What is the value on the items?

value on the items
value on the items

Each item in scrum have to be defined by a value. But scrum never explain what is the value on the items. Let see in this article how to define it and our recommandation.

What is the value on the items?

In the scrum guide, the authors explain about product backlog items:

Product Backlog items have the attributes of a description, order, estimate, and value.

Scrum Guide

But the scrum guide never explain how to define this value. We just know that this element is very important for scrum because scrum bring the team to deliver incrementally value on the product.

So the scrum team have to define what is the value of each item; and this depends of the product (and its context).

Definition of value

We recommend to create a definition of value to be clear about what is the “value” for the product. The team can use the list bellow to select what are the criteria to define the item value.

  • Improves user work
  • Expected by users
  • Indispensable for other projects
  • Improves the image of the product
  • Number of users impacted
  • Frequency of use
  • Increases the attractiveness of the product
  • Decreases the attractiveness of the product if functionality not included
  • Can unexpectedly enchant our users
  • Guarantees better product stability
  • Guarantees better product safety
  • Meets a legal obligation
  • Financial benefit following the implementation of this functionality
  • Enables or advances the company’s objectives
  • Disappointment / regret if this feature if it is not included
  • Allows you to optimize costs

The scrum team can select form 3 to 7 criteria for the product value definition. It’s not necessary to take more criteria.

Define the value on the items

The product owner is responsible to define a value for each item. He can create a committee to help him to define the good value for each product backlog item.

The Product Owner is one person, not a committee. The Product Owner may represent the desires of a committee in the Product Backlog, but those wanting to change a Product Backlog item’s priority must address the Product Owner.

Scrum Guide

We can advice to create a common standard for each item understood by all the members of the scrum team and all people that work with this team. For example, the team can say, the value will be define between 0 and 1000.

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