How do you know if you are working on the most valuable item?

The delivered value
Delivering the value using a build capacity
  • features (product enhancements) — investments driven by a hypothesis of user needs
  • regulatory requirements — needs that are imposed by industry regulatory bodies
  • cost-saving needs — operational cost reductions
  • technical improvements — technical investments of the platforms and products used to satisfy all of the above
  • product management
  • business outcome leads
  • user feedback
  • stakeholders
  • regulatory institutions
  • delivery team itself
Demand outstripping the building capacity
  • items have a different value
  • the solution space spans from problems well understood, to more complicated but where expertise or analysis helps, to unknown or even unknowable (*)
  • some item can have expiration dates (think of seasonal features that customers want in time for Halloween, or Christmas)
From the collection of option, we need to find the right item to work on
We have two options — say “not now” or expand the time allocated to build
Delivering the value using a build capacity
Capacity fluctuates in time
  • allocate a percentage to “just do”, no regrets type of work that is obvious that needs doing, universally agreed by everyone as must do soon
  • allocate a percentage to long term investments
  • and, allocate a portion for regular development
Capacity allocated in classes of problem
Cost of delay profiles. Note, the long term investment profile was intentionally omitted, given that I propose that long term investments should always take place in the budget of a team.
Visualising the Regular Development slice using the Cost of Delay profiles



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Peter Pito

Peter Pito


Agile practitioner and software developer at heart. Husband, father and rookie triathlete. I try to be the best version of myself, as often as I can.