Confirming Benefits, the Scrum Way!
It is not the delivery of project’s outputs that determines the success or failure of a project but the delivery of the project’s benefits. In this piece of writing, let’s try to understand Scrum’s approach to realization and confirmation of expected benefits of a project.
Throughout a project, it is important to verify whether benefits are being realized. Whether the products of a Scrum project are tangible or intangible, appropriate benefit realization planning and verification techniques are required to confirm that the project deliverables with benefits and value are being created by the Scrum team members. So a well-structured benefit realization plan helps the teams map benefits of individual projects to the overall programme and corporate strategic objectives.
This also helps in tracking the identified benefits even after completion of Scrum project and handover of deliverables.
At the beginning of the project, all the project outputs, outcomes and benefits expected by the user groups and other key Business stakeholders should be identified and documented. And a means of measuring benefits, key responsibilities and accountabilities associated with benefits, time of benefit realization, etc. should also be agreed. At pre-determined intervals, the team should review the benefit realization plan to assess the status of expected benefits and to incorporate any changes in the forecast of realization of benefits.
Now, let’s look at some of the ways of confirming benefits. Some useful techniques are use of prototypes, simulations, workshops, demonstrations etc. Demonstrating prototypes to customers and simulating their functionalities are commonly used techniques for confirming value.
Often,after using the features or having them demonstrated, customers can more clearly determine whether the features are adequate and suitable for their needs. They might realize a need for additional features, or may decide to modify previously defined feature requirements. In product development, this customer experience has come to be known as IKIWISI (I’ll Know It When I See It).
Through demonstrations or access to early iterations, customers can also evaluate to what degree the team has successfully interpreted their requirements and met their expectations.