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Value-Driven Planning and Metrics

Dan Rawsthorne is a Certified Scrum Trainer, and a senior consultant with Net Objectives who helps organizations get products “out the door” using agility. He sees a problem with the traditional project metric of Earned Value Analysis (EVA) which looks at Cost of Work (Planned and Actual), and he has proposed an alternative more suitable for Agile work, whose key metric is value delivered.

In his Agile Journal article, Calculating Earned Business Value (EBV) For An Agile Project, Rawsthorne has shown how to use EBV to measure how "done" we are from a business perspective.  Rawsthorne uses a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) to provide structure to an agile project, as a framework for calculating value-based business metrics.

Knowing Earned Business Value can be useful to the business in a number of ways, including:
  • The combination of standard burndown charts and EBV value charts provides a good, composite understanding of the progress of a project.
  • The business can see when business value returned is not worth the cost of the work being done. This could indicate that the project needs to draw to a close and release.
  • If the business knows a project's value to the business, these metrics provide a way to compare projects to see if resources need to be reallocated.
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