Surviving Scaled Agile – Understand the Vision / North Star

This is the fourth in a series of posts going into more detail around my thoughts on remaining an effective practitioner in scaled Agile – understand the programme Vision / North Star.

To get a wider context of this post, please refer to the original “Surviving Scaled Agile” post outlining the model.

“You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”

Mark Twain

It is essential that you know & understand what the programme is hoping to achieve. 

This knowledge will help guide your work & priorities. Everything you should do should be a step towards that north star. If not, ask why is it important to do that piece of work now?

It will help you immeasurably if you understand the programme vision. It will be invaluable when collaborating with other team members to develop the solution. The common focal point will help surface dependencies required to fulfil the vision. These chains of dependencies will align to form the Value Streams – the path through the system that work flows in order to deliver value to the customers.

Your life will be far easier if the vision is actually quantified. Unfortunately quantifying the vision is really hard so be prepared to ask the same questions of your HiPPOs in various different ways to get the quantified vision.

An unquantified vision will result in more ambiguity & less alignment (making autonomy harder).

What Next?

  • Think of 3 questions about your programme vision
  • Ask these 3 questions independently of 3 HiPPOs & 3 development team members – are the answers aligned?
  • If the answers are different from each other, raise your concern with the programme
  • Is the programme vision quantified? Are suitable metrics being used?
  • Vision SAFe Documentation
  • How to quantify, & focus on, critical value objectives Gilb