Agile Teams in the Enterprise

WRITTEN BY Andrew Graves

Once you have clarified why you are transforming your organization to become agile, it’s time to set up your agile teams.

With the growth of agile over the last decade, most people are familiar with the delivery team structure of 6-8 cross-functional professionals with the all tools and skills needed to deliver value on the team, aka… the delivery team. But what about the rest of the organization?

Having a great delivery team (or teams) is a great starting point; however, if you point a high performing team in the wrong direction you will end up at loss for great software and your product will have no value. The second team needed to drive value is the product team. This team plays a critical role in driving value out of the delivery teams.

I think we can all agree the product owner role (when done correctly) is more work than one person can do, hence the need for a product team. Just like the delivery team, the product team needs to have all the tools and skills needed to deliver a clear backlog to the delivery team to execute. OK… so let’s assume you have a great delivery structure and high performing team that is creating solution and putting the solutions into a well formed backlog. If those solutions are not what is needed in the market you’re still missing the mark.

The keystone of the agile enterprise is the portfolio team. It’s the job of the portfolio team to know what the company needs to focus on in order to delight their customers and excel in the market. Through the use of capability analysis and modeling, the portfolio team can gain visibility on where in the organization the entire team structure needs to focus it’s energy to compete and win in the marketplace.

Now that we have clarity on the teams we need to form, it is time to assign resources to those teams and define our governance model, something I will dig into in my next post.

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