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Alignment vs Autonomy | @DevOpsSummit #Agile #Scrum #DevOps #Monitoring
You cannot have autonomous self-directing teams if they have no clue in what direction they should go
By: XebiaLabs Blog
Sep. 28, 2016 02:00 AM
Alignment vs Autonomy and The Purpose Alignment Model
When scaling agile / Scrum, we invariable run into the alignment vs autonomy problem. In short: you cannot have autonomous self directing teams if they have no clue in what direction they should go, or even shorter: Alignment breeds autonomy.
But how do we create alignment? and what tools can we use to quickly evaluate if what we want to do is part of the mission or better left out? Niel Nickolaisen created the Purpose Alignment model and I use it with innovation labs in large enterprises to decide what should be part of our innovation and what should be left to others.
As Gartner as taught us: all comprehensible things fit a 2 by 2 diagram. In reality the world is more complex but if we can frame our problem in two dimensions at least the major decisions become obvious.
The Purpose Alignment Model
It's easy to see that your product is differentiating not only in functionality but also in importance to the end user. If it is not that important, or mission critical as Niels calls it, we just need to be on parity with solution we are substituting. Remember the first iPhone? it was not attacking Nokia on call quality, durability or battery life, but was good enough.
Some aspects may not be in your reach, but are mission critical to the customer. For those items we can look to partner with someone to create an overall differentiated offering. E.g. we created several Value Added Reseller networks for our products. This allows for local, native presence for support, training and maintenance, while the product company focusses their energy on increasing the differentiation.
Then there is the who cares segment. Really, the customer doesn't care and we won't sell anything more if we build something there. (2 x 2 quadrants always have such a segment. It helps the Product Manager to say NO)
Follow these steps to engage in purpose alignment:
You can use the Purpose Alignment Model for roadmap planning, by performing a gap analysis on the differentiating, parity, and partnering activities. Your roadmap should explain how to fill the gaps.
The second great use of the Purpose Alignment Model is to design projects, features, and functionality around purpose. Design differentiating features, and functionality to win the market. Design parity features to be good enough. Parity features are still mission critical so don't do them poorly, but simplify and standardise.
People have a natural tendency to make their work "differentiating" and if you don't emphasize and communicate the mission-critical nature of the parity activities, people will resist the use of the model and its associated decision filters. Or worse, they will attempt to put everything in the differentiating category.
So if your workshop ends up with all stickies in the upper right corner, your did not moderate it well.
Caveat: Purpose Is not Priority
Now, go look at your product backlog and ask yourself the following questions:
The post Alignment vs Autonomy & The Purpose Alignment Model appeared first on XebiaLabs.
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