“In preparing for battle, I have always found that strategies are useless, but strategizing is indispensable”

might be a frank reformulation of the famous quote by Dwight D. Eisenhower [1]. Still, the truth of the increasingly complex business environment is that plans and strategies are invalidated faster and faster. Few CEOs nowadays honestly think that their 5-year or even 3-year strategy is going to last.

Nevertheless, many CEOs nowadays have forgotten that “ … strategy has two equally important aspects, interrelated in life … The first of these is formulation; the second implementation … in real life, the processes of…

Cross-functional teams are the ideal of Agile cross-functional teams because of their ability to deliver high value continuously. Dependencies outside the team are proven to be the number one impediment to value creation (1). Today we don’t just define cross-functionality as developers with different skills: the DevOps movement has brought operations into the teams, and BizDevOps is a common term for bringing business into the teams as well. I am a big believer in fully cross-functional teams, and I believe they can take direct responsibility for business development (2).

However, it’s not enough that teams are cross-functional if we desire…

Project portfolio management is in most organisations all about the strategic projects. Naturally, the focus is on getting as many of these, mostly far too many, projects through the development organisation as possible and spending as little resources on minor functional improvements, upgrading systems/platforms, and fixing bugs as possible because that is considered less valuable. It is rarely understood that the starvation of these other tasks leads to less overall value and congestion of portfolio planning. …

Image for post
Image for post

This article is the second in a series about Agile Planning Circles, the way to drive strategic product development. The first, which is about the process, can be found here and should be read before this one to get the full benefit of the artifacts and tools layered on top of the process in this article.

One of the basic ideas of Agile Planning Cycles is that decisions about future features should be made in a direct feedback loop with the users because only here maximum value with the least effort can be created. Since the Product Owner (PO) and…

- or how to tie Product Strategy, Lean Startup, Design Thinking, and Agile together.

Image for post
Image for post

Scrum is a simple and yet powerful framework, but one artifact, The Product Backlog, is too simplistic to capture the future of a complex product. Likewise, Refinement is insufficient to ensure the balance between the strategic direction and the deliveries on the short term. As a consequence, it is hard to maximize the value for the users. The main reason is that a simple Product Backlog does not ensure enough transparency to engage stakeholders at different levels in collaboration around the value creation.

That said, I think the Product Backlog is a powerful concept. Enforcing an ordered list of product…

For many years, Agile has mainly been about the iterative and incremental process, a couple of new roles, etc. Over the last years, as Agile has increasingly become about companywide transitions (1) in large companies, scaling this process and roles has gotten a lot of attention. Agile has gone from what could be illustrated like in the diagram to the left (2) to the one to the right (3) on the figure below.

Image for post
Image for post

However, I have observed that while we try to deal with the increased organizational complexity by applying scaling frameworks, we still struggle with the obvious misalignment between…

I have learned, over many years of implementing Agile, that words and the images they create, are crucial for your success as change agents. To succeed, it is important that you can explain, what is going to happen, and how it is going to happen in a meaningful way.

I have been heading several of what we called agile transformations without deeper reflection on why we picked that word. I guess we just followed the majority of the agile community without considering the impact that it would have on our efforts to help the organizations to become more agile.


Søren Raaschou

Agile Coach at posility.dk

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store