for the proposed project.

    Project

    User Requirements

    Business Requirements

    System Requirements

    1

    1

    1

    2

    2

    2

    3

    3

    4

    Set Metrics Early

    Good project intake documentation begins the discussion of KPIs early on. This alerts teams to the intended value and gives your PMO the ability to integrate it into the workload of other proposed or approved projects.

    Additional Research

    Optimize Project Intake, Approval, and Prioritization provides templates to define proposed project benefits and outcomes.

    Use Cases 3 & 4: Ensure you’ve listed all of each application’s uses (functions, features, capabilities, etc.) and user groups

    An application can enable multiple capabilities, perform a variety of functions, and have a range of different user groups. Therefore, a single application can produce multiple value sources, which range in type, impact, and significance to the business’ overarching priorities. In order to effectively measure the overall value of an application you need to determine all of the ways in which that application is used and apply a business-downward view of your applications.

    Business Capability

    • Sub-capability
    • Process
    • Task

    Application

    • Module
    • Feature
    • Function

    Aim for Business Use

    Simply listing the business capabilities of an app can be too high level. Regardless of your organization’s terminology, you need to establish all of the different uses and users of an application to properly measure all of the facets of its value.

    Additional Research

    Discover Your Applications helps you identify and define the business use and features of your applications.

    List your product or services items and components

    2.2 Estimated Time: 15 minutes

    The objective of this exercise is to produce a list of the different items that you are scoring and ensure you have considered all relevant components.

    1. List each item you intend to produce a value score for:
      1. Use Case 1 – This may be the epics in your product backlog.
      2. Use Case 2 – This may be the projects in your project backlog.
      3. Use Cases 3 & 4 – This may be the applications in your portfolio. For this approach Info-Tech strongly recommends iteratively assessing the portfolio to produce a list of a subset of applications.
    2. For each item list its various components:
      1. Use Case 1 – This may be the features or user stories of an epic.
      2. Use Case 2 – This may be the business requirements of a project.
      3. Use Cases 3 & 4 – This may be the modules, features, functions, capabilities, or subsystems of an application.

    Item

    Components

    Add Customer Portal (Epic)

    User story #1: As a sales team member I need to process customer info.

    User story #2: As a customer I want access to…

    Transition to the Cloud (Project)

    Requirement #1: Build Checkout Cart

    NFR – Build integration with data store

    CRM (Application)

    Order Processing (module), Returns & Claims (module), Analytics & Reporting (Feature)

    INPUT

    • Product or service knowledge

    OUTPUT

    • Detailed list of items and components

    Materials

    • Whiteboard
    • Markers

    Participants

    • Owner of value measurement framework
    • Product or service SMEs

    Use Cases 3 & 4: Create a functional view of your applications (optional)

    2.3 Estimated Time: 1 hour

    The objective of this exercise is to establish the different use cases of an application.

    1. Recall the functional requirements and business capabilities for your applications.
    2. List the various actors who will be interacting with your applications and list the consumers who will be receiving the information from the applications.
    3. Based on your functional requirements, list the use cases that the actors will perform to deliver the necessary information to consumers. Each use case serves as a core function of the application. See the diagram below for an example.
    4. Sometimes several use cases are completed before information is sent to consumers. Use arrows to demonstrate the flow of information from one use case to another.

    Example: Ordering Products Online

    Actors

    Order Customer

    Order Online

    Search Products

    Consumers

    Submit Delivery Information

    Order Customer

    Pay Order

    Bank

    INPUT

    • Product or service knowledge

    OUTPUT

    • Product or service function

    Materials

    • Whiteboard
    • Markers

    Participants

    • Application architect
    • Enterprise architect
    • Business and IT stakeholders
    • Business analyst
    • Development teams

    Use Cases 3 & 4: Create a functional view of your applications (optional) (cont’d.)

