Episode 32: Value Thinking w/Krzysztof Wnuk

3 November, 2020 / Host: Magnus Billgren

Understanding Value: A Discussion on Value-Based Thinking

Software engineering is a complex process that involves different aspects that contribute to the success of the product. However, one of the most challenging parts of software engineering is the concept of value, which is difficult to quantify and measure. In this episode of the Productbeats Show, Krzysztof Wnuk, a researcher in software engineering, talks about value-based thinking and how it is essential in software engineering. This article will delve deeper into the topic and provide insights into value thinking in software engineering.

Why is Value Important in Software Engineering?

Value is one of the most important concepts in software engineering because it is directly linked to the success of the product. In software engineering, value refers to the benefits that a software product provides to its stakeholders. These stakeholders may include customers, employees, shareholders, or any other party involved in the development and use of the software.
According to Wnuk, value-based thinking is crucial in software engineering because it enables organizations to identify and maximize the value of their software products. Value-based thinking involves a systematic approach to identifying and quantifying the value of software products. By doing so, organizations can make informed decisions about how to allocate resources, prioritize features, and improve the overall quality of their software products.

Challenges in Measuring Value in Software Engineering

One of the biggest challenges in measuring value in software engineering is the intangible nature of software products. Unlike tangible products, such as cars or furniture, software products cannot be physically touched or felt. This makes it difficult to quantify and measure the value of software products.
Additionally, different stakeholders may have different perceptions of what constitutes value. For example, a customer may value fast delivery and easy-to-use features, while an employee may value robustness and maintainability. These differing perceptions of value can make it challenging for organizations to identify and maximize the value of their software products.

Defining Value in Software Engineering

To address the challenges of value-based thinking in software engineering, Wnuk and his team took a more academic and engineering approach to the concept of value. They surveyed over 10 companies and studied the literature to define value in a systematic and engineering-centric way.
According to their research, value in software engineering can be defined as the degree to which a software product satisfies the needs and expectations of its stakeholders. This definition takes into account the different perceptions of value that stakeholders may have and emphasizes the importance of meeting their needs and expectations.

Maximizing Value in Software Engineering

Once value is defined, the next step is to maximize it. Wnuk suggests that organizations can maximize the value of their software products by adopting an agile approach to software development. Agile development emphasizes the importance of collaboration, flexibility, and rapid iteration. By doing so, organizations can quickly identify and respond to changes in stakeholder needs and expectations, which can lead to a more valuable software product.
Additionally, organizations can use metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track the value of their software products. These metrics can include customer satisfaction, time to market, and revenue generated. By tracking these metrics, organizations can make data-driven decisions about how to allocate resources and prioritize features to maximize the value of their software products.


  • Value in software engineering is a difficult concept to define, with different perspectives and definitions among organizations and individuals.
  • To maximize value, software-intensive organizations must take a systematic and engineering approach to defining and measuring value, involving customers, needs, and requirements.
  • Internal software engineering activities can increase a company's likelihood of becoming more innovative, with a positive relationship between in-house development and innovation.

Speaking of maximizing value in software development, it's important for companies to invest in their product management practices and ensure that their product managers are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively identify and maximize the value of their products. This is where The Productbeats Product Management Certification Program comes in. The program is designed to provide comprehensive training and certification for product managers, covering topics such as market research, product strategy, and product development, all aimed at helping product managers drive value for their organizations. By participating in this program, product managers can gain the skills and knowledge they need to effectively manage their products and drive success for their organizations.
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