Disciplined Agile

Coordinate Activities

This ongoing process goal describes how we will coordinate our activities within our team and with other teams within our organization. Not all of these decision points may be applicable for your team. For example, how to coordinate across a program is only applicable if your team is part of a larger program.

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

  • How will we share information within the team?
  • Who is allowed to update the artifacts created by the team?
  • How will we coordinate within the team?
  • If we’re part of a larger team, how will we coordinate within it?
  • How will we work with enterprise/IT teams such as enterprise architects and data managers?
  • How will we coordinate our release/deployment with the rest of the organization?
  • If we have geographically distributed team members, how will we collaborate with them?
2021 Project Management Institute Coordinate Activities v5.3 Share Information Nonsolo work (pairing, mobbing) Informal reviews Formal reviews Individual (solo) work Artifact Ownership Collective ownership Disparate ownership Coordinate Within Team Coordination meetings/scrum meetings Just-in-time (JIT) modeling Just-in-time (JIT) planning Look-ahead modeling/planning Regular conversations Status meetings Visualize work and workflow Facilitate a Working Session Agile modeling session Open space Big room planning Joint application design (JAD) sessions Coordinate Across Program Architecture owner team Common cadences Coordination meetings/scrum meetings Divisor cadences Facilitated working session Management team Open spaces Product coordination team Product owner team Program manager/coordinator Scrum of scrums (SoS) Visualize work and workflow Coordinate Across the Organization Enterprise professional as team member Enterprise roadmaps (detailed) Enterprise roadmaps (light) Enterprise service teams Facilitated working session Coordinate Release Schedule Continuous deployment (CD)/release stream Regular releases/release train Release windows Unique project releases None Coordinate Between Locations Move team to a single location Gather physically at critical times Adopt collaborative tools Ambassadors Boundary spanners

Figure 1. The Coordinate Activities 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

There are several reasons why this goal is important:

  1. Support effective collaboration. It is rare to be completely autonomous because we often need to collaborate with others, hence the need to coordinate with one another. This will help to reduce and hopefully eliminate several sources of waste, particularly wait time and rework.
  2. Support autonomy. In Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink argues that autonomy, mastery, and purpose are what motivates people. One aim of this process goal is to suggest ways of working that enable both people and teams to work as autonomously as possible, yet still collaborate effectively with others as needed. Furthermore, the Develop Common Vision process goal promotes the idea of teams with purpose and the Grow Team Members process goal provides opportunities for gaining mastery.
  3. Working agreement within the team. A team’s working agreement describes how it will work together as well as with others. An important aspect of our team’s working agreement is how we intend to coordinate our activities internally within our team.
  4. Working agreement with other teams. Similarly, indicating how others may interact with our team is also an important part of our team’s working agreement. Having effective coordination strategies in place enables our team to collaborate effectively with others. 

Key Points

  • Teams have several options for how they will coordinate internally within the team.
  • A team will often need to coordinate their work with other solution delivery teams, within a program (a team of teams), across the organization, and even between physical locations.
  • Within a large organization, our team may discover that it needs to coordinate its release schedule with other teams working in parallel.