I was working with one of our newer clients today, talking with one of their newest developers. He had never heard of Seilevel before, but had seen a number of artifacts that some of his peers had created with our templates. His peers have taken our classes, and are trying to incorporate a number of the models into their process.
He asked me about the Business Objective Model that had been created for their project. It caught his eye since it was different, but also because as he read it, he found that it explained the business problems the project was trying to solve. He found this extremely valuable, not only as a new team member, but also as a developer. He understood how his efforts fit into the overall goals of the project and how he would be providing value to the organization.
I was thrilled to hear this. Here was a developer who was not familiar with Seilevel’s models or with our story, and yet, he was able to understand what was being depicted without anyone explaining it to him. The combination of the visual nature of the model, and the words that drive back to the business problems and the business objectives made it clear. As we further discussed how the model could be used to control scope and cut un-needed features, he became even more enticed by the value of the model. He suddenly understood what the program manager wanted, when she wanted every user story tied to a business feature, for he saw the features in the product concept. He saw the traceability of user stories to features, features to business objectives. It all made sense to him.
As a reminder, the Business Objectives Model defines the business problems, business objectives, product concept and success metrics. The elements of the model are:
Business problem – Issue preventing the business from achieving its goals.
Business objective – Measureable target that specifies when the business problem is solved.
Product concept – Vision of the actual solution that the business chooses to implement in order to meet the business objective. It is typically described by a list of high-level features.
Success metrics – A business objective that will actually be measured to determine whether the project is successful, or additional measures that are related to the solution.
This is a terrific story of the power and value of this model. It can be a hard model to create, but the hard work is well worth the effort!