The importance of the regular alignment between different Organization levels

(Somewhere in the EU Sky) Normally when an Agile Transformation starts, it starts by the bottom of the structure. It’s easy to get Scrum up and running in small Agile Teams.
When Agile Transformation enters in a scale process, the challenge starts. It is mandatory regular alignment across the different portfolio levels to make sure that the Transformation occurs.
This regular alignment also implies a backlog alignment among the different organization levels.
I would say that the backlog is the main consolidation artifact reflecting the strategy decided and agreed among the structure.
This regular alignment, consequently, documented in the backlog, provides:

  • Transparency across all organization and guidance to the Teams. It brings the common understanding of the Strategy. It brings until the bottom of the pyramid the feeling of being contributing for a bigger goal.
  • Enables more factual based negotiation and prioritization, because everybody knows what is the common goal.
  • With the regular update and feedback, all over the structure it’s being better known the average team capacity and other fundamental KPIs for that to maximize the delivered value across the time. In the financial perspective, it allows a more granular investment or budget re-prioritization:
  1. we know the capacity per release;
  2. we know which teams are more or less productive;
  3. which products deserve more or less investment;
  • Supports risk mitigation – the regular alignment also provides more visibility across the structure for dependencies, inefficiencies and allows the executives to act in time being better informed and with more frequency to correct them.
  • Summarizing, in the long term, the regular alignment across the Organization levels provides more predictability and adaptability.
  • The regular alignment also enables a much earlier adaptability to the market and answering to the competition. It will be easier to start the discussion about how to introduce the best practices in the market, how to adapt product requirements to answer to unpredictable moves and features from our direct competitors. We can engage all teams and collect ideas to gain a better market positioning.
  • A common working model. Having Scrum or Kanban running on the bottom levels will bring you more team satisfaction and team motivation due to a bigger team empowerment to make decision but having Agile scaled will bring you a common working model across the organization and this will also increase a feeling of fairness and trust across the organization. Individuals in the bottom tend to respect more managers who lead by example and practice exactly what they require from their teams.
  • The regular alignment supports the common effort to pursue shared goals and to work against organizational blockers, guaranteeing the independent delivery and collective responsibility by results.
  • Another advantage is the retrospective practice all over the organization, bringing up into a regular practice the regular discussion about what must be improved, recognizing what runs well and giving space for innovation for the market and also in the working processes and tools. This transparency put in the management layers the facts to correct the problems and gain competitiveness.

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