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RE: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

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  • Tara Santmire
    I was unclear. We will deploy every two weeks to what we are calling a user experience test environment. The entire user community will be able to see, test,
    Message 1 of 28 , Jun 1, 2010
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      I was unclear.  We will deploy every two weeks to what we are calling a user experience test environment.  The entire user community will be able to see, test, play and give feedback.  We just won’t deploy to the production environment until the whole process or at least one path through the process is complete. 

       

      Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
      tara@...

       

      From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Roy Morien
      Sent: Monday, May 31, 2010 11:52 PM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

       

       

      I would like to make a quick comment on the matter of deploying.
       
      There is a significant risk in waiting to deploy until the whole product is finished. A 'big bang' deployment can come unstuck very easily, as we have seen many times. It is an all or nothing scenario, with the potential to be very disruptive.
       
      I do not see deployment of part of the system as necessarilly deploying into a production mode. There is a lot of value in deploying parts of the system as they are developed, assuming, of course, that the parts being deployed are a reasonably complete and exercisable sub-set. But even a single report can be usefully deployed.
       
      Doing it this way gives the users an opportunity to train on the software, to exercise the software, potentially finding bugs that always seem to occur when a user uses the software in a particular way, unforeseen previously. It also gives the opportunity for feedback about changes, and new requirements that using the software elicits.
       
      So there is a little-by-little flow of training, feedback, familiarisation etc. that is extremely valuable.
       
      Also, the mere fact that users see progress, manifested by usable parts being given to them regularly and frequently, keeps the project visible, giving users more confidence (and the developers) that things are on-track. The old feeling of 'we'll never see anything from this long, drawn-out process, that is invisible to us anyway' is overcome.
       
      Regards,
      Roy Morien
       


      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      From: tara@...
      Date: Mon, 31 May 2010 20:07:41 -0400
      Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

       

      Ron – Thanks for taking the time to reply.

       

      On business value – I think that the PO is taking the point of view that she does not want to deploy until the entire process is deployable and so there is no business value in partial process so just do it in order.  Do you have any suggestions about how I might disabuse her of that notion?  Or might she be correct?  Even if she is wrong, if she is so engrained in thinking this through in terms of the process, might there be value in proceeding in this order?

       

      On risk – the team has reviewed the process and the associated user stories and their estimation of technical risk is that they are all in the same bin.  The team feels that they have done something fairly similar, for the various pieces of the process.  I can try and go back and elicit more granularity. 

       

      On amount to learn – you may be right.  I don’t have good ideas about how to elicit more information about prioritization in terms of “amount we need to learn”.  Do you have suggestions?  Even if you are correct, if the PO and users are so engrained in thinking this through in terms of the process, might there be value in proceeding in this order as this is the only way they can think through all the ramifications of decisions?

       

       

      Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
      tara@...

       

      From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ron Jeffries
      Sent: Monday, May 31, 2010 7:07 PM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

       

       

      Hello, Tara. On Monday, May 31, 2010, at 8:23:52 AM, you wrote:

      > The product owner wants to prioritize these stories in the same
      > order that they occur in the business process. I don't see any problems
      > with this, but I have a nagging feeling that I am missing something. Does
      > this seem like a reasonable way of prioritizing the stories? Does it have
      > any potential drawbacks?

      It seems unlikely to me that the business value of the stories is
      decreasing with ordinal position in the business process. It seems
      unlikely to me that the risk of the stories decreases with ordinal
      position in the business process. It seems unlikely to me that the
      amount we need to learn decreases with ordinal position in the
      business process.

      Therefore it seems unlikely to me that priority is in same order as
      the position of the item in the business process.

      Ron Jeffries
      www.XProgramming.com
      www.xprogramming.com/blog
      You can observe a lot by watching. --Yogi Berra

       

       


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    • Tara Santmire
      Well our first process is pretty complex. There are a number of different decision points. Some of those decision points kick off nice sequential processes.
      Message 2 of 28 , Jun 1, 2010
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        Well our first process is pretty complex.  There are a number of different decision points.  Some of those decision points kick off nice sequential processes.  Some of them kickoff parallel processes  that never come back.  Some of them kickoff parallel processes that have to rejoin  and then kick off more stuff.  Sometimes there are circular review/revise until approval things.   In addition we expect to have somewhere on the order of 150 items moving through the process at any one time and there are specific actors at certain points and for many other things there are a group of actors and we have to know which actor from the group picked up the current step in the process.  So different people will be doing different things to the same item and/or different items at the same time. 

         

        The business value of the tool is to add transparency to the current process so that people can see anyone item moving through the process and know where it is and how long it is been there.  Also, knowledge/nags etc. when things are overdue.  Currently this is tracked in a spreadsheet and there are data problems and access problems etc.  The PO believes that the tool can’t deliver on this business value until it covers the whole process – replacing the spreadsheet.

         

        Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
        tara@...

         

        From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Roy Morien
        Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2010 12:05 AM
        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

         

         

        Prioritising the Product Backlog to reflect the sequence of activities in the business process seems logical, on the face of it ... but ...
         
        Are business processes always 'sequential', such that one sub-process is always used before another specific one, and after another specific one? I would suggest not. Are they 'sequential' in that many users can be using each or any 'sub-process' dependant on what any other user is doing at that time? Again, I would suggest not. There is always some degree of randomness about who is doing what while someone else is doing th same, or something else. There is no 'sequence' obvious in this.
         
        The purpose of prioritising the Product Backlog is to ensure that high-value processes are delivered first, so that all that remains to be done at ay one time is of lower, or low value.
         
        Having said that, if tracing a path through the usual way of doing things provides a good framework for deciding on business value, then why not do it that way. But always keeping in mind that just because someone wants a report after they have done something else does not raise that report to a high level of priority, necessarilly.
         
        Regards,
        Roy Morien
         


        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        From: peterstev@...
        Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2010 05:48:39 +0200
        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

         

        Hi Tara,

        You have identified one way to think about the business process: Considering it as a sequence of steps to be executed one after the other. Is that the only way to think about it? Is it the best way?

        I once worked for a company which had a several processes to automate. The first such project I worked on, the program was conceived to implement its process step by step. This seemed logical at the time, but it made the software extremely difficult to test or change, and equally inflexible for the user.

        Later, I worked with two domain experts on the visioning of a similar project. We found that if we took an objected-oriented approach, the process became much simpler: The user would create a dossier, the former steps in the process became operations on the dossier, and a new 'make it so' operation (order) would complete the process. Once a dossier was created, it could be completed. The steps in the middle became optional (even though they remained important enough that most users in most cases would apply them). This made it possible for the P-O to prioritize the value of the operations, but also to add or remove alternatives in repesonse to changing priorities, time pressures, user/customer demands etc.

