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LEAN PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT

How to Improve Business Outcomes and Delivery Speeds at Agile Organizations?

The price of agility is paid for by various means – delayed or missing functionality, limited throughput, piling up work-in-progress inventories, and increasing coordination costs are most commonly stated. Our research indicates, that these challenges are systemic. In principle, agile methodology is a brilliant adaptation of the lean manufacturing techniques; however, most enterprise agile playbooks and toolsets are currently lagging in maturity those that have been optimized by lean manufacturers over the past several decades. Most notably, demand-supply balancing, work prioritization and resource allocation disciplines are the soft spots of today’s agile organizations. Consequently, resources are inadvertently wasted on getting the wrong things done that are unnecessary, redundant, low value, delayed, obsolete, cancelled, or defective.

The superiority of agile methodology is not a freebie, and the price of agility is neither insignificant nor unavoidable. Fortunately, innovative management techniques – that have been core to the success of lean organizations but not yet fully adopted by agile organizations – can predict and prevent the waste before it occurs, and thereby elevate business outcomes and delivery speeds to levels that are beyond the reach of the conventional playbooks and toolsets.

In the following series of articles, we put the spotlight on the price of agility at today’s agile organizations and identify common operational patterns that lead to it. Furthermore, we assess several practical management techniques to reduce the price of agility and thereby improve business outcomes and delivery speeds.

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