How to Create Value Faster

Smooth process is the solution, we wrote earlier. We still mean that! With a little more speed time with agile projects, we'll share some aspects we think it's important to take on board.

Morten M Wikstrøm
CEO, Consulting

The key is to break down what we are going to create into smaller pieces, daring to launch a first version that does not contain everything You dream about, or anything you've ever had before. What we are going to create should also be based on user insights and strategic goals, which are rooted throughout the team, rather than long, old requirements specifications that focus on functionality and technology rather than human needs.

More focus on what actually creates value

The benefits of a smaller scope are many. We can launch something new faster — and we can quickly learn through meetings with the people who will use the solution, before working on new features. It also makes it more flexible and easier to adjust the course along the way, since we work strictly on selected tasks, and do not start too much too soon. Plus, we don't have to spend time (and money!) on functionality that is not demanded/important to users -- but instead manages to focus on what creates value.

In such a course of development, it is desirable to spend the time at your disposal on the things that will create the most value. But how do you assess that, and how do you go about figuring out what needs to be made first, and what can actually wait?


Many people use MVP as the term for the first version of a product or service. MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product, and can be translated as Minimum Usable Product. This is the least we can develop, to determine if we are on the right course at all (-- and then adjust).

What we deliver should be good suffices for the goal that has been set. An MVP can be either a simple solution that we release live — or a prototype that we test.

In Increo, we have also embraced the term MAP, which stands for Minimum Awesome Product. This is the smallest thing we can build, that creates the highest possible value. What we build must be awesome! Functionality that we are unsure about can be recommended to wait with — but what we create should be of good quality both in code and design. When developing a new version of an existing website, it is the MAP concept that applies, but if we are talking about a completely new product or service to be tested, an MVP is needed.

Find out what adds value to your business — and how

The term Value is big, and when we ask — “what's the most important thing to prioritize now” — it can be quick to think back to the meeting you had yesterday where the reference group called for that particular feature, or the customer you spoke to this morning who asked where the other function was. So to be able to more easily test the priorities, a term clarification may be fine.

There are several definitions of value, and we think it's important to understand that value can be about more than “just” money. We further believe that value is broadly found in these five types:

  • Commercial: Increased earnings
  • Market: Attract more customers/new markets
  • Effectiveness: Save time, do things in a smarter way
  • The customer: Increased customer loyalty and satisfaction
  • Future: Long-term choices that save money in the long run

If it is difficult to place the idea in one of these — yes, then it might make sense to take a moment to think, if you (and most people will) want to make the best use of the money you have at your disposal.

You can read more about the concept of value here

Highlight the value of using user stories

The vast majority of tasks we do end up with an interface against an end user. To highlight the value (and purpose) of the tasks, user stories are a useful aid. User stories are a format for describing tasks that emphasize a task's value and criteria for completion/acceptance. They are “hands on” and are about what the user should be able to do in the digital solution we create.

User stories will give you as customers, designers, developers and testers — yes everyone — a common understanding of a task and why we do what we do. Such a common format makes it easier to talk about the various tasks and to make priorities — while maintaining the user perspective throughout the process.

A user story can be formulated simply and straightforwardly like this:

As one <bruker>I will <hva>so that <verdi>

Some examples of user tasks:

  • As a pro customer, I will be able to search by item number so that I can quickly shop for the right product
  • As a private customer, I will be able to request notification when sold out products are in stock so that I can order them when they are available
  • As Spare-Stine, I will compare prices for different products so that I can make a price-conscious choice
  • As an admin, I will get an overview of new messages coming into the system so that I can forward to an employee with the appropriate skills and language profile

Prioritize according to value and effort

Often there can be talk of a large set of user stories, and then it is necessary to make priorities. We must then try to answer what is the minimum of what we need before launch (and what we can wait with). Most of the time, there is a lot of functionality. must one has, while other tasks and needs are things one should or may ha (but that is not conclusive until one goes live).

To get some structure in your priorities, a tip might be to look at how much value one assumes the various tasks will create (for example, using a scale of 1-10). If you compare this with how extensive it is to realize the tasks (for example, by considering the size of the task; is it an S, M, L, or XL task?) You will get good help in prioritizing.

Don't gape over more than you can eat. The focus should be on quality and not quantity. Focus on what we have to have—what creates the highest value—because “to deliver more, deliver less!”

Need help developing an MVP or a MAP? We are happy to help you create value for you and your users.

What can we help you with?

Morten M Wikstrøm
Morten M Wikstrøm
CEO, Consulting
976 90 017
Sebastian Krohn
Sebastian Krohn
Agency Manager, Consulting
988 00 306

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