As we add new members to the Dashlane team, we’ve introduced two new tools, inspired from the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) framework–an Agile development framework that allows an enterprise to move towards adopting lean-agile practices. I believe that these two tools are critical to scaling your team’s agile development:
1. A Portfolio of projects: Each project we do is there. It gives an overall aggregated view of all projects of the company. It helps prioritize the right thing at the right time and anticipate cross-team coordination issues.
2. A Roadmap: We do it on a quarterly basis to give a consistent vision to everybody of the scope of the coming quarter.
Why Your Company Should Start Using Portfolio of Projects and Roadmaps
As we scale the Dashlane team, we’ve adopted these tools and processes to keep an optimal level of productivity and coordination across teams. Today, Dashlane has seven teams that have adopted our own customized-version of the Scrum agile methodology. As a result, our teams are self-organized and work efficiently sprint after sprint.
However as a company scales, Scrum masters, managers, and even executives will start seeing issues. For example:
– You may notice teams working more and more in silos.
– The company is losing sight of the “big picture”, both from stakeholders and from your teams.
– Teams may experience high-level prioritization issues.
– You may see dependencies between teams you manage.
How to Use Portfolio of Projects and Roadmaps Effectively
Here are tips that I can offer you on how to effectively use portfolio of projects and roadmaps to boost your team’s productivity and performance:
– I recommend trying to follow a few Kanban principles such as “Limiting the Work In Progress“. At Dashlane, we try to apply this principle when we prioritize projects every 6 weeks.
– Don’t do “BIG” projects. From the start, you should think and build iteratively so that you can deliver value at each iteration. Avoid “Big Bang” delivery for complex, innovative product development. This will reduce risks, improve time-to-market, and allow you to learn and get feedback faster. Of course, it is not always easy to slice big projects into smaller deliveries, but the effort is worth it.
– Evaluate the results of projects, and make sure you have a feedback loop with Engineering and Product teams. They are always interested in knowing if the projects they delivered was eventually successful or a failure.
For a deeper diver into how to use a portfolio of projects and roadmaps at your company, flip through my Slideshare presentation below. If you have any questions or comments, make sure to leave them for me in the comments below. Enjoy!