A missing piece in SAFe product management

Lean suggests that we work with small batches, be able to deliver value quickly and to drive from a business perspective (typically through delivering value to the customer). ‘Deliver value’ means not just to deploy something but to ensure that value can be realized by the intended customer. In other words, we need a definition for the smallest increment of value that delivers value from a business perspective. In other words, it can’t be too small (we may not want to be delivering all the time) but it has to be sufficient (have all the components (e.g., marketing) required to realize value. In other words, minimum yet sufficient. It also must have measurable value from a business perspective.

It would seem that this concept is somewhere in SAFe, but it actually isn’t. Epics are containers, MVPs are about discovery, solutions aren’t minimal and features are something that can be delivered in a PI by one ART. We could modify ‘solutions’ to have ‘minimum solutions’ but solutions don’t exist at the portfolio or program level. Yet the concept is particularly useful at both.

We call this concept the “minimum business increment” or MBI.

Click here for more information on MBIs and MVPs,

This is part of our Tips for Agile.

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