    2.3 Estimated Time: 1 hour

    5. Align your application’s use cases to the appropriate business capabilities and stakeholder objectives.

    Example:

    Stakeholder Objective: Automate Client Creation Processes

    Business Capability: Account Management

    Function: Create Client Profile

    Function: Search Client Profiles

    Business Capability: Sales Transaction Management

    Function: Order Online

    Function: Search Products Function: Search Products

    Function: Submit Delivery Information

    Function: Pay Order

    Step 2.2: Measure Value

    Phase 1

    1.1: Identify Value Authorities

    1.2: Define Value Drivers

    Phase 2

    2.1: Identify Product or Service SMEs

    2.2: Measure Value

    This step will walk you through the following activities:

    • Identify your value sources.
    • Align to a value driver.
    • Assign metrics and gauge value fulfillment.

    This step involves the following participants:

    • Owners of your value measurement framework
    • Product or service SMEs

    Outcomes of this step

    • An initial list of reusable value sources and metrics
    • Value scores for your products or services

    Use your VMF and a repeatable process to produce value scores for all of your items

    With your products or services broken down, you can then determine a list of value sources, as well as their alignment to a value driver and a gauge of their value fulfillment, which in turn indicate the importance and impact of a value source respectively.

    A image of the value measure framework is shown.

    Lastly, we produce a value score for all items:

    • Determine business outcomes and value sources.
    • Align to the appropriate value driver.
    • Use metrics as the gauge of value fulfillment.
    • Collect your score.
    • Repeat.

    The business outcome is the impact the product or service has on the intended business activity

    Business outcomes are the business-oriented results produced by organization’s capabilities and the applications that support those capabilities. The value source is, in essence, “How does the application impact the outcome?” and this can be either qualitative or quantitative.

    Quantitative

    Qualitative

    Key Words

    Examples

    Key Words

    Examples

    Faster, cheaper

    Deliver faster

    Better

    Better user experience

    More, less

    More registrations per week

    Private

    Enhanced privacy

    Increase, decrease

    Decrease clerical errors

    Easier

    Easier to input data

    Can, cannot

    Can access their own records

    Improved

    Improved screen flow

    Do not have to

    Do not have to print form

    Enjoyable

    Enjoyable user experience

    Compliant

    Complies with regulation 12

    Transparent

    Transparent progress

    Consistent

    Standardized information gathered

    Richer

    Richer data availability

    Adapted from Agile Coach Journal.

    Measure value – Identify your value sources

    2.4 Estimated Time: 30 minutes

    The objective of this exercise is to establish the different value sources of a product or service.

    1. List the items you are producing an overall balance value score for. These can be products, services, projects, applications, product backlog items, epics, etc.
    2. For each item, list its various business outcomes in the form of a description that includes:
      1. The item being measured
      2. Business capability or activity
      3. How the item impacts said capability or activity

    Consider applying the user story format for future value sources or a variation for current value sources.

    As a (user), I want to (activity) so that I get (impact)

    INPUT

    • Product or service knowledge
    • Business process knowledge

    OUTPUT

    • List of value sources

    Materials

    • Whiteboard
    • Markers

    Participants

    • Owner of value measurement framework
    • Product or service SMEs

    Measure value – Align to a value driver

    2.5 Estimated Time: 30 minutes

    The objective of this exercise is to determine the value driver for each value source.

    1. Align each value source to a value driver. Choose between options A and B.
      1. Using a whiteboard, draw out a 2 x 2 business value matrix or an adapted version based on your own organizational value drivers. Place each value source in the appropriate quadrant.
        1. Increase Revenue
        2. Reduce Costs
        3. Enhance Services
        4. Reach Customers
      2. Using a whiteboard or large sticky pads, create a section for each value driver. Place each value source with the appropriate value driver.

    INPUT

    • Product or service knowledge
    • Business process knowledge

    OUTPUT

    • Value driver weight

    Materials

    • Whiteboard
    • Markers

    Participants

    • Owner of value measurement framework
    • Product or service SMEs

    Brainstorm the different sources of business value (cont’d.)

    2.5

    Example:

    An example of activity 2.5 is shown.

    Carry results over to the Value Calculator

    2.5

    Document results of this activity in the Value Calculator in the Item {#} tab.

    A screenshot of the Value Calculator is shown.

    List your Value Sources

    Your Value Driver weights will auto-populate

    Aim, but do not reach, for SMART metrics

    Creating meaningful metrics

    S pecific

    M easureable

    A chievable

    R ealisitic

    T ime-based

    Follow the SMART framework when adding metrics to the VMF.