        For example: Most airline ticketing processes are sequential: 1) enter travel dates, number of passengers and departure and destination point 2) find flights 3) select flights 4) decide to order, 6) identify passengers 7) pay. What happens if your mother in law decides to join you on the trip? You have to start over. Why not just add her to the dossier? Why do you have to reenter the passenger data every time you want to consider a new alternative?

        If you were going to apply the dossier approach to airline ticketing, how would you do it? Which functions would you implement first? Maybe create dossier, pay for flight. Once these are implemented, you can potentially generate revenue. Next might be select alternative flights by price or by schedule, add spouse and kids. Now the customers can easily book the flight they want and bring the whole family. Probably adding your mother-in-law after the rest of the family has already booked a ticket won't be top on your priority list, but you may decide it's important later (especially if she offers to babysit ;-) ). Of course, this function will be competing with 'book rental car' and hotel booking functions which might have more value...

        If you were going to apply this approach to your application, how would you do it? What advantages and disadvantages would you have? Why are the advantages more important (or why aren't they)?

        Cheers,

        Peter

        On 01.06.10 02:07, Tara Santmire wrote:

         

         

        Ron – Thanks for taking the time to reply.

         

        On business value – I think that the PO is taking the point of view that she does not want to deploy until the entire process is deployable and so there is no business value in partial process so just do it in order.  Do you have any suggestions about how I might disabuse her of that notion?  Or might she be correct?  Even if she is wrong, if she is so engrained in thinking this through in terms of the process, might there be value in proceeding in this order?

         

        On risk – the team has reviewed the process and the associated user stories and their estimation of technical risk is that they are all in the same bin.  The team feels that they have done something fairly similar, for the various pieces of the process.  I can try and go back and elicit more granularity. 

         

        On amount to learn – you may be right.  I don’t have good ideas about how to elicit more information about prioritization in terms of “amount we need to learn”.  Do you have suggestions?  Even if you are correct, if the PO and users are so engrained in thinking this through in terms of the process, might there be value in proceeding in this order as this is the only way they can think through all the ramifications of decisions?

         

         

        Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
        tara@...

         

        From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ron Jeffries
        Sent: Monday, May 31, 2010 7:07 PM
        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

         

         

        Hello, Tara. On Monday, May 31, 2010, at 8:23:52 AM, you wrote:

        > The product owner wants to prioritize these stories in the same
        > order that they occur in the business process. I don't see any problems
        > with this, but I have a nagging feeling that I am missing something. Does
        > this seem like a reasonable way of prioritizing the stories? Does it have
        > any potential drawbacks?

        It seems unlikely to me that the business value of the stories is
        decreasing with ordinal position in the business process. It seems
        unlikely to me that the risk of the stories decreases with ordinal
        position in the business process. It seems unlikely to me that the
        amount we need to learn decreases with ordinal position in the
        business process.

        Therefore it seems unlikely to me that priority is in same order as
        the position of the item in the business process.

        Ron Jeffries
        www.XProgramming.com
        www.xprogramming.com/blog
        You can observe a lot by watching. --Yogi Berra

         

        -- 
        Peter Stevens, CSM, CSPO, CSP
        www.scrum-breakfast.com
        tel: +41 44 586 6450 

         

         


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      • Roy Morien
        Hi Tara, Thanks for the information, which seems to concur with what I said. Obviously part of each process must be to be able to report the state and status
        Message 3 of 28 , Jun 1, 2010
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          Hi Tara,
           
          Thanks for the information, which seems to concur with what I said. Obviously part of each process must be to be able to report the state and status of documents or 'items' as they move through the system. So this is part of the requirements, but still doesn't provide a particularly useful basis for prioritising the developent of these processes.
           
          But your applicaton does sound interesting.
           
          Regards,
          Roy Morien
           

          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          From: tara@...
          Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2010 14:52:34 -0400
          Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

           

          Well our first process is pretty complex.  There are a number of different decision points.  Some of those decision points kick off nice sequential processes.  Some of them kickoff parallel processes  that never come back.  Some of them kickoff parallel processes that have to rejoin  and then kick off more stuff.  Sometimes there are circular review/revise until approval things.   In addition we expect to have somewhere on the order of 150 items moving through the process at any one time and there are specific actors at certain points and for many other things there are a group of actors and we have to know which actor from the group picked up the current step in the process.  So different people will be doing different things to the same item and/or different items at the same time. 

           

          The business value of the tool is to add transparency to the current process so that people can see anyone item moving through the process and know where it is and how long it is been there.  Also, knowledge/nags etc. when things are overdue.  Currently this is tracked in a spreadsheet and there are data problems and access problems etc.  The PO believes that the tool can’t deliver on this business value until it covers the whole process – replacing the spreadsheet.

           

          Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
          tara@maresreach. net

           

          From: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:scrumdevelo pment@yahoogroup s.com] On Behalf Of Roy Morien
          Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2010 12:05 AM
          To: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
          Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

           

           

          Prioritising the Product Backlog to reflect the sequence of activities in the business process seems logical, on the face of it ... but ...
           
          Are business processes always 'sequential' , such that one sub-process is always used before another specific one, and after another specific one? I would suggest not. Are they 'sequential' in that many users can be using each or any 'sub-process' dependant on what any other user is doing at that time? Again, I would suggest not. There is always some degree of randomness about who is doing what while someone else is doing th same, or something else. There is no 'sequence' obvious in this.
           
          The purpose of prioritising the Product Backlog is to ensure that high-value processes are delivered first, so that all that remains to be done at ay one time is of lower, or low value.
           
          Having said that, if tracing a path through the usual way of doing things provides a good framework for deciding on business value, then why not do it that way. But always keeping in mind that just because someone wants a report after they have done something else does not raise that report to a high level of priority, necessarilly.
           
          Regards,
          Roy Morien
           

          To: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
          From: peterstev@gmail. com
          Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2010 05:48:39 +0200
          Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

           

          Hi Tara,

          You have identified one way to think about the business process: Considering it as a sequence of steps to be executed one after the other. Is that the only way to think about it? Is it the best way?

          I once worked for a company which had a several processes to automate. The first such project I worked on, the program was conceived to implement its process step by step. This seemed logical at the time, but it made the software extremely difficult to test or change, and equally inflexible for the user.

