Creating a Vision for Your Organization

The Effective Enterprise of the Future

For a few select organizations the enterprise of the future is here today. It is no longer a question of what to do, it’s a question of getting there. The goals of the effective enterprise are:

  • create value for its customers
  • achieve business agility – the quick realization of value predictably, sustainably and with high quality
  • be a great place to work with engaged employees
  • have the ability to deliver products and services on a continuous basis with the management of release  being based on business value and not development limitations.

Achieving this requires the best of both the Lean and Agile mindsets. Agile focuses on the creation of self-organizing teams that create value for the customers they are responsible for in a semi-autonomous manner. Lean suggests taking a systems-thinking point of view and looking at the entire value stream.

The result is connectivity between the strategies of the business to the teams creating the value. The most effective arrangement is for teams to be accountable to only one business stakeholder. In this way when a requirement comes in they can work on that and get it done. This not only enables teams to build new functionality without interruption, it greatly simplifies the budgeting process. In this scenario the business stakeholder requests some functionality to be built, technology builds it and then the business stakeholder requests something else. In order to deliver value quickly, smaller chunks of value can be requested. This results in a stream of small items being built and released. If quick releases are not desired, they can be held back, but their quick validation can be used to get feedback on what they are building.

This connectivity enables budgeting to be done on a frequent, even continuous basis. As business increments are built and released the next most important business increment can be started and worked on.  The budgeting process can range from continuous to quarterly.  Teams have end-to-end responsibilities for products and services. They collaborate within a network that supports them. They use Team-Agility tailored as appropriate for them. Shared service teams and DevOps are integrated into this network.

The ability for teams to work in a semi-autonomous way increases innovation while accelerating development. It also enables taking risks with new products since it can be determined if they will return value quickly. This enables the company to innovate in a safe manner and get low loses on bad ideas but great returns on good ones.

To learn more about why an enterprise wants to achieve business agility see The Business Case For Agility in Part III.