How to become business agile in a corporate stage-gated product development environment
Getting teams to do agile is a beginning; getting it scaled to enterprise is progress; becoming agile at the portfolio and business level is success. How do we get pass the team level to program management level. Scaling agile frameworks comes to the rescue. Or do they ? Many product companies are tied down by stage gate processes coming from the era of Cooper's product development aproaches. They are good and are needed. But they can be an obstacle if they hamper business agility.
Understanding the purpose and spirit of stages, gates and milestones are key to aligning with Agile. Often they are linked to project management controls and the need for marketing to be sure of meeting target dates. But these become counter productive if its still a scrum-fall at the ends. Since regulated industries still require stage-gated approaches to conform to constraints in their QMS and business needs, agile principles and the stage gate need to exist side by side.
In this experience report, you will get to learn how the advantages of stage gates can be leveraged while at the same time achieving the goals of agile in an effective way. This is not agile at the team level where we have teams executing agile, but at the product development - portfolio level. How are the efforts and releases coordinated and orchestrated keeping in mind the constraints of stage gates and milestones.
Outline/Structure of the Case Study
- 2 min: Intro to stage gating and milestones in new product environments (origins, uses, advantages)
- 2 min: Scaling agile to program and portfolio level (advantages)
- 5 min: Conflicts in scaling and becoming truly business agile
- Release driven versus project driven
- Batch process versus continuous flow
- 3 min.: Portfolio redesign for managing releases rather than projects
- 3 min. : Re-aligning stage gates to permit continuous flow
- 5 min.: Q&A
1. Importance of becoming agile at the business-portfolio level
2. Stage-gates and agile development - how can they co-exist and still deliver value
Companies, individuals looking for how to be agile in a stage gated product development process