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“It’s not a math problem” The Cost of Delay Part 3 with Dean Stevens

Dave Prior Senior Consultant/CST-CRM Specialist
Reading: “It’s not a math problem” The Cost of Delay Part 3 with Dean Stevens

LeadingAgile Sound Notes with Dean Stevens

In our third podcast focusing on Cost of Delay, LeadingAgile’s Dean Steven explains how he has used Cost of Delay with management working on defining priority for items at the portfolio level. Dean also explains why the problem Cost of Delay helps you solve is not a math problem, but a collaboration problem.


  • 00:08 Interview Begins
  • 00:56 Some background on the work Dean does day to day for LeadingAgile
  • 01:43 Does Senior Mgmt. normally have a specific technique for prioritizing work across the portfolio?
  • 02:40 Clarifying teams at the project, program and portfolio management
  • 03:33 How does a team work at the portfolio level
  • 04:27 What is a Business Architect
  • 05:20 Why do we need Cost of Delay and what question does it help us solve?
  • 06:35 It’s not a math problem, it’s a collaboration problem
  • 07:12 How Cost of Delay will help you develop an understanding of relative business value
  • 09:00 How to calculate Cost of Delay = (User Business Value + Time Criticality + Opportunity Enablement) / Effort SWAG
  • 11:57 Defining Opportunity Enablement
  • 13:18 What happens after all the work is sized?
  • 15:40 When you get to re-estimate the values in Cost of Delay and adjust the relative priority
  • 16:04 An example of how Dean used CoD with a client to align multiple programs of work across the organization and define relative priority for each of them
  • 17:44 It’s not a math problem, it’s a collaboration problem
  • 20:15 Dean’s focus on the portfolio level with Cost of Delay
  • 21:38 Ordering vs. Prioritizing
  • 22:18 Validating your understanding of relative User Business Value
  • 23:40 Using the data and the math to figure out where to point the compass
  • 24:46 What is an MVP?
  • 25:13 Where to go for more information on Cost of Delay
  • 25:57 How to to get in touch with Dean
  • 26:19 Podcast Ends



You can reach Dean:


You can reach Dave:


If you have comments on the podcast, or have questions for the LeadingAgile coaches that you’d like to have addressed in a future episode of LeadingAgile’s SoundNotes, you can reach Dave at


For information on LeadingAgile’s upcoming public CSM and CSPO classes, please go to:

Use the discount code: LA_Podcast to receive a 15% discount on the class.

Next Agile and Beyond: An Executive's Guide to Leading a Large Scale Agile Transformation.

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