IT prioritisation struggles

Man at a crossroads in the woods
Photo by Vladislav Babienko on Unsplash

When I say IT prioritisation, I mean the process by which we choose how to spend our limited resources within an IT organisation in order to deliver value. It doesn’t matter if the value for you is internal efficiency, external revenue, or anything in between. We simply can’t do everything, so we need to make choices.

These choices are often hard enough to make, requiring us to make decisions using imperfect knowledge in a complex environment, but we seem hell-bent on making it 10 times harder.

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8 aspects for good product alignment

Group of men riding boat
Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

Product teams, or product alignment, is rapidly becoming one of the biggest hot topic IT discussions. Following the trend of a host of other buzzwords, Product Alignment has become confusing, contradictory, and unfortunately dogmatic. I’d like to take a moment to both pare back and consolidate the essence of what being aligned to a product actually means.

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A product team is not the answer

group of people huddling
Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash

You can’t move for people talking about the project to product journey lately. Getting organisations to start mapping out what their products are so they can build cross-functional teams around them. Projects are transitory and lose us all of the learning, we want long-lived squads! While these sentiments are all rock-solid, unfortunately, they’re missing the point. I’m going to be controversial and say that creating a product team simply isn’t good enough. What you actually need is outcome alignment.

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Business outcome alignment

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

One of the largest challenges preventing organisations from competing effectively in the market is their structure. When you are optimised for technology or role, then you are not optimised for customer value. But how do you actually get there? What does good look like for your organisation if you went back to the drawing board? I’m going to share a process I’ve developed for redesigning a system for outcome alignment.

Note that this is not going to be a full article on digital transformation or strategic redesign. I am simply going to focus on the guiding principles and a specific approach to assist in exploring an outcome aligned design.

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