There’s a reason why programmers, testers, project managers, product owners, and anybody else on a software team continue to get paychecks. Someone has placed value on their work. Usually, that value is measured in dollars; that is, the software this team produces makes money in some way. It’s essential for software teams to understand that value stream and use it to guide the work that they do. This means that the culture, process, and tools that affect software teams should reinforce their connection to the value stream.
Understanding return-on-investment, balancing short-term and long-term goals, and weighing risk and reward shouldn’t be limited to the boardroom. Software teams are both capable and eager to take ownership of their contributions to the value stream. Treating software teams as “order takers” and limiting their decision making autonomy is a costly mistake. The most productive organizations create transparency around the value stream and what contributes to it. Transparency and free-flowing communication makes it possible to harness the judgment and creativity of every individual. There’s insight at every level in the organization. Let’s use it to add value.