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Agile is a Bad Strategy 
5 Things Every Agile Practicioner Should 
Know About Strategy 
Hanno Jarvet
www.jarvet.com 
Strategy 
Strategy is the framework which guides those 
choices that determine the nature and direction 
o...
www.jarvet.com 
Strategy 
vs. 
Opera.ons 
A 
B 
C 
D 
WHAT? 
HOW? 
+ 
-­‐ 
-­‐ 
+
www.jarvet.com 
Driving Force 
The strategic area which exerts greatest influence. 
Exists by default if not deliberately ...
www.jarvet.com 
Givens 
• Quality 
• Customer service 
• Low cost manufacturing 
• Growth 
• Profit
www.jarvet.com 
Areas of Excellence 
1. Products Offered: 
– Product Development + Sales/Service 
2. Markets Served: 
– Ma...
www.jarvet.com 
Critical Issues of Strategy 
Implementation 
1. Structure 
2. Systems / Processes 
3. Skills / Competencie...
Problems With Current Product 
www.jarvet.com 
Development Orthodoxy 
1. Failure to correctly quantify economics 
2. Blind...
Scaled 
Agile 
Framework™ 
Big 
Picture
www.jarvet.com 
Sequence of Strategy 
1. Driving Force 
2. Future Scope: product/service/market/geography 
3. Performance ...
www.jarvet.com 
Sample Strategic Business 
Concepts 1/3 
We proactively seek out the building, repair, and remodeling need...
www.jarvet.com 
Sample Strategic Business 
Concepts 2/3 
Our strategy is to fulfill the complete spectrum of health care n...
www.jarvet.com 
Sample Strategic Business 
Concepts 3/3 
We will proactively seek out the market of the professional 
info...
www.jarvet.com 
Recommended Reading 
• The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation 
Lean Product Develop...
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Agile is a bad strategy or 5 things every Agile practitioner should know about strategy

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Many people confuse strategy (the "what") with operations (the "how") and as a result spend time spinning their wheels without getting anywhere. Actually Agile is not a strategy at all, its an ongoing operational priority.
Agile might help you get to your destination faster, but if the destination is wrong the last thing we need is to get there sooner.

Sometimes business executives or customers come to us with vague images that are short on the what and why and rich on the how. Company strategy, product strategy, Agile strategy, strategic agility, key growth strategy, business strategy. Strategy this and strategