VOLF suggests a menu of practices to choose from for a specific situation. But whatever practices are chosen from VOLF by a specific company or project, VOLF insists on the following principles:
Lean Principle: Waste of work-in-process (WIP) such as analysis models, design models, test cases, etc. must be minimized. That is, no artifacts should be created that will not materialize as code. VOLF views a software engineering process as a pull system where you start a new work only when there is a customer demand for it. This implies just-in-time, just-enough delivery of work. For example, a detailed requirement analysis is performed incrementally--just enough, just in time for the features to be released to customers in each iteration of development. Lean principle favors the model refactoring suggested in the domain-driven design (E. Evans, Domain-Driven Design, 2003), Rather than making elaborate up-front design decisions, BAs and developers take code through a continuous series of small, discrete design changes, each leaving existing functionality unchanged while making the domain model deeper, suppler or easier to understand.
Metamodel-Based Traceability: The lean principle requires that every work product in software engineering must be traceable from and to each other along an association path. There should be no work products dangling alone. To that end, VOLF provides a rigorous metamodel that defines the rules of association between the work products.
For example, a block of code is traced up to a class in the domain model, and to use case scenario steps of a use case; the use case is in turn traced up to a task in the process model; the task is in turn traced up to a new business capability required in the business architecture model. On a different dimension, a class in the domain model is traced up to a conceptual business object in the semantic model which defines the ubiquitous language for the business domain in question. The class in the domain model is mapped to (traced down to) a table (or a document, column family, key value store if NoSQL is used). Columns of the table are mapped to fields on UI wireframes. On a still different dimension, methods in the class are mapped to REST API operations of a microservice. This microservice is traced up to a bounded context in the domain model, and so forth ...
Value Obsessed: Every piece of work should contribute to creating values to customers. Some work products are ruthlessly abandoned if not validated valuable to customers. But such failures make contributions, too, if the team learns something from them. In fact, the whole VOLF process is to fail fast, fail cheap, and fail often. The team discovers and learns valuable features for the product through failures. Value obsession is based on customer obsession, the first of 14 leadership principles of Amazon (J. Rossman, The Amazon Way, Clyde Hill Publishing, 2016; J. Rossman, The Amazon Way on IoT, Clyde Hill Publishing, 2016) As Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said, "Start with the customer and work backwards, seeking continuously to earn and keep the customer's trust."
Business-Driven: Practices are adopted from VOLF to improve the business performance of the adopting company. There must be a strategic business reason for adopting a particular practice. The Software Business section in this web site recommends good patterns of software business management. Companies that find themselves practicing anti-patterns hurting their business performance should consider adopting some parts of VOLF that could remedy those anti-patterns.