Lean-Agile Budgeting

Lean-Agile Budgeting: A Conversation with Guy Beaver and Kelley Horton

Guy Beaver, Kelley Horton, and Jim Trott discuss Lean-Agile Budgeting, a critical, though often an overlooked, topic in Lean-Agile Transformation. Budgets are powerful statements about direction and levers for changing behaviors which is critical to realize transformation.

The three key concepts for understanding Lean-Agile Budgeting are: Pool your annual dollars and fund capacity, not projects; focus on a 12-month roadmap of prioritized features and use a Rolling Quarter Lock. Do your locked down planning and iterations just on the next quarter, not the entire year. Let the rest of the roadmap adjust to market needs; and never fund work that you cannot complete.

Guy and Kelley have been able to implement Lean-Agile Budgeting in large banks and other organizations. It isn’t easy but it is critical in the transformation.

Here are topics and questions we covered:

  • The key concepts in Lean-Agile Budgeting
  • The annual funding cycle: Good intentions and Bad behaviors
  • How systems thinking applies
  • The importance of being able to respond to current market conditions and new customer requirements
  • The danger of funding that causes people to “game the system”
  • How Lean-Agile Budgeting both impacts and works with the PMO, especially when you move away from “projects”
  • Putting Lean-Agile Budgeting into practice in a Lean-Agile Transformation
  • The cost of moving people around and multi-tasking, and the 20% performance hit that this causes
  • Lean-Agile Budgeting and assessing Business Value and ROI: Story Points are the “I”, not the value