Assessing Impediment Cost

If you are trying to resolve a particularly difficult impediment, try calculating the cost of the impediment to the team/customer. Often putting the damage into dollars and cents will help translate the problem into something that business stakeholders understand and respect, namely profit and loss.

I have a cost column in the spreadsheet that I use for tracking team impediments. I can’t always fill it in with a number (which is usually a signal to me that I need to better understand the issue), but when I can associate a cost with the impediment, I find it much easier to garner attention to the issue from executives and other key project stakeholders.

In fact, if you grab your dusty old copy of Kerzner, you will find an entire chapter on assessing the costs of risks and using it for decision making (Monitoring and Controlling Risks). We can incorporate this work into impediment management for agile teams.

The fact is, meaningful impediments cost your project, your company, and your customers money. Impediments are a threat to a team’s ability to rapidly deliver value. You could probably put it into an equation:

Stories – Impediments = Customer Value

One Response to Assessing Impediment Cost

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: