In my effort to explore living the first principle of the Agile Manifesto this week I have found myself asking the question, “How can I provide value for you?” Of course that presumes I have something useful to offer. So if I take a brief inventory of useful or valuable stuff I know, here is what I come up with:
- Software Development knowledge & experience (programming, practices, etc.)
- Team building (facilitation, training, negotiation, games, & other soft skills)
- Sailing knowledge & experience
- Boat building
- Wood working
All of it has some component of knowledge and learning associated with it. I had an interest in these things and took the time to learn more about these topics and perhaps more importantly gain experience with the subjects I was passionate about. Could it be that this is the pool of value that I have to offer? If so, then an important activity here is growing that pool of useful knowledge, experience (or value). It doesn’t just happen by itself. We have to make a conscious investment in these activities in order to improve our knowledge (and the corresponding value proposition).
That means that not only do I need to be asking how I can add value, but I also need to invest some of my time investing in growing or maturing the value that I’m able to provide. If we take a look at the first principle from the Manifesto Again:
“Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.”
Let’s face it, continuously providing value is a daunting task. It seems almost impossible at the individual level. Part of providing that value is going to be continuously nurturing the capability within ourselves. How can we do that?
- Read books
- Get out there and try out our ideas (experience)
- Share the ideas with others
- Expand the variety of activities we engage in
All of these actions will help to nurture the value that you may offer. In order to be providing lots of value you need to “feed the machine” and seek ways to improve or grow the value that you offer.