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Enterprise Agile Planning, Lean Portfolio Management

Achieving Agile-at-Scale: Connect Agile Delivery with Strategic Planning and Lean Portfolio Management

Published By Jon Terry

Agile Delivery

Everyone wants to scale agile—few know how to actually do it. The pressure is on to make this transition: Leaders see agile-at-scale as the key to digitally transforming their businesses and moving lightning fast to create the innovative products and services that will keep them competitive.

Indeed, Deloitte found that becoming more agile is the most important worldwide business trend over the past two years. According to its Global Human Capital Trends report, nearly all (94 percent) of the 10,000+ HR and business leaders surveyed said that “agility and collaboration” are critical to their company’s success. However, only six percent said that they are “highly agile today” and nearly 20 percent said they are “not agile” at all.

The Question

So, practically speaking, the question is: How do organizations achieve transformation and realize the greater benefits of Lean and Agile delivery at scale? The Deloitte study characterizes the challenge as the “need to break down functional hierarchies and build a more networked, team-based organization.”

This is a good start; yet, it’s about more than creating multiple agile teams and asking them to work together. There must be common threads weaving everyone together from strategic, collaborative, work, financial, and accountability/KPI standpoints.

The Agile PMO 5 Steps to Driving Agility at Scale Whitepaper

The Answer

The answer to scaling agile is connecting Lean and Agile delivery with strategic planning and lean portfolio management. It’s about translating strategy into delivery on an ongoing, cross-functional basis and empowering teams to collaborate, innovate, and deliver value in line with the strategy. Organizations must be able to:

  • Link strategy to the investments and outcomes that propel transformation and product delivery
  • Drive strategic planning across the organization
  • Translate strategy into measurable goals and actionable roadmaps enterprise wide
  • Deliver larger, more complex outcomes by coordinating work streams across teams
  • Leverage lean portfolio management to compare scenarios and balance timing, staffing, and cost of enterprise initiatives
  • Analyze and report performance and results to ensure improvement and quality

Planview’s Lean and Agile Delivery Solution

These capabilities are what Planview sought to deliver when coming together with Planview AgilePlace ® in December 2017, expanding its work and resource management (WRM) vision to serve the agile enterprise. Today, our Lean and Agile delivery solution connects work delivery, lean portfolio management, and strategic planning to help customers deliver bigger initiatives faster and on strategy.

For Business Leaders, PMOs, and Enterprise Architects

With our solution, portfolio management and strategic planning ensure that the delivery of Lean-Agile work is integrated across demand, capacity, and financials that are connected to strategic initiatives. Business leaders, PMOs, and enterprise architects have real-time visibility and reporting into financials, performance, and investments from across the enterprise. These leaders can communicate high-level priorities, manage cross-team dependencies, and provide executive-level visibility into progress.

Lean Portfolio Management for the Enterprise Whitepaper

For Development Leaders and Agile CoEs

To scale delivery across teams, development leaders and agile centers of excellence can use our solution to coordinate planning, manage dependencies, and promote the important Lean principle of continuous improvement. Teams retain the autonomy to use their own agile execution tools and define their own processes, tasks, and work priorities that support the greater enterprise-wide strategic objectives. As they better understand the desired outcomes and business value, teams will collaborate better, work smarter and faster, and develop more creative, innovative ideas.

The Benefits

Ultimately, organizations experience process and business benefits such as:

  • Improving productivity using Lean metrics to remove bottlenecks and drive continuous improvement
  • Mitigating risks by resolving problems sooner through visualization of work and dependencies
  • Optimizing throughput and effectiveness with the right people on the right teams working on the right priorities
  • Increasing revenue by accelerating time-to-market of new products and enhancements with shorter lead and cycle times
  • Reducing waste and speed innovation by shifting funding levels based on outcome-driven indicators and KPIs

In summary, Planview enables teams and enterprises to leverage agile-at-scale and create innovative products and services that transform their organizations and delight customers by combining the power of lean and agile delivery with portfolio management and strategic planning.

See the Planview solution for Lean and Agile delivery in action at

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Written by Jon Terry Chief Evangelist, Lean-Agile Strategy

Jon Terry is Chief Evangelist, Lean-Agile Strategy for Planview, a market leading provider of portfolio management, agile management, collaboration, and ideation software. Before that Jon was co-CEO and co-founder of LeanKit, which pioneered the application of Kanban in knowledge work. Prior to that, Jon held a number of senior IT positions with hospital-giant HCA and its logistics subsidiary, HealthTrust Purchasing Group. He was among those responsible for launching HCA’s adoption of Lean-Agile methods.