This capability supports organizations that are making the product shift, allowing them to organize their funding model around their products, systems, and services.
We can define the products required by our organization to realize our strategic plan and we can describe and categorize these products.
We can define how the products will be delivered through their associated epics and features.
We can shift our funding model to organize around the products that are delivering value to our customers.
We can capture the costs of our stable team of teams against the products they are developing.
We can set the product budget and define benefits/revenue targets that the portfolio must generate. This provides the context against which epics can be analyzed and prioritized.
We can set team of teams’ capacity targets at the product level, against which epics can be analyzed and sequenced.
Click a process step shape inside a light blue area for more information; hover for a quick view of the definition
Product Planning Process Steps
Adding Products as part of the product funding process takes place in the Strategy menu of Planview Enterprise One – PRM.
Product Funding Process Steps
Shifting our funding model to organize around the products that are delivering value to our customers is one of the keys to product funding using Agile. This part of the process takes place in the financial planning area of Planview Enterprise One – PRM.
Capacity Targets Process Steps
Setting the team of teams’ capacity targets at the product level allows us to capture information against which epics can be analyzed and sequenced. This part of the process takes place in the financial planning area of Planview Enterprise One – PRM.
The words velocity and capacity may be used interchangeably here.
Best Practice: Shifting from Projects to Product Delivery
An important aspect of an Agile organization is that it achieves continuous improvement by focusing on delivering products rather than projects. A few things to consider when shifting the focus from projects to products:
- With the product model, your organization can deliver more value while providing higher sustainable quality. It keeps the organization aligned with the needs of the customer by putting more significance on innovation and improvement, using semi-permanent cross-functional teams instead of temporary, borrowed people and teams. Product teams are comprised of skills from all relevant departments, while each team is aligned with a product or company value stream.
- The goal of the product model is to create teams that are capable of doing at least 80% of the work without the need for additional assistance, thus tearing down departmental silos and creating a system that promotes genuine collaboration.
Teams are generally made up of about 10 people and the work is assigned to the entire team, not individual members. Teams work using Scrum or Kanban, but members are consistently on the same team, no matter what work is being delivered.
Examples of organizations using the product model include:
- Smaller organizations using smaller products and autonomous, cross-functional teams.
- Larger organizations using large, complex products with legacy architectures that genuinely require many coordinated teams working together to deliver real value.
The end result is a business model that prioritizes feedback and adaptability over predictive planning. As such, organizations are better equipped to stay aligned with their customers’ needs and expectations, so that they’re able to deliver value and address pain points more effectively.
While teams are meant to stay working together and aligned with a business domain for long periods of time in the product model, that doesn’t mean forever. It still makes sense to focus productive capacity where it will benefit the company the most.
In the project funding model, teams are reallocated as projects end, old teams are dissolved, and new ones are formed for new work.
The idea is to reallocate capacity on a cadence based on business results, making coordination within the teams-of-teams and with customers much easier to manage. They also provide perfect break points to shift capacity between products or value streams with minimal disruption.
Outcomes Over Output
In a product model, each product should be establishing a linked set of early indicators and funnel metrics that make sense for their aspect of the business.
Examples of leading indicators are:
- The number of people who use a new or modified aspect of a system.
- The time they spend on a specific screen.
- The load that users place on the system as indicated by your monitoring systems.
- The number of support tickets (up or down) related to various aspects of the system that have changed.
- Comments on social media.
Investing Where You See Real Results
Over time, you can use these funnel metrics to drive decision making within your teams and the product or value stream they support. You can also use them to help decide where to shift capacity.
The product-centric approach gives teams and individuals more ownership in their work and responsibilities.
Ultimately, the product model allows teams to move from speculative planning to an adaptive approach. Teams work together to create value through continuous improvement based on the evolving needs of a customer.
Use Case: Focus on Results and Outcomes, Banking Example
The product model allows teams to focus on results and outcomes to create real value for customers. Teams work together to create value through continuous improvement based on the evolving needs of a customer. One way to put this into action is to use the early indicators to represent the needs of the customers, so as you complete stories and epics you can more quickly see if you are on the right track to give customers the outcome they desire. This will change your business culture from one of completing projects on time/on scope/within budget to one which actually prioritizes value to the customers.
A visual representation of this concept can be found in the banking example below. The product in this case is the loan. The process steps or value stream process can be found detailed on the chevrons. The loan goes through the application, approval, and repayment processes. The systems, applications, assets, etc are found in boxes under the value stream process. As described in the diagram, increasing the efficiency and outputs of these capabilities is good, but unless they ultimately result in the repayment of the loan with interest, they should not be a focus. Prioritize the outcomes rather than just outputs and projects.
Outputs, Reports, and Analytics