          Later, I worked with two domain experts on the visioning of a similar project. We found that if we took an objected-oriented approach, the process became much simpler: The user would create a dossier, the former steps in the process became operations on the dossier, and a new 'make it so' operation (order) would complete the process. Once a dossier was created, it could be completed. The steps in the middle became optional (even though they remained important enough that most users in most cases would apply them). This made it possible for the P-O to prioritize the value of the operations, but also to add or remove alternatives in repesonse to changing priorities, time pressures, user/customer demands etc.

          For example: Most airline ticketing processes are sequential: 1) enter travel dates, number of passengers and departure and destination point 2) find flights 3) select flights 4) decide to order, 6) identify passengers 7) pay. What happens if your mother in law decides to join you on the trip? You have to start over. Why not just add her to the dossier? Why do you have to reenter the passenger data every time you want to consider a new alternative?

          If you were going to apply the dossier approach to airline ticketing, how would you do it? Which functions would you implement first? Maybe create dossier, pay for flight. Once these are implemented, you can potentially generate revenue. Next might be select alternative flights by price or by schedule, add spouse and kids. Now the customers can easily book the flight they want and bring the whole family. Probably adding your mother-in-law after the rest of the family has already booked a ticket won't be top on your priority list, but you may decide it's important later (especially if she offers to babysit ;-) ). Of course, this function will be competing with 'book rental car' and hotel booking functions which might have more value...

          If you were going to apply this approach to your application, how would you do it? What advantages and disadvantages would you have? Why are the advantages more important (or why aren't they)?

          Cheers,

          Peter

          On 01.06.10 02:07, Tara Santmire wrote:

           

           

          Ron – Thanks for taking the time to reply.

           

          On business value – I think that the PO is taking the point of view that she does not want to deploy until the entire process is deployable and so there is no business value in partial process so just do it in order.  Do you have any suggestions about how I might disabuse her of that notion?  Or might she be correct?  Even if she is wrong, if she is so engrained in thinking this through in terms of the process, might there be value in proceeding in this order?

           

          On risk – the team has reviewed the process and the associated user stories and their estimation of technical risk is that they are all in the same bin.  The team feels that they have done something fairly similar, for the various pieces of the process.  I can try and go back and elicit more granularity. 

           

          On amount to learn – you may be right.  I don’t have good ideas about how to elicit more information about prioritization in terms of “amount we need to learn”.  Do you have suggestions?  Even if you are correct, if the PO and users are so engrained in thinking this through in terms of the process, might there be value in proceeding in this order as this is the only way they can think through all the ramifications of decisions?

           

           

          Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
          tara@maresreach. net

           

          From: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Ron Jeffries
          Sent: Monday, May 31, 2010 7:07 PM
          To: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
          Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

           

           

          Hello, Tara. On Monday, May 31, 2010, at 8:23:52 AM, you wrote:

          > The product owner wants to prioritize these stories in the same
          > order that they occur in the business process. I don't see any problems
          > with this, but I have a nagging feeling that I am missing something. Does
          > this seem like a reasonable way of prioritizing the stories? Does it have
          > any potential drawbacks?

          It seems unlikely to me that the business value of the stories is
          decreasing with ordinal position in the business process. It seems
          unlikely to me that the risk of the stories decreases with ordinal
          position in the business process. It seems unlikely to me that the
          amount we need to learn decreases with ordinal position in the
          business process.

          Therefore it seems unlikely to me that priority is in same order as
          the position of the item in the business process.

          Ron Jeffries
          www.XProgramming.com
          www.xprogramming.com/blog
          You can observe a lot by watching. --Yogi Berra

           

          -- 
          Peter Stevens, CSM, CSPO, CSP
          www.scrum-breakfast .com
          tel: +41 44 586 6450 

           

           


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        • Roy Morien
          OK ... and what do you see as the problem with delaying deployment into production in that way. Your user experience test environment does seem to be exactly
          Message 4 of 28 , Jun 1, 2010
          • 0 Attachment
            OK ... and what do you see as the problem with delaying deployment into production in that way.
             
            Your 'user experience test environment' does seem to be exactly what I was envisaging as a useful way to go, so you have got that covered.
             
            It seems to me that it is not always the case that parts of a system can be moved into production and be useful. This seems to be the case in your situation. Tracking an 'item' up to a certain point and being unable to go further because that part of the system has not been implemented does seem to come under this heading.
             
            Regards,
            Roy Morien
             

            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            From: tara@...
            Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2010 14:35:25 -0400
            Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

             

            I was unclear.  We will deploy every two weeks to what we are calling a user experience test environment.  The entire user community will be able to see, test, play and give feedback.  We just won’t deploy to the production environment until the whole process or at least one path through the process is complete. 

             

            Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
            tara@maresreach. net

             

            From: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:scrumdevelo pment@yahoogroup s.com] On Behalf Of Roy Morien
            Sent: Monday, May 31, 2010 11:52 PM
            To: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
            Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

             

             

            I would like to make a quick comment on the matter of deploying.
             
            There is a significant risk in waiting to deploy until the whole product is finished. A 'big bang' deployment can come unstuck very easily, as we have seen many times. It is an all or nothing scenario, with the potential to be very disruptive.
             
            I do not see deployment of part of the system as necessarilly deploying into a production mode. There is a lot of value in deploying parts of the system as they are developed, assuming, of course, that the parts being deployed are a reasonably complete and exercisable sub-set. But even a single report can be usefully deployed.
             
            Doing it this way gives the users an opportunity to train on the software, to exercise the software, potentially finding bugs that always seem to occur when a user uses the software in a particular way, unforeseen previously. It also gives the opportunity for feedback about changes, and new requirements that using the software elicits.
             
            So there is a little-by-little flow of training, feedback, familiarisation etc. that is extremely valuable.
             
            Also, the mere fact that users see progress, manifested by usable parts being given to them regularly and frequently, keeps the project visible, giving users more confidence (and the developers) that things are on-track. The old feeling of 'we'll never see anything from this long, drawn-out process, that is invisible to us anyway' is overcome.
             
            Regards,
            Roy Morien
             

            To: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
            From: tara@maresreach. net
            Date: Mon, 31 May 2010 20:07:41 -0400
            Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

             

            Ron – Thanks for taking the time to reply.

             

            On business value – I think that the PO is taking the point of view that she does not want to deploy until the entire process is deployable and so there is no business value in partial process so just do it in order.  Do you have any suggestions about how I might disabuse her of that notion?  Or might she be correct?  Even if she is wrong, if she is so engrained in thinking this through in terms of the process, might there be value in proceeding in this order?

