Overview of Session and why Attendees will be excited to hear about it: 

Why are development teams so busy?  Why can’t CIO’s deliver on all of their clients’ needs?

Product Owners/Clients frequently sign off on more features than are necessary, overloading themselves and Scrum teams, creating needless complexity as well as the challenges that come with it.  In some cases, 50% or more of features are never used after go-live.   At the same time, digital teams, budgets and capacity are strained and are not able to deliver all of the solutions that their clients need, in the timelines that they need them.  Even Agile/Scrum, as it is commonly practised today, cannot alone overcome this challenge.

Why is this?

Agile/Scrum is the best way to build features better and more quickly. But what if a significant percentage of those features address only symptoms, not causes, of the client's business problems and don't add value? Then are we just building the wrong thing faster?

A major cause is that many Product Owners/Clients start by go “shopping” for a wish-list of features instead of first unpacking the business problems that they need to solve.   With a clear statement of root-cause business problems to solve, or jobs to be done, systems thinkers have been able to identify which business problems can be solved by Digital, and which can be solved best by changes in business process, behaviours, mindsets and so on.

By first unpacking the core business problems to be solved by the product, and assessing which of them should be solved by the CIO versus which should be solved by the COO, increasingly clients and digital groups have been able to solve their key business problems while de-scoping requirements by 80% or more, and delivering that much faster, thus freeing up capacity for other valuable projects. 

Recently a group reduced its requirements from over 500 pages to 111 pages - and implemented ahead of schedule and under-budget, delighting its client.

This session provides Product Owners, Clients, Digital Leaders, and Scrum Teams a unique opportunity to learn how Systems Thinking, Lean thinking and Agile principles can be combined to meet client requirements faster, and with less effort, by creating fewer, but better, requirements.

In exploring these issues through interactive exercises, participants can improve their approach to solving problems using technology and make better system-development investment decisions resulting in less software, but software that solves the right issues, delighting clients and freeing up Digital development capacity to provide more value.

Who Should Attend

  • Product Owners / Clients
  • Leaders of technology development groups
  • Systems Analysts, Business Architects
  • Scrum Teams

Attendee Level of Knowledge:

  • Basic understanding of Agile/Scrum

Attendee Take-Aways:

  1. Why Digital groups are so busy
  2. Why digital solutions are often over-delivered – the causes of “feature creep”
  3. The costs of over-delivery
  4. What to do about it:  Unpacking the business problems to be solved by the solution, as well as the problems to be solved by non-Digital means
  5. How to start identifying symptoms and root causes, and interrelationships between them
  6. Algorithmic vs Heuristic work – and how software can solve these very different types of problems.
  7. Three things you can do when you go back to the office



Jill Graves and Craig Szelestowski

Session Track

Product and Customers

Experience level


Session Time Slot(s)