Organizational Strategy and Portfolio Management Focus in Path to Agility Approach 2.5 Update

Last week we rolled out our latest update to the Path to Agility approach: Path to Agility 2.5.

This Path to Agility 2.5 update focuses on strengthening the org-level capabilities around organizational strategy and lean portfolio management, as well as, refining the Predict stage system and team-level capabilities.

In this video, David Hawks talks through the high-level changes in the 2.5 update:

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Full video transcript:

So what we’re hoping to go over today is the changes that are in what we call Path to Agility release 2.5; moving from 2.4 to 2.5. What I’m going to do today, I’m going to go over just high-level kind of, the big things that moved around. All right. So let’s zoom in here a little bit.

There were three main themes that we ended up aligning to and one of them was trying to get more “Org’s” strategy capabilities in place, because as you all know: when we get into or when we’re working with our organizations, our leaders, one of the things that might be in the way is there’s not even a clear, you know: “we talk about compelling purpose for change”.

There might not even be a clear, compelling purpose for the organization, a clear vision for the organization, clear objectives for the organization. And that might be part in our way, not only for the compelling reason to get better if we’re not even aligned about what are we trying to be, but also that could be in the way of clarity of product vision if we don’t even have organizational vision. Right? So there’s definitely some dependencies out of that.

So what ended up happening is we decided to keep “Compelling Purpose as” the agile outcome, but take the three capabilities that were specific to change and make those one. So “Urgency Created”, “Guiding Vision”, “Clear Objectives”… Those three capabilities are now “Urgency to Change”. So they’re just one capability around urgency to change. So compelling purpose for change is really now the capability when it was kind of the whole “Agile Outcome” before. But then we’ve expanded “Compelling Purpose” to include “Organizational Vision” and “Organizational Objectives”.

The second thing that we did is around portfolio and looking at Lean portfolio management, or you could talk about it as strategic product planning, that level of thing. We decided to keep the same agile outcome of “Ability to Focus”, but we then expanded the portfolio capabilities underneath that.

So “Portfolio Sequencing”, while a lot of the language got enhanced. But the big, big shifts were adding “Portfolio Funding”, adding “Portfolio Forecasting”, “Pull-based Flow” is really now a sub-element of “Portfolio Visibility”. The last thing at the organizational level is that we ended up merging two capabilities, one that was in “Accelerate” and one that was in “Adapt”.

So “Adaptive Long-term Forecasting” that was under “Decision Agility” in “Accelerate”, we actually felt like was really more of an “Adapt” kind of capability and we combined and there was some overlap with “Financial Agility”. So we merged those two to become, you know, the longest capability name that we have. So we set a new record. I don’t know that that’s a good thing.

So we’ll probably end up refining over time, but “Adaptive Long-term Forecasting and Funding” is where we’re at right now as far as that name in that capability. Okay. So that’s all the org-level changes. There’s lots of little tweaks of language or, you know, those kinds of things throughout, but those are the big shifts at the org level.

Then the system level here of “Predict”. So we did a lot. The third thing that we did was took a kind of refinement lens to “Predict > System” and “Predict > Team” to say are there opportunities to enhance, to make something more concise, to maybe reduce some duplication in some cases.

And we hadn’t given that kind of “Predict > System” and “Team” much love in a while. So we put some energy into that. And that basically boiled down to at a high level that multi-team. We had three agile outcomes that took today in P2A 2.5 in “Predict” and “System”. That has now been reduced to two, so we simplified that a little bit, but we also found there was some duplication like “Stable Teams” and “Multi-Team Stability” were pretty similar. So we merged those into one capability. “Multi-Team Synchronization” is now nested up underneath “Complexity Reduced”. “Delivery” is now under “Ability to Forecast” and then underneath these, lots of different wording improvements and refinements. In some cases… I think there was one where we had one capability that only had one acceptance criteria or something like that. And you know, that’s just not enough. So we kind of flesh that out a little bit more to make that better.

And then that not major overhaul at the “Team” level. But again, I think every one of these capabilities, got refined and one of those was just kind of moving from a velocity term to a throughput term on the capability itself.

So those are all the big, big changes from 2.4 to 2.5. So we definitely are–I’m sure all of y’all are seeing, you know, more emphasis in the market, more awareness, more engagement of organizations starting to talk about that strategic level. And we thought before this, you know, we had some things, but they were a little light and we wanted to strengthen that up.

And so 2.5 does that and connects to the work we did in 2.4, right around “Product Value Management” and “Products Defined”. Right? So we kind of knew we were headed in that direction. We did the “Align” stuff, we did the “Learn” stuff at the product, you know, kind of “System” level, which then feeds into the portfolio level. And then the other element that feeds into the portfolio level would be the organizational purpose and stuff feeds into that as well. It just kind of feeds via “Products Defined”, “Product Value Management” back up to “Ability to Focus”.

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