             

            On risk – the team has reviewed the process and the associated user stories and their estimation of technical risk is that they are all in the same bin.  The team feels that they have done something fairly similar, for the various pieces of the process.  I can try and go back and elicit more granularity. 

             

            On amount to learn – you may be right.  I don’t have good ideas about how to elicit more information about prioritization in terms of “amount we need to learn”.  Do you have suggestions?  Even if you are correct, if the PO and users are so engrained in thinking this through in terms of the process, might there be value in proceeding in this order as this is the only way they can think through all the ramifications of decisions?

             

             

            Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
            tara@maresreach. net

             

            From: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:scrumdevelo pment@yahoogroup s.com] On Behalf Of Ron Jeffries
            Sent: Monday, May 31, 2010 7:07 PM
            To: scrumdevelopment@ yahoogroups. com
            Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

             

             

            Hello, Tara. On Monday, May 31, 2010, at 8:23:52 AM, you wrote:

            > The product owner wants to prioritize these stories in the same
            > order that they occur in the business process. I don't see any problems
            > with this, but I have a nagging feeling that I am missing something. Does
            > this seem like a reasonable way of prioritizing the stories? Does it have
            > any potential drawbacks?

            It seems unlikely to me that the business value of the stories is
            decreasing with ordinal position in the business process. It seems
            unlikely to me that the risk of the stories decreases with ordinal
            position in the business process. It seems unlikely to me that the
            amount we need to learn decreases with ordinal position in the
            business process.

            Therefore it seems unlikely to me that priority is in same order as
            the position of the item in the business process.

            Ron Jeffries
            www.XProgramming. com
            www.xprogramming. com/blog
            You can observe a lot by watching. --Yogi Berra

             

             


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          • Roy Morien
            Well, I was using value everywhere to mean business value. In para.4 I was just suggesting that if it was useful to follow the sequence of processing, using
            Message 5 of 28 , Jun 1, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              Well, I was using 'value' everywhere to mean business value. In para.4 I was just suggesting that if it was useful to follow the sequence of processing, using that essentially as a proxy for prioritizing. This assumes that all processes are equal as far as business value goes, or at least there is little to differentiate them, so following the processing sequence is a good a way as any to organise things.
               
              Maybe not a very telling argument though, I must admit.
               
              Regards,
              Roy Morien
               
              > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
              > From: dan.rawsthorne@...
              > Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2010 03:43:05 -0700
              > Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation
              >
              > Interesting, Roy. Are you suggesting that the "value" described in
              > paragraph 3 is the same as "business value" described in paragraph 4? If
              > so, I disagree. I think the first is value to the Project, while the
              > second is value to the Client...
              >
              > I like the following thought experiments.
              > 1. Do we really want our team working on the highest-value business
              > processes when they are brand new, and don't have their sh*t together?
              > 2. How do technical dependencies play in this?
              > 3. How do personnel dependencies play in this?
              >
              > Just sayin' Dan ;-)
              >
              > Dan Rawsthorne, PhD, CST
              > Senior Trainer/Coach, CollabNet
              > drawsthorne@..., 425-269-8628
              >
              >
              >
              > Roy Morien wrote:
              > >
              > >
              > > Prioritising the Product Backlog to reflect the sequence of activities
              > > in the business process seems logical, on the face of it ... but ...
              > >
              > > Are business processes always 'sequential', such that one sub-process
              > > is always used before another specific one, and after another specific
              > > one? I would suggest not. Are they 'sequential' in that many users can
              > > be using each or any 'sub-process' dependant on what any other user is
              > > doing at that time? Again, I would suggest not. There is always some
              > > degree of randomness about who is doing what while someone else is
              > > doing th same, or something else. There is no 'sequence' obvious in this.
              > >
              > > The purpose of prioritising the Product Backlog is to ensure that
              > > high-value processes are delivered first, so that all that remains to
              > > be done at ay one time is of lower, or low value.
              > >
              > > Having said that, if tracing a path through the usual way of doing
              > > things provides a good framework for deciding on business value, then
              > > why not do it that way. But always keeping in mind that just because
              > > someone wants a report after they have done something else does not
              > > raise that report to a high level of priority, necessarilly.
              > >
              > > Regards,
              > > Roy Morien
              > >
              > >
              > > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
              > > To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
              > > From: peterstev@...
              > > Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2010 05:48:39 +0200
              > > Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business
              > > Productivity Automation
              > >
              > >
              > > Hi Tara,
              > >
              > > You have identified one way to think about the business process:
              > > Considering it as a sequence of steps to be executed one after the
              > > other. Is that the only way to think about it? Is it the best way?
              > >
              > > I once worked for a company which had a several processes to automate.
              > > The first such project I worked on, the program was conceived to
              > > implement its process step by step. This seemed logical at the time,
              > > but it made the software extremely difficult to test or change, and
              > > equally inflexible for the user.
              > >
              > > Later, I worked with two domain experts on the visioning of a similar
              > > project. We found that if we took an objected-oriented approach, the
              > > process became much simpler: The user would create a dossier, the
              > > former steps in the process became operations on the dossier, and a
              > > new 'make it so' operation (order) would complete the process. Once a
              > > dossier was created, it could be completed. The steps in the middle
              > > became optional (even though they remained important enough that most
              > > users in most cases would apply them). This made it possible for the
              > > P-O to prioritize the value of the operations, but also to add or
              > > remove alternatives in repesonse to changing priorities, time
              > > pressures, user/customer demands etc.
              > >
              > > For example: Most airline ticketing processes are sequential: 1) enter
              > > travel dates, number of passengers and departure and destination point
              > > 2) find flights 3) select flights 4) decide to order, 6) identify
              > > passengers 7) pay. What happens if your mother in law decides to join
              > > you on the trip? You have to start over.. Why not just add her to the
              > > dossier? Why do you have to reenter the passenger data every time you
              > > want to consider a new alternative?
              > >
              > > If you were going to apply the dossier approach to airline ticketing,
              > > how would you do it? Which functions would you implement first? Maybe
              > > create dossier, pay for flight. Once these are implemented, you can
              > > potentially generate revenue. Next might be select alternative flights
              > > by price or by schedule, add spouse and kids. Now the customers can
              > > easily book the flight they want and bring the whole family. Probably
              > > adding your mother-in-law after the rest of the family has already
              > > booked a ticket won't be top on your priority list, but you may decide
              > > it's important later (especially if she offers to babysit ;-) ). Of
              > > course, this function will be competing with 'book rental car' and
              > > hotel booking functions which might have more value...
              > >
              > > If you were going to apply this approach to your application, how
              > > would you do it? What advantages and disadvantages would you have? Why
              > > are the advantages more important (or why aren't they)?
              > >
              > > Cheers,
              > >
              > > Peter
              > >
              > > On 01.06.10 02:07, Tara Santmire wrote:
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Ron – Thanks for taking the time to reply.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > On business value – I think that the PO is taking the point of
              > > view that she does not want to deploy until the entire process is
              > > deployable and so there is no business value in partial process so
              > > just do it in order. Do you have any suggestions about how I
              > > might disabuse her of that notion? Or might she be correct? Even
              > > if she is wrong, if she is so engrained in thinking this through
              > > in terms of the process, might there be value in proceeding in
              > > this order?
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > On risk – the team has reviewed the process and the associated
              > > user stories and their estimation of technical risk is that they
              > > are all in the same bin. The team feels that they have done
              > > something fairly similar, for the various pieces of the process.
              > > I can try and go back and elicit more granularity.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > On amount to learn – you may be right. I don’t have good ideas
              > > about how to elicit more information about prioritization in terms
              > > of “amount we need to learn”. Do you have suggestions? Even if
              > > you are correct, if the PO and users are so engrained in thinking
              > > this through in terms of the process, might there be value in
              > > proceeding in this order as this is the only way they can think
              > > through all the ramifications of decisions?
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
              > > tara@...
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > *From:* scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
              > > [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf Of *Ron Jeffries
              > > *Sent:* Monday, May 31, 2010 7:07 PM
              > > *To:* scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
              > > *Subject:* Re: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in
              > > Business Productivity Automation
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Hello, Tara. On Monday, May 31, 2010, at 8:23:52 AM, you wrote:
              > >
              > > > The product owner wants to prioritize these stories in the same
              > > > order that they occur in the business process. I don't see any
              > > problems
              > > > with this, but I have a nagging feeling that I am missing
              > > something. Does
              > > > this seem like a reasonable way of prioritizing the stories?
              > > Does it have
              > > > any potential drawbacks?
              > >
              > > It seems unlikely to me that the business value of the stories is
              > > decreasing with ordinal position in the business process. It seems
              > > unlikely to me that the risk of the stories decreases with ordinal
              > > position in the business process. It seems unlikely to me that the
              > > amount we need to learn decreases with ordinal position in the
              > > business process.
              > >
              > > Therefore it seems unlikely to me that priority is in same order as
              > > the position of the item in the business process.
              > >
              > > Ron Jeffries
              > > www.XProgramming <http://www.xprogramming/>.com
              > > www.xprogramming <http://www.xprogramming/>.com/blog
              > > You can observe a lot by watching. --Yogi Berra
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > --
              > > Peter Stevens, CSM, CSPO, CSP
              > > www.scrum-breakfast.com <http://www.scrum-breakfast..com/>
              > > tel: +41 44 586 6450
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
              > > Find it on Domain.com.au Need a new place to live?
              > > <http://clk.atdmt.com/NMN/go/157631292/direct/01/>
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > =======
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            • William Wake
              ... process so that ... and how ... overdue. Currently this ... problems etc. The PO ... covers the whole process ... I m imagining that some part of the
              Message 6 of 28 , Jun 1, 2010
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                > The business value of the tool is to add transparency to the current process so that 

