Tracking the Value delivered in the agile world

Tools to track the value delivered:

How do we track the value delivered to the customer in the Value-driven delivery? Below are some of the ways to achieve the same:

  1. Kanban or Task charts
  2. Burn down charts
  3. Risk management and risk burn down charts.
  4. Earned value management

Burn down charts: What are burndown charts? Burndown charts measure the work done by having the time represented on x-axis and the work to be done in the y-axis in a chart. You can measure them either using story points or hours as measuring units. The burn down chart depicts whether the team is committing to the enough work that can be completed within the specified time box or are they over committed.

The below figure shows 30 features being completed in 10 days.



Kanban or Task Charts: Kanban cards or boards can be used to track the value delivered by representing the work and the workflow. These are the information radiator boards which give a graphical representation of how the work flows across all stages. At one point of time, we need to stop looking at how much work is done and what is pending. This can be visualized through how much the board is filled up with the pending work. Then necessary actions have to be taken to empty the board from pending items and the new work will be started only when the work is finally done.
Below fig shows the tasks at each stage and the task moved to completed stage:


Risk burn down charts: This is a graphical indication of how the risk changes over the course of time. The risks have to be measured at each stage to make sure we reach the zero risk stage at the end of the project. Risk burn down chart gives a pictorial view of how the risks are dropping or reducing. The risks have to be identified early in the process. We need to have the plan on how to reduce these risks or how to mitigate them. In the agile world, continuous delivery of working software to the customer, getting feedback from the customer regularly, having automated systems to test and continuous integration help in reducing risks as the analysis and retrospective is done at each iteration level. The Risk Burn-down Chart can be created by plotting the consolidated risk exposure across the number of sprints run by the team.
Below chart shows the depiction of exposure against the sprints:


Earned value management: Earned Value Management has been a recognized project management technique since the 1960’s. How is EVM different from other tracking systems? EVM is used to track the project status with cost attached to it. It helps us to know whether we are on track, is there any lag?  It is a valuable metric for providing progress to customer. It gives the consolidated view of what is the current status against the planned.  In the agile world, the EVM can be calculated by having the number of iterations, the estimated product backlog and actual cost of the project at that point of time. Though we measure the value delivered to the customer using burn down charts, they do not speak from the cost perspective. Whereas EVM helps us to think from cost perspective whenever there is a change in the requirement or process. The EVM is re-calculated again after each iteration to consider the change in the backlog due to changing requirements.

All the above tracking mechanisms provide a way to communicate the objective analysis of the project status to the team, customer and other stakeholders.

value-driven delivery, EVM for value-driven delivery, burn-down charts, risk burn charts, Kanban, backlog, sprint, exposure in risk management, workflow visualization boards, Information raidator

About Sparsh Goyal

A passionate IT professional, Sparsh Goyal boasts of 4.3+ years of experience. He has worked for various projects under AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Spring Boot, Python, Microservices, RESTful, RESTFUL APIs/SOAP, Scripting, Shell and JAVA. He is also working towards gaining proficiency in Oracle Cloud PaaS, DevOps, SaaS and Docker/Kubernetes. His primary and secondary skills validate his relentless pursuits of expanding his horizon and developing more as an IT person. He boasts of the following certifications: *Google Professional Cloud Security Engineer. *AWS Cloud Solutions Architect Associate. *Oracle certified JAVA programmer.

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