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The Art of Business Value


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Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: THE PROBLEM Agile and Lean practices are all about maximizing the business value we deliver. Agile books tell us that business value is important, but none of them seem to tell us what business value is, though they do scatter clues here and there. In this chapter, however, we examine the clues and find that they come to nothing. Business value is a mystery at the core of Agile practice. CHAPTER 2: THE MEANING Our first step in solving the mystery is to consult the experts. Unfortunately, the experts just deepen the mystery for us. It turns out that we need to cast a wider net to catch our elusive target. CHAPTER 3: THE CULTURE Good detective work involves observing people. We find that there seems to be a connection between organizational culture and business value. But to understand it, we have to immerse ourselves in corporate culture, rather than reject it or stand apart from it. CHAPTER 4: THE RULES What could bureaucracy possibly have to do with business value? A lot, perhaps. Warning: this chapter contains graphic depictions of bureaucracy being applied to agility. You may come away wanting to produce burndown charts in triplicate. CHAPTER 5: THE CIO Someone has been forgotten in all this talk about business value. She makes a mysterious entrance, claiming to be following the same trail of clues that we are. Or ... could it be that she is responsible? CHAPTER 6: THE CLUE Ahathe case (or the CAS) takes a turn. We skip lightly into the fourth dimension, take a look back, and all becomes clear. But you'll find no spoilers here in the Table of Contents. CHAPTER 7: THE DELIVERY We lock up the culprit and explain the tools we have used to solve the mystery. You will begin to see business value as an art and walk away with surprising new ideas on how to go about creating it.

About the Author

Mark Schwartz is an iconoclastic CIO and a playful crafter of ideas, an inveterate purveyor of lucubratory prose. He has been an IT leader in organizations small and large, public, private, and nonprofit. As the CIO of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, he provokes the federal government into adopting Agile and DevOps practices. He is pretty sure that when he was the CIO of Intrax Cultural Exchange he was the first person ever to use business intelligence and supply chain analytics to place au pairs with the right host families. Mark speaks frequently on innovation, bureaucratic implications of DevOps, and Agile processes in low-trust environments. With a computer science degree from Yale and an MBA from Wharton, Mark is either an expert on the business value of IT or just confused and much poorer.

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