                > people can see anyone item moving through the process and know where it is and how 

                > long it is been there.  Also, knowledge/nags etc. when things are overdue.  Currently this 

                > is tracked in a spreadsheet and there are data problems and access problems etc.  The PO 

                > believes that the tool can’t deliver on this business value until it covers the whole process

                >  – replacing the spreadsheet.

                I'm imagining that some part of the process "listens" for status from items as they change states, owners, etc. Would it be possible to use the spreadsheet as an input to that? The early value would be "people can monitor using the new page." While the spreadsheet itself would be still have issues around multiple writers, there would only be a single reader. Then, as each process (or partial process) is added for automatic monitoring, it would no longer be manually tracked in the spreadsheet. Once all were converted, there'd be no more manual updates and no more spreadsheet. 

                This would let you start deploying right away rather than wait till everything is converted.

                (There are variations you could do (e.g., writing spreadsheet from the new system) but I think it'd be better to get the new page visible sooner.)

                --Bill Wake

                On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 2:52 PM, Tara Santmire <tara@...> wrote:
                 

                Well our first process is pretty complex.  There are a number of different decision points.  Some of those decision points kick off nice sequential processes.  Some of them kickoff parallel processes  that never come back.  Some of them kickoff parallel processes that have to rejoin  and then kick off more stuff.  Sometimes there are circular review/revise until approval things.   In addition we expect to have somewhere on the order of 150 items moving through the process at any one time and there are specific actors at certain points and for many other things there are a group of actors and we have to know which actor from the group picked up the current step in the process.  So different people will be doing different things to the same item and/or different items at the same time. 

                 

                The business value of the tool is to add transparency to the current process so that people can see anyone item moving through the process and know where it is and how long it is been there.  Also, knowledge/nags etc. when things are overdue.  Currently this is tracked in a spreadsheet and there are data problems and access problems etc.  The PO believes that the tool can’t deliver on this business value until it covers the whole process – replacing the spreadsheet.

                 

                Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
                ta

              • Tara Santmire
                I don t see a problem with the delay into production. But it means that the PO is not saying I need feature X in production first and then feature Y and then
                Message 7 of 28 , Jun 2, 2010
                • 0 Attachment

                  I don’t see a problem with the delay into production.  But it means that the PO is not saying I need feature X in production first and then feature Y and then feature Q.  I don’t get PO prioritization of the user stories.  I understand the rationale from the PO and agree with your comment below.  It just makes the prioritization something that takes more thought.  I really appreciate the comments from you and others here.

                   

                  Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
                  tara@...

                   

                  From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Roy Morien
                  Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2010 10:28 PM
                  To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

                   

                   

                  OK ... and what do you see as the problem with delaying deployment into production in that way.
                   
                  Your 'user experience test environment' does seem to be exactly what I was envisaging as a useful way to go, so you have got that covered.
                   
                  It seems to me that it is not always the case that parts of a system can be moved into production and be useful. This seems to be the case in your situation. Tracking an 'item' up to a certain point and being unable to go further because that part of the system has not been implemented does seem to come under this heading.
                   
