Experience Report – Maersk Line

How do we improve the way we prioritise to improve our chances of delivering value quickly? Over the last 10 years, Lean and Agile practices applied to software teams has massively improved the pace at which we now expect to deliver.  How do we know we’re not just building the wrong thing faster though? Are we wasting our precious capacity to innovate?

Some people think that economics is all about money. This is a misunderstanding. Economics is really the study of scarcity and the choices we make under those conditions. Too many organisations make prioritisation decisions based on gut-feel and unstated assumptions. Using Cost of Delay to help understand value and urgency we can surface those assumptions. What’s interesting is that with even a little analysis of these assumptions, we can significantly improve the value delivered.

Understanding the Cost of Delay helps organisations quickly discover, nurture and speed up the delivery of value. This is a story about how we applied Cost of Delay across a $100m portfolio at Maersk Line and the outcomes of the changes we made.

  1. Improve Prioritisation – by using CD3 (Cost of Delay Divided by Duration)
  2. Improve Decision-making – by making the economic trade-offs visible
  3. Change the Focus – from efficiency and cost to speed and value

Black Swan Farming epub download

(If you want a .mobi version of the paper, drop us a note below.)

We presented the findings Agile2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. If you would like a copy of the slides send us a message via the contact form below.