• Teri Christian

Discussion Piece - Enterprise Flow: Do you have it?

In this week's discussion piece, I wanted to further a flow discussion I was having this week with a fellow colleague. Many organizations focus solely on the flow of work once it hits the delivery team's backlog, but who is managing enterprise flow? What group of people are responsible to remove barriers and make sure work is flowing through the organization?

I have found time and time again that most organizations do not understand nor think about organizational flow. There are a variety of books and concepts that discuss this important subject, but I have found that they are fine in theory, but most leaders do not understand where things are broken.

One tangible thing you can do to frame up the conversation is to use the DigOps Team of Team diagram in a tactical exercise to drive clarity and help leaders understand where the gaps exist. Step one: Admit you have a problem. It is hard to understand the problem without a tangible tool.

The most important key elements to creating flow are:

  1. Create a clear vision with defined, measurable results.

  2. Align leaders to vision.

  3. Create an enterprise flow strategy and measurable process.

  4. Deliver high-quality, measurable outcomes.

  5. Learn from the enterprise and customer outcomes.

DigOps Team of Teams

Simple step by step instructions:

  1. Enterprise Strategy Team

  • Identify who is responsible for developing the strategy.

  • How does the strategy support customer needs?

  • How will the team align leaders to the vision?

  • Are the desired results clearly defined with measurable outcomes?

2. Enterprise Product Delivery Team

  • Identify who is responsible to create enterprise flow.

  • How do the leaders in the organization enable flow?

  • Are there agreed strategic activities, workflow process, and measured flow?

  • Is the leadership team working across product, technology, and shared services to enable desired results?

3. Product/Service Delivery Team

  • Identify who is responsible to build the product or service.

  • How are they ensuring quality outcomes?

  • How is quality measured?

  • How is delivery time measured?

  • What are the impediments to delivery team flow?

4. How does the organization learn?

  • How does learning from the Enterprise Product Delivery team shape Enterprise Strategy?

  • How does learning from the Product/Service Delivery Team shape Enterprise Strategy?

  • Does the Enterprise Strategy Team consider learnings as desired results and vision are defined?

These are not hard activities, but in many circumstances, companies do not consider these essential team of team activities. How does your company do these things?

What say you? What works? What doesn't work?

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