                  Regards,
                  Roy Morien
                   


                  To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                  From: tara@...
                  Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2010 14:35:25 -0400
                  Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

                   

                  I was unclear.  We will deploy every two weeks to what we are calling a user experience test environment.  The entire user community will be able to see, test, play and give feedback.  We just won’t deploy to the production environment until the whole process or at least one path through the process is complete. 

                   

                  Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
                  tara@...

                   

                  From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Roy Morien
                  Sent: Monday, May 31, 2010 11:52 PM
                  To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

                   

                   

                  I would like to make a quick comment on the matter of deploying.
                   
                  There is a significant risk in waiting to deploy until the whole product is finished. A 'big bang' deployment can come unstuck very easily, as we have seen many times. It is an all or nothing scenario, with the potential to be very disruptive.
                   
                  I do not see deployment of part of the system as necessarilly deploying into a production mode. There is a lot of value in deploying parts of the system as they are developed, assuming, of course, that the parts being deployed are a reasonably complete and exercisable sub-set. But even a single report can be usefully deployed.
                   
                  Doing it this way gives the users an opportunity to train on the software, to exercise the software, potentially finding bugs that always seem to occur when a user uses the software in a particular way, unforeseen previously. It also gives the opportunity for feedback about changes, and new requirements that using the software elicits.
                   
                  So there is a little-by-little flow of training, feedback, familiarisation etc. that is extremely valuable.
                   
                  Also, the mere fact that users see progress, manifested by usable parts being given to them regularly and frequently, keeps the project visible, giving users more confidence (and the developers) that things are on-track. The old feeling of 'we'll never see anything from this long, drawn-out process, that is invisible to us anyway' is overcome.
                   
                  Regards,
                  Roy Morien
                   


                  To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                  From: tara@...
                  Date: Mon, 31 May 2010 20:07:41 -0400
                  Subject: RE: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

                   

                  Ron – Thanks for taking the time to reply.

                   

                  On business value – I think that the PO is taking the point of view that she does not want to deploy until the entire process is deployable and so there is no business value in partial process so just do it in order.  Do you have any suggestions about how I might disabuse her of that notion?  Or might she be correct?  Even if she is wrong, if she is so engrained in thinking this through in terms of the process, might there be value in proceeding in this order?

                   

                  On risk – the team has reviewed the process and the associated user stories and their estimation of technical risk is that they are all in the same bin.  The team feels that they have done something fairly similar, for the various pieces of the process.  I can try and go back and elicit more granularity. 

                   

                  On amount to learn – you may be right.  I don’t have good ideas about how to elicit more information about prioritization in terms of “amount we need to learn”.  Do you have suggestions?  Even if you are correct, if the PO and users are so engrained in thinking this through in terms of the process, might there be value in proceeding in this order as this is the only way they can think through all the ramifications of decisions?

                   

                   

                  Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
                  tara@...

                   

                  From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ron Jeffries
                  Sent: Monday, May 31, 2010 7:07 PM
                  To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

                   

                   

                  Hello, Tara. On Monday, May 31, 2010, at 8:23:52 AM, you wrote:

                  > The product owner wants to prioritize these stories in the same
                  > order that they occur in the business process. I don't see any problems
                  > with this, but I have a nagging feeling that I am missing something. Does
                  > this seem like a reasonable way of prioritizing the stories? Does it have
                  > any potential drawbacks?

                  It seems unlikely to me that the business value of the stories is
                  decreasing with ordinal position in the business process. It seems
                  unlikely to me that the risk of the stories decreases with ordinal
                  position in the business process. It seems unlikely to me that the
                  amount we need to learn decreases with ordinal position in the
                  business process.

                  Therefore it seems unlikely to me that priority is in same order as
                  the position of the item in the business process.

                  Ron Jeffries
                  www.XProgramming.com
                  www.xprogramming.com/blog
                  You can observe a lot by watching. --Yogi Berra

                   

                   


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                • Tara Santmire
                  Thanks Bill for taking the time to reply. That is a thought. We could put up an editable data grid and the system could put in data where it could and people
                  Message 8 of 28 , Jun 2, 2010
                  • 0 Attachment

                    Thanks Bill for taking the time to reply.

                     

                    That is a thought.  We could put up an editable data grid and the system could put in data where it could and people could fill in the rest.  Every time we essentially add  a step in the process we move a column from editable to non-editable. 

                     

                    Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
                    tara@...

                     

                    From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of William Wake
                    Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2010 10:51 PM
                    To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

                     

                     

                    > The business value of the tool is to add transparency to the current process so that 

                    > people can see anyone item moving through the process and know where it is and how 

                    > long it is been there.  Also, knowledge/nags etc. when things are overdue.  Currently this 

                    > is tracked in a spreadsheet and there are data problems and access problems etc.  The PO 

                    > believes that the tool can’t deliver on this business value until it covers the whole process

                    >  – replacing the spreadsheet.

                    I'm imagining that some part of the process "listens" for status from items as they change states, owners, etc. Would it be possible to use the spreadsheet as an input to that? The early value would be "people can monitor using the new page." While the spreadsheet itself would be still have issues around multiple writers, there would only be a single reader. Then, as each process (or partial process) is added for automatic monitoring, it would no longer be manually tracked in the spreadsheet. Once all were converted, there'd be no more manual updates and no more spreadsheet. 

                     

                    This would let you start deploying right away rather than wait till everything is converted.

                     

                    (There are variations you could do (e.g., writing spreadsheet from the new system) but I think it'd be better to get the new page visible sooner.)

                     

                    --Bill Wake

                     

                    On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 2:52 PM, Tara Santmire <tara@...> wrote:

                     

                    Well our first process is pretty complex.  There are a number of different decision points.  Some of those decision points kick off nice sequential processes.  Some of them kickoff parallel processes  that never come back.  Some of them kickoff parallel processes that have to rejoin  and then kick off more stuff.  Sometimes there are circular review/revise until approval things.   In addition we expect to have somewhere on the order of 150 items moving through the process at any one time and there are specific actors at certain points and for many other things there are a group of actors and we have to know which actor from the group picked up the current step in the process.  So different people will be doing different things to the same item and/or different items at the same time. 

                     

                    The business value of the tool is to add transparency to the current process so that people can see anyone item moving through the process and know where it is and how long it is been there.  Also, knowledge/nags etc. when things are overdue.  Currently this is tracked in a spreadsheet and there are data problems and access problems etc.  The PO believes that the tool can’t deliver on this business value until it covers the whole process – replacing the spreadsheet.

