Alignment: A Prerequisite for Transformation

At its core, Agile is all about continues delivery of value to the customer. All the principles, values, and practices tie directly back to this objective. At the team level, we emphasize cross functionality, collaboration. and alignment to goals. As we begin to scale up to the program and portfolio levels, these concepts remain vital to success.

Perhaps, even more importantly is that these concepts must be adopted beyond the IT department. There is a difference between organizations that “do” agile, and organizations that “are” Agile. Agile organizations apply a systems thinking approach to their transformation. They recognize that the organization is a system of moving parts all of which need to have a common purpose to be optimal and successful. If only one piece of the system is not aligned, it typically becomes an impediment, and ultimately ending up slowing the company down.

It starts at the top with the portfolio level. Leadership needs to agree on a very clear priority of strategic initiatives. These initiatives are then funneled down to the program and team execution levels. All departments such as IT, Business, Operations, Finance, and HR must be included from the beginning and have a common understanding of the company’s strategic objectives and the order of priority. The traditional personal agendas, bonus programs, and politics that exist on today’s workplace will inevitably be forces that will constrain an organization from continuing delivering value to their customers.

Get everyone on the same page, and don't get in your own way.

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