Solving Customer Problems in an Agile Enterprise
Companies try and understand Customer problems in various markets, design their strategies and take investment decisions hoping to solve customer problems. For any (or most) organisation to flourish it is not only highly critical to have an agile „System of Delivery“ which can help realise value ofthese investments, but also extremely important to have a bottom-up feedback channel which can ensure the right learnings being transmitted upwards to build knowledge that would enable strategies/decisions of the future.
Governance and Process are two words that would raise a lot of eyebrows in the Agile world, but they are needed
The picture above is the result of extensive study of various agile transformation models existing in the market today.
When we are looking at transforming the way of working of
- A Product Team – its a simple strategy, you can start by defining a structure and overlay a set of practices. By constant retrospection and learning the mindset of agility will emerge soon
- A Program Team – it’s no longer simple anymore, because now we are either dealing with one large product or multiple products with interdependencies. It is just not sufficient to follow a set of ceremonies for a single team, but also required to synchronise or orchestrate across teams or products. Inorder to still retain autonomy to the extent possible, teams need to be aligned
- A Portfolio Team – it could consist upto 500+ people, and when you look at possible dependencies or lack of alignment of the prioritisation needed. It could derail whole programs or even impact an organisation‘s strategic investment, if the time to market is a critical factor.
If you have a hierarchical demand governance following are the levels from bottom-up
- User stories – Product teams
- Features – Product teams
- Epics / Feature Packs – Program teams
- Themes – Portfolio teams
- Investment Decisions
IMHO, I have found this picture like a guidance, like a map, like a blueprint to help everyone visualise how the way of working. Often, in the first go, this appeared to be overwhelming for the audience, which also attracted a lot of criticism.
But when we combine this picture with something like one below, all of this made sense.
In large organisations, how can you change strategy and ensure your teams also focus towards solving the most important problem
Implementing an Agile transformation in a large scale organisation is something you don’t want to start at a zero. Having an outline governance of the processes, doing retrospectives at all levels of the organisation to ensure the bottom-up transfer of information and creating a continuously learning organisation working at a cadence are some key tools and tricks to make the change successful.