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Agile Adoption: Value Driven V/S Target Driven

The Value Theory: What people value drives their actions.

Value Driven planning is where you plan to do the most valuable things with your resources, and of those valuable things you try to do the most valuable things first if possible.

Target Driven planning is where you have a target or set of targets you try to reach, and you try to do what gets you to your targets.

Target Driven thinking reflects the way we tend to ask people for what we want. For example, “May I have 2 kilos of potatoes please”, “Get me twelve bricks.”, and “I need two tonnes of sand.” What we rarely do is say “This is how my values work or this is what I value, so please do something that will make me happy.”

Similarly when it comes to Agile adoption (or any process for that matter), we see two camps:

  • Target Driven Camp: Where people use number of practices, adherence to a specific prescriptive process and checklist based verification of the same, certification, maturity levels, and so on to guide and plan their adoption.
  • Value Driven Camp: Organizations highlight what they value, they use their values to guide them with their adoption process. (Please note that their values itself can evolve.) Ex: We value quick turn-around time, so our customers get what they ask for quickly, is this process change inline with our value?

This blog was triggered after reading: Goals Gone Wild: The Systematic Side Effects of Over-Prescribing Goal Setting (a must read).

Thanks to Matthew Leitch for his wonderful summary of Value Driven versus Target Driven planning.

  • http://jayadeep.com/ Jayadeep Purushothaman

    It strikes a deep chord within. There weren’t many organizations or leaders that I know of who were after values, most of them were after targets (and mostly personnel ones). And that had a lot to do with their love for CMM based things than a Lean one. It was easy to target the level 5s and difficult to adopt the lean values!

    Thanks Naresh for sharing this thought.

  • http://jayadeep.com Jayadeep Purushothaman

    It strikes a deep chord within. There weren’t many organizations or leaders that I know of who were after values, most of them were after targets (and mostly personnel ones). And that had a lot to do with their love for CMM based things than a Lean one. It was easy to target the level 5s and difficult to adopt the lean values!

    Thanks Naresh for sharing this thought.


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