Disciplined Agile

Secure Funding

This Inception process goal describes how we obtain funds for the team. The team will have received sufficient funding for to get started—this is typically provided by our organization’s portfolio management activities—but additional funding will need to be justified based on the vision for the team. In fact, the portfolio management effort itself, as well as any efforts to explore potential product ideas, would also need to have been funded in some way in order to get us to this point. Note that in smaller organizations finance and portfolio management efforts are often addressed by a single team, whereas larger organizations are likely to spread these functions across multiple collaborating teams. 

To be effective, we need to consider three important questions:

  • How will we fund the team?
  • What type of team are we funding?
  • How will we access those funds?
Copyright Project Management Institute All Rights Reserved Secure Funding v5.2 Choose Funding Strategy Charge by feature Cost plus Time and materials (T&M) Stage gate Fixed price/cost (ranged) Fixed price/cost (exact) Choose Funding Scope Value stream Line of business (LOB) Stable (long-lived) team Project team Access Funds Funding pool Informal request Formal request

Figure 1. The Secure Funding process goal diagram (click to enlarge)

You can use the DA Browser to learn more about the options in the goal diagram of Figure 1. 

Why This is Important?

The Secure Funding process goal is important to most agile teams because, at least initially, they need the money to pay for development of the first few releases of the solution. In the case of dedicated product teams they may eventually become self-funding, where the revenue or cost savings from their solution is sufficient to pay for the ongoing cost of development. Until the team is self-funding, they need some “seed funding” to get started.

Key Points​

  • We should gain agreement on the funding strategy for our initiative.
  • Fixed-price funding is the riskiest option available to us, and luckily we have much better options available.
  • Stable funding of value streams, rather than project-based funding of software teams, is an extremely effective approach.