                     

                    Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
                    ta

                  • Peter Stevens (cal)
                    On 01.06.10 20:30, Tara Santmire wrote: Peter - Thanks for taking the time to reply. The dossier approach is interesting and I will discuss with the team. I
                    Message 9 of 28 , Jun 2, 2010
                    • 0 Attachment
                      On 01.06.10 20:30, Tara Santmire wrote:  

                      Peter  - Thanks for taking the time to reply.  The dossier approach is interesting and I will discuss with the team.  I wonder though how much it saves you given the object oriented nature of programming with today’s workflow engines. 

                      Hi Tara,

                      Does it automatically follow from using object oriented tools that you get an object oriented UI? Hmm, I don't know the answer to that question. In our case it did not, but we were using Java, not an engine.

                      In the second project, where I did the visioning work, we looked at the flow of an order from the first input from the customer to the final billing. A classical value flow diagram did not work for exactly the reasons you described: too much variability in the route and times for each step. So we extended the value flow diagram in to a four track diagram. Each track represented a major actor -- "us" (in quotes, becase 'we' means my customer), suppliers, customers, customers' customers -- and the x axis represented the sequence of events.

                      This helped us identify where the process was complex, error prone and in need of optimization. We were also able to identify several points where 'we' had delivered value to the customer, but not yet earned revenue. When the final step came, it was clear why customers were saying no - they could do the last step themselves for less money than we could, because we were charging for the whole process in the last step. This led to some fundamental rethinking of the process, what's a service, what get's billed when, etc, so the business can be more effective.

                      The dossier approach meant that the customer could do simple things quickly. Almost from the point of creation onward, a 'make it so' command, could cause the final order, but also individual value added steps can be performed (and potentially charged), repeatedly if necessary, until the dossier is in the desired state.

                      Cheers,

                      Peter

                      -- 
                      Peter Stevens, CSM, CSPO, CSP
                      Independent Scrum Trainer and Coach
                      Sierra-Charlie Consulting | Zurich | Switzerland
                      
                      Member of DasScrumTeam.de
                      
                      blog:  http://scrum-breakfast.com
                      tel:   +41 44 586 6450 
                      cell:  +41 79 422 6722
                      skype: peterstev
                    • JackM
                      Risk does not have to be purely technical. There may be usability risk, stuff to do with layout etc. This is just one other risk that comes to mind. What about
                      Message 10 of 28 , Jun 2, 2010
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Risk does not have to be purely technical. There may be usability risk, stuff to do with layout etc. This is just one other risk that comes to mind. What about performance, cross browser related issues to for certain components etc.

                        Important to do the things first that you can learn the most from. I am sure that the PO can do better than to choose just the order in which the process is invoked. But it's not wrong just might not be optimal

                        Nice advice from the others.

                        Jack
                        blog.agilebuddy.com
                        www.agilebuddy.com
                        twitter.com/agilebuddy

                        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Peter Stevens (calendar)" <peterstev@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hi Tara,
                        >
                        > You have identified one way to think about the business process:
                        > Considering it as a sequence of steps to be executed one after the
                        > other. Is that the only way to think about it? Is it the best way?
                        >
                        > I once worked for a company which had a several processes to automate.
                        > The first such project I worked on, the program was conceived to
                        > implement its process step by step. This seemed logical at the time, but
                        > it made the software extremely difficult to test or change, and equally
                        > inflexible for the user.
                        >
                        > Later, I worked with two domain experts on the visioning of a similar
                        > project. We found that if we took an objected-oriented approach, the
                        > process became much simpler: The user would create a dossier, the former
                        > steps in the process became operations on the dossier, and a new 'make
                        > it so' operation (order) would complete the process. Once a dossier was
                        > created, it could be completed. The steps in the middle became optional
                        > (even though they remained important enough that most users in most
                        > cases would apply them). This made it possible for the P-O to prioritize
                        > the value of the operations, but also to add or remove alternatives in
                        > repesonse to changing priorities, time pressures, user/customer demands etc.
                        >
                        > For example: Most airline ticketing processes are sequential: 1) enter
                        > travel dates, number of passengers and departure and destination point
                        > 2) find flights 3) select flights 4) decide to order, 6) identify
                        > passengers 7) pay. What happens if your mother in law decides to join
                        > you on the trip? You have to start over. Why not just add her to the
                        > dossier? Why do you have to reenter the passenger data every time you
                        > want to consider a new alternative?
                        >
                        > If you were going to apply the dossier approach to airline ticketing,
                        > how would you do it? Which functions would you implement first? Maybe
                        > create dossier, pay for flight. Once these are implemented, you can
                        > potentially generate revenue. Next might be select alternative flights
                        > by price or by schedule, add spouse and kids. Now the customers can
                        > easily book the flight they want and bring the whole family. Probably
                        > adding your mother-in-law after the rest of the family has already
                        > booked a ticket won't be top on your priority list, but you may decide
                        > it's important later (especially if she offers to babysit ;-) ). Of
                        > course, this function will be competing with 'book rental car' and hotel
                        > booking functions which might have more value...
                        >
                        > If you were going to apply this approach to your application, how would
                        > you do it? What advantages and disadvantages would you have? Why are the
                        > advantages more important (or why aren't they)?
                        >
                        > Cheers,
                        >
                        > Peter
                        >
                        > On 01.06.10 02:07, Tara Santmire wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Ron -- Thanks for taking the time to reply.
                        > >
                        > > On business value -- I think that the PO is taking the point of view
                        > > that she does not want to deploy until the entire process is
                        > > deployable and so there is no business value in partial process so
                        > > just do it in order. Do you have any suggestions about how I might
                        > > disabuse her of that notion? Or might she be correct? Even if she is
                        > > wrong, if she is so engrained in thinking this through in terms of the
                        > > process, might there be value in proceeding in this order?
                        > >
                        > > On risk -- the team has reviewed the process and the associated user
                        > > stories and their estimation of technical risk is that they are all in
                        > > the same bin. The team feels that they have done something fairly
                        > > similar, for the various pieces of the process. I can try and go back
                        > > and elicit more granularity.
                        > >
                        > > On amount to learn -- you may be right. I don't have good ideas about
                        > > how to elicit more information about prioritization in terms of
                        > > "amount we need to learn". Do you have suggestions? Even if you are
                        > > correct, if the PO and users are so engrained in thinking this through
                        > > in terms of the process, might there be value in proceeding in this
                        > > order as this is the only way they can think through all the
                        > > ramifications of decisions?
                        > >
                        > > Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
                        > > tara@...
                        > >
                        > > *From:* scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                        > > [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf Of *Ron Jeffries
                        > > *Sent:* Monday, May 31, 2010 7:07 PM
                        > > *To:* scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                        > > *Subject:* Re: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in
                        > > Business Productivity Automation
                        > >
                        > > Hello, Tara. On Monday, May 31, 2010, at 8:23:52 AM, you wrote:
                        > >
                        > > > The product owner wants to prioritize these stories in the same
                        > > > order that they occur in the business process. I don't see any problems
                        > > > with this, but I have a nagging feeling that I am missing something.
                        > > Does
                        > > > this seem like a reasonable way of prioritizing the stories? Does it
                        > > have
                        > > > any potential drawbacks?
                        > >
                        > > It seems unlikely to me that the business value of the stories is
                        > > decreasing with ordinal position in the business process. It seems
                        > > unlikely to me that the risk of the stories decreases with ordinal
                        > > position in the business process. It seems unlikely to me that the
                        > > amount we need to learn decreases with ordinal position in the
                        > > business process.
                        > >
                        > > Therefore it seems unlikely to me that priority is in same order as
                        > > the position of the item in the business process.
                        > >
                        > > Ron Jeffries
                        > > www.XProgramming.com
                        > > www.xprogramming.com/blog
                        > > You can observe a lot by watching. --Yogi Berra
                        > >
                        > >
                        >
                        >
                        > --
                        > Peter Stevens, CSM, CSPO, CSP
                        > www.scrum-breakfast.com
                        > tel: +41 44 586 6450
                        >
                      • William Wake
                        ... Right. This gives you a reason for early deployment and a basis to prioritize stories for the other steps - on the amount of manual work they eliminate.
                        Message 11 of 28 , Jun 2, 2010
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                          On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 11:56 AM, Tara Santmire <tara@...> wrote:

