The project lasted 18 months, the sponsors needs changed, and maybe, just maybe the delivered application results in business value. Why wait for a long project to be completed before reaping the rewards of the work?
Agile delivery in general and product-centric application management are geared to delivering working improvements in small pieces. Gartner recommends that the product road map be defined as a series of business outcomes that can be delivered by the team or teams in one to three months.
Each business outcome is a measurable improvement in a business capability which can usually be translated into an estimated financial value. Moving a metric by a certain amount should generate cost savings, revenue improvements, or working capital savings. For example, reducing the time it takes a call center operator to resolve a customer inquiry reduces the number of operators required to maintain service levels and lowers costs by an amount that can be estimated based on number of positions saved and salary costs.
Imagine we took that 18 month project and broke it into 6 business outcomes with one delivered every 3 months. We would start realizing the benefits of the first one in month 3, giving us 15 months of benefits for that outcome before all the work is finished. All things being equal, we would choose to do the business outcome with the highest payback first, further front loading the financial return. Every three months, a new stream of value starts flowing.
As with all benefits realization processes, you have to actually measure the KPIs defined in the business outcome and hold the business and IT jointly accountable for achieving it. (see Business Outcomes Are the Milestones on an Application Strategy Road Map.) Seeing the KPI move as predicted also gives the team and stakeholders the confidence that they are on the right track and demonstrating measurable value.
So why wait?
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