Joshua L. Roberts

Agile / Lean Enterprise Transformation Coach

Week Sixteen – Organizing Around Value

By Josh Roberts | September 22, 2014 | 0 Comment

Currently, we are focused on designing the IT organization of the future. In last week’s blog post, we spoke about the ScrumMaster role. In short, the ScrumMaster has a primary focus on serving the needs of the team and the customer through servant-leadership. But, they are not working alone.

As illustrated by Agile Transformation Inc, the ScrumMaster is working hand-in-hand with a Product Owner and Solution Lead (or Architect) to ensure Agile Teams deliver value. This is what they call The Leadership Triangle.

scrum org

In Scrum, the Product Owner is responsible for interfacing with end-user(s) and other key business stakeholders to ensure an Agile Team is delivering business value. However, that is only one piece of the value equation. Remember, ITIL defines the value of a solution as being both “fit to purpose” (utility) and “fit to use” (warranty).

“The Solution Lead/Architect is responsible for translating the business vision into a technical vision then supporting the successful execution of the vision” – Agile Transformation Inc.

The Solution Lead/Architect will support Agile Team(s) in delivering a solution that is both fit for purpose and fit for use by:

  • Acting as a consultant to the business to develop a technical vision that aligns with the needs of the business
  • Helping to analyze the functional and non-functional requirements to ensure they fit within the context of the enterprise architecture and roadmap
  • Formulating the overall solution design with a focus on technology, tools and standards
  • Supporting the team in realizing the solution/architecture through mentoring and direct involvement
  • Verifying the implementation by ensuring the delivered system is consistent with the agreed architecture and meets the business requirements.

As we organize our Agile Teams, we are also thinking in terms of how value flows through the organization. In Lean terms, specifically Six Sigma, this is done through Value Stream Mapping.

“Value stream mapping is a lean-management method for analyzing the current state and designing a future state for the series of events that take a product or service from its beginning through to the customer.” – Wikipedia

The Scaled Agile Framework provides the following illustration of a simple value stream for software delivery. How value flows through an organization will be unique to each.

value stream

To identify the value streams in our organization, SAFe suggests that we can start the discovery process by asking the following questions:

  • What key business processes do you enable?
  • What internal departments do you support?
  • What internal or external customers do those departments serve? How do those departments describe the value they receive from you?
  • What key process, cost, KPI, or business improvement initiatives are targeted in the upcoming year?

In the coming weeks we will design our organization around value delivery.


Josh Roberts

Agile / Lean Transformation Coach - Passionate About Delivering Value!


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