Alignment a.k.a Collaboration

By | January 7, 2015

The principles behind the agile manifesto are clear in their message on collaboration: “Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.” Yet, there are still companies out there where the visions of the development teams and business teams do not align. They either have different targets or they simply haven’t taken the time to understand each other’s context.

Recently, I was asked to categorise the work that my software development teams are doing. I was given a list of options to choose from, which included ‘Tech Initiatives’ and ‘Domain Initiatives’, where ‘Domain’ relates to a business unit that comprises both development teams and business teams. These categorisations confused me.

If we have true alignment, a shared vision and collective goals we are working towards to realise that vision, then why would we categorise any software development as a Tech Initiative? Every single piece of  work delivered by software development teams should deliver some business value. That value will be assessed relatively in conjunction with the team’s stakeholders, and prioritised accordingly.

So I decided to categorise all of our work as domain initiatives. My hope in doing so is that it sends a message – Software development teams can’t be Agile on their own, it’s a collaboration. Visions and goals should be aligned.

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