Disciplined Agile

Strategy

Strategy

The aim of the strategy process blade is to support strategic planning, to provide strategic leadership to your organization, and to provide oversight of your overall strategy. Strategic planning is what you hope you are going to do, whereas strategy is what you actually do.

Your strategy efforts will focus on both the organizational level for overall vision and at the value stream level to ensure success for each specific endeavor, as we show in Figure 1. Your enterprise strategy will influence and guide the strategies for each of the value streams supported by your organization, and the value stream strategies will provide feedback up to the enterprise.

Strategy

Figure 1. Strategy occurs at multiple levels within your organization. 

There are several reasons why organizations need a Disciplined Agile® approach to strategy:

  1. To decrease ambiguity.  An important aspect of strategy is the identification, evolution, and communication of an overall guiding vision.  This vision addresses questions such as: What is your purpose?  Where are you going?  What do you not do?  What are your values?  What outcomes do you hope to achieve?  How do the various components of your organization fit together?   
  2. To reduce overall volatility. Your organization likely offers a portfolio of value streams to your customers. You do this to serve your customers well, and ideally to delight them.  You also want to generate a consistent, and hopefully growing, stream of revenue so as to fund your enterprise. The strategy of having a portfolio of value streams, and in many cases a portfolio of offerings within each value stream, reduces your overall business volatility.
  3. To address uncertainty. Leadership within your organization, and your value streams, will guide and monitor the execution of your strategy.  They will continuously explore issues such as what is actually being achieved, what is happening in the marketplace, what we need to do better, and many more.  Answers to these questions will provide insights that both reduce your operational uncertainty and motivate changes to your strategy to better target the needs of your customers.
  4. To handle complexity. Complexity is inherent in everything that our organizations do. One important aspect of our strategy is to reduce complexity whenever we can, a primary aim of our continuous improvement efforts. A second aim is to embrace the complexity we have and find ways to work with it and turn this ability into a competitive advantage for our organization. Arguably the purpose of value stream management is both to improve our own ability to deal with complexity as well as address the complexities our customers face in a better way than they themselves are capable of addressing.

In short, a DA™ approach to strategy enables organizations to continuously address volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA).

This process blade is part of the Value Streams and Disciplined Agile Enterprise (DAE) layers.