    The intention of SMART goals and metrics is to make sure you have chosen a gauge that will:

    • Reflect the actual business outcome or value source you are measuring.
    • Ensure all relevant stakeholders understand the goals or value you are driving towards.
    • Ensure you actually have the means to capture the performance.

    Info-Tech Insight

    Metrics are NOT a magical solution. They should be treated as a tool in your toolbox and are sometimes no more than a rough gauge of performance. Carefully assign metrics to your products and services and do not disregard the informed subjective perspective when SMART metrics are unavailable.

    Info-Tech Best Practice

    One last critical consideration here is the degree of effort required to collect the metric compared to the value of the analysis you are performing. Assessing whether or not to invest in a project should apply the rigor of carefully selecting and measuring value. However, performing a rationalization of the full app portfolio will likely lead to analysis paralysis. Taking an informed subjective perspective may be the better route.

    Measure value – Assign metrics and gauge value fulfillment

    2.6 30-60 minutes

    The objective of this exercise is to determine an appropriate metric for each value source.

    1. For each value source assign a metric that will be the unit of measurement to gauge the value fulfilment of the application.
    2. Review the product or services performance with the metric
      1. Use case 1&2 (Proposed Applications and/or Features) - You will need to estimate the degree of impact the product or services will have on your selected metric.
      2. Use case 3&4 (Existing Applications and/or Features) – You can review historically how the product or service has performed with your selected metric
    3. Determine a value fulfillment on a scale of 1 – 10.
    4. 10 = The product or service far exceeds expectations and targets on the metric.

      5 = the product or service meets expectations on this metric.

      1 = the product or service underperforms on this metric.

    INPUT

    • Product or service knowledge
    • Business process knowledge

    OUTPUT

    • Value driver weight

    Materials

    • Whiteboard
    • Markers

    Participants

    • Owner of value measurement framework
    • Product or service SMEs

    Carry results over to the Value Calculator

    2.6

    Document results of this activity in the Value Calculator in the Item {#} tab.

    A screenshot of Info-Tech's Value Calculator is shown.

    Assign Metrics.

    Consider using current or estimated performance and targets.

    Assess the impact on the value source with the value fulfillment.

    Collect your Overall Balanced Value Score

    Appendix

    Bibliography

    Brown, Alex. “Calculating Business Value.” Agile 2014 Orlando – July 13, 2014. Scrum Inc. 2014. Web. 20 Nov. 2017.

    Brown, Roger. “Defining Business Value.” Scrum Gathering San Diego 2017. Agile Coach Journal. Web.

    Curtis, Bill. “The Business Value of Application Internal Quality.” CAST. 6 April 2009. Web. 20 Nov. 2017.

    Fleet, Neville, Joan Lasselle, and Paul Zimmerman. “Using a Balance Scorecard to Measure the Productivity and Value of Technical Documentation Organizations.” CIDM. April 2008. Web. 20 Nov. 2017.

    Harris, Michael. “Measuring the Business Value of IT.” David Consulting Group. 20 Nov. 2017.

    Intrafocus. “What is a Balanced Scorecard?” Intrafocus. Web. 20 Nov. 2017

    Kerzner, Harold. Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling. 12th ed., Wiley, 2017.

    Lankhorst, Marc., et al. “Architecture-Based IT Valuation.” Via Nova Architectura. 31 March 2010. Web. 20 Nov. 2017.

    Rachlin, Sue, and John Marshall. “Value Measuring Methodology.” Federal CIO Council, Best Practices Committee. October 2002. Web. April 2019.

    Thiagarajan, Srinivasan. “Bridging the Gap: Enabling IT to Deliver Better Business Outcomes.” Cognizant. July 2017. Web. April 2019.

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    Guided Implementation #1 - Define your value drivers
    • Call #1 - Identify the stakeholders who should be the authority on business value.
    • Call #2 - Identify, define, and weigh the value drivers that will be used in your VMF and all proceeding value measurements.

    Guided Implementation #2 - Measure value
    • Call #1 - Identify the stakeholders who are the subject matter experts for your products and services.
    • Call #2 - Measure the value of your products and services with value sources, fulfillment, and drivers.

    Authors

    Ben Mackle

    Cole Cioran

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