Items that maximize value

Before customers can pull value, they should be able to see ‘that’ value and then be willing to exchange some economic units for it. In Digital products or services this is done by releases. The value must be maximized, that is, customers should get maximum value from releases, and the business in turn receives maximum ROI. There are 4 items to consider when maximizing value to customers.

  1. New Features

  2. Defects 

  3. Risks

  4. Technical Debts

New Features: New Features are chunks of functionalities that meet customer usage needs and delights them, delivered by businesses in the shortest sustainable timescales. To remain competitive businesses deliver new features consistently that customers find valuable.

Defects: By addressing quality issues businesses further enhance the value to the customer. For example, by fixing broken features or further optimizing them, ensures customers continue to identify value.  

Risks: By addressing security, regulation, and compliance requirements, the value pulled by customers is maintained. Although customers do not identify with this directly it is absolutely essential to ensure value delivered by New Features and Defect are maintained. Just imagine a service that lets you seamlessly receive payments directly from customer bank accounts, without the need for cards, app downloads or registration but exposes customers' bank details to hackers. The value customers identify with will degrade once the security issues/vulnerability start to surface.

Technical Debts: Technical debt occurs when a Development deliberately takes shortcuts and cuts corners in software or infrastructure codebase in order to speed up development. This can add value to customers in short term (for example, getting New Features to the customer ahead of the competition, etc) but over the long term it will make the overall codebase bug-prone and future features slower to develop.

Customers do not identify directly the value from addressing technical debts but overtime accumulating technical debt will reduce the value of Digital products or services that customers had originally identified with. Just imagine new versions of Apple Watch are released with amazing features but at the same time, the battery is being drained much quicker. The value customers identify from the new version of Apple watch will degrade until the technical debt leading to increased battery consumption is addressed.

These 4 items must be part of the Value Stream and. Leaving any out will eventually reduce the value customers identify from Digital features.

However, getting the proportion right of each of the items needs in-depth knowledge of Customer needs, the maturity of Digital Product, or Services and business goals.

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