                          That is a thought.  We could put up an editable data grid and the system could put in data where it could and people could fill in the rest.  Every time we essentially add  a step in the process we move a column from editable to non-editable. 


                          Right. This gives you a reason for early deployment and a basis to prioritize stories for the other steps - on the amount of manual work they eliminate. 

                           

                          Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
                          tara@...


                        • Tara Santmire
                          “amount of manual work they eliminate” - now why didn’t I think of that Thank you!!! Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP tara@maresreach.net From:
                          Message 12 of 28 , Jun 3, 2010
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                            “amount of manual work they eliminate”  - now why didn’t I think of that

                             

                            Thank you!!!

                             

                            Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
                            tara@...

                             

                            From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of William Wake
                            Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2010 9:55 PM
                            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

                             

                             

                            On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 11:56 AM, Tara Santmire <tara@...> wrote:

                            That is a thought.  We could put up an editable data grid and the system could put in data where it could and people could fill in the rest.  Every time we essentially add  a step in the process we move a column from editable to non-editable. 

                             

                            Right. This gives you a reason for early deployment and a basis to prioritize stories for the other steps - on the amount of manual work they eliminate. 

                             

                            Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP

                            tara@...

                             

                          • Tara Santmire
                            Peter, I don t think that it automatically follows that you get an object oriented UI from an object oriented tool. However, if you carefully craft the
                            Message 13 of 28 , Jun 3, 2010
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                              Peter,

                               

                              I don’t think that it automatically follows that you get an object oriented UI from an object oriented tool.  However, if you carefully craft the business objects, then it should be possible to make an object oriented UI without too much difficulty.  Then you can use a workflow engine to move those objects around as needed.  The workflow itself becomes a set of wrappers around the objects that moves the objects from one state to another, tracks state, and tracks who and when. 

                               

                              The process at hand for our project is different in that there really are no optional steps.  There are decision points which tell you which path to go down, but once a path is selected, there are no optional items.  The complicated bit is that we have an item to move through the process (object x),  in one path to move object x forward seven parallel processes all with their own objects have to move forward four of those parallel things come together to create yet another object which gets shoved down a process.  The other three processes (with their own objects) just go to their own completions.  Critical for us that we correctly create the data model to support this and the business object model as well.  Then we have the presentation layer where we have widely varying requests from different parts of the user community. 

                               

                              Interestingly enough this set of processes is already highly optimized.  People have been doing it for a while very successfully,  the problem is that because it is so complicated it is very labor intensive to do correctly without losing things.  The goal here is to actually reduce the number of people necessary to keep all of the different objects moving through the system and increase transparency into where things are at any given time.

                               

                              Regards,

                              Tara

                               

                              Tara E. Santmire, CSM, PMP
                              tara@...

                               

                              From: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com [mailto:scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Peter Stevens (cal)
                              Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2010 12:56 PM
                              To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Prioritization of Stories in Business Productivity Automation

                               

                               

                              On 01.06.10 20:30, Tara Santmire wrote:

                               

                              Peter  - Thanks for taking the time to reply.  The dossier approach is interesting and I will discuss with the team.  I wonder though how much it saves you given the object oriented nature of programming with today’s workflow engines. 

                              Hi Tara,

                              Does it automatically follow from using object oriented tools that you get an object oriented UI? Hmm, I don't know the answer to that question. In our case it did not, but we were using Java, not an engine.

                              In the second project, where I did the visioning work, we looked at the flow of an order from the first input from the customer to the final billing. A classical value flow diagram did not work for exactly the reasons you described: too much variability in the route and times for each step. So we extended the value flow diagram in to a four track diagram. Each track represented a major actor -- "us" (in quotes, becase 'we' means my customer), suppliers, customers, customers' customers -- and the x axis represented the sequence of events.

                              This helped us identify where the process was complex, error prone and in need of optimization. We were also able to identify several points where 'we' had delivered value to the customer, but not yet earned revenue. When the final step came, it was clear why customers were saying no - they could do the last step themselves for less money than we could, because we were charging for the whole process in the last step. This led to some fundamental rethinking of the process, what's a service, what get's billed when, etc, so the business can be more effective.

                              The dossier approach meant that the customer could do simple things quickly. Almost from the point of creation onward, a 'make it so' command, could cause the final order, but also individual value added steps can be performed (and potentially charged), repeatedly if necessary, until the dossier is in the desired state.

                              Cheers,

                              Peter


                              -- 
                              Peter Stevens, CSM, CSPO, CSP
                              Independent Scrum Trainer and Coach
                              Sierra-Charlie Consulting | Zurich | Switzerland
                                
                              Member of DasScrumTeam.de
                                
                              blog:  http://scrum-breakfast.com
                              tel:   +41 44 586 6450 
                              cell:  +41 79 422 6722
                              skype: peterstev

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