Herding cats or flocking birds - agile portfolio management

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Managing the evolution of a single product working with a small number of teams is somewhat straightforward. Working from a single backlog, once the teams have established a predictable velocity, the product roadmap becomes relatively easy to visualize, whether by timeframe or feature set. As we increase the complexity of the product, things become harder. Different teams require different backlogs. Different products require work from different teams. Before you know it, there are lots of independent moving parts, with the risk that the coordination cost becomes higher and efficiency falls. In this talk, we consider some ground rules for visualizing work across multiple teams and discuss how dependencies are coordinated across different teams and product lines.

Text of Herding cats or flocking birds - agile portfolio management

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    Cat Herding,or the art of agile portfolio managementDave Sharrock

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    Characteristics of High Performing Teams

    Attributes of a high-performing team

    Killers of a high-performing team

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    agile teams and small organizations

    get things done

    by creating an environment where good practices are easy to do

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    communicationsmall, dedicated cross-functional teams

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    communication

    focus

    small, dedicated cross-functional teams

    product owner, ordered backlog

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    22% of teams have no product owner

    http://www.scrumalliance.org/why-scrum/state-of-scrum-report

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    communication

    focus

    transparency

    small, dedicated cross-functional teams

    Product Owner, ordered backlog

    simple, big visible charts show progress

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    From scattering like cats...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonize/11166439273

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    ...to flocking like birds

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/popiet/4142138666

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    Size and complexity breakdown these constraints

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mlevin/4488369118

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    departmental silossingle-points-of-failuredeath by committee

    communication

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebastiandooris/2449853812

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    distractionsinformal networks

    project inertia

    communication

    focus

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/onemananhisdog/5718624579

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    communication

    focus

    transparency

    mixed languagelocal success optimization

    illusions of progress

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwarby/2460655511/

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    Flocking birds follow simple rules that create coherent, synchronized behavior in a mass of individuals

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/antmoose/91814675

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    http://www.flickr.com/photos/popiet/4142138666

    3 simple principles to encourage

    flocking without herding

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    Have a shared understanding of success

    1. FOCUS ON THE WHOLE

    shared KPIs, metrics, goals

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/idovermani/4242513383

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    ?+ + +12 a vii 12=

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    Have a shared understanding of success

    1. FOCUS ON THE WHOLE

    shared KPIs, metrics, goals

    get out of the way - doers talk with doers

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/idovermani/4242513383

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    Have a shared understanding of success

    1. FOCUS ON THE WHOLE

    shared KPIs, metrics, goals

    get out of the way - doers talk with doers

    cascade priorities down from the top

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/idovermani/4242513383

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    component #3component #1

    component #2

    experience #1 experience #2

    Priority #2 Priority #1

    the customer

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    2. DELIVER AS FAST AS POSSIBLE

    Shorten feedback cycles

    automation

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    2. DELIVER AS FAST AS POSSIBLE

    Shorten feedback cycles

    automation

    integrate much more often

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    2. DELIVER AS FAST AS POSSIBLE

    Shorten feedback cycles

    automation

    integrate much more often

    make many more small changes

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    Compare apples to apples

    normalize what you look at

    3. MAKE PROGRESS VISIBLE

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    Requirements hierarchy

    release = featuresfeature = epics

    epic = storiesstory = tasks

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    Terminology, really?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/photon_de/2700323949

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    Compare apples to apples

    normalize what you look at

    set a relevant cadence to review changes

    3. MAKE PROGRESS VISIBLE

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    TO DO DOING DONE

    Swim lanesartifac

    ts

    set an appropriate cadence

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    Compare apples to apples

    normalize what you look at

    3. MAKE PROGRESS VISIBLE

    set a relevant cadence to review changes

    get the right people in the room

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    From uncontrollable cats to flocking birds...

    focus on the wholedeliver as fast as possiblemake progress visible

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    Portfolio Management?

    getting the right thing done at the right price

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    Daily

    Sprint

    Release

    Roadmap

    Vision5 levels of planning

    agile/lean

    scrum

    xp

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    Component Teams

    Com

    pone

    nt #

    1

    Com

    pone

    nt #

    2

    Com

    pone

    nt #

    3

    Com

    pone

    nt #

    4

    Experience Teams

    A B C D E F

    Team

    #4

    Team

    #5

    Team

    #6

    Team

    #1

    Team

    #2

    Team

    #3

    Com

    pone

    nt #

    5 Com

    pone

    nt #

    6

    Com

    pone

    nt #

    7

    Com

    pone

    nt #

    8

    PMO

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    Pilots not project managers

    trained to get you out of trouble tracking a lot of

    dials and data

    but leave it on autopilot 90% of

    the time

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    focus on the wholedeliver as fast as possiblemake progress visible

    + Pilots

    3 simple principles to encourage flocking without herding

  • agile42 | We advise, train and coach companies building software www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007 - 2009.

    compliance international B2B MBA English IPO agile husband start-up technology

    newly-minted Canadian executive leanstartup outsourcing father

    enterprise transitionsB2C data analysis kanban seismology PhD

    scrum organizational excellence

    dave.sharrock@agile42.comtwitter: @davesharrockCertified Scrum Coach (CSC)Certified Scrum Trainer (CST)

    Dave Sharrock

  • agile42 | The Agile Coaching Company www.agile42.com | All rights reserved. Copyright 2007-2013

    thank youdave.sharrock@agile42.com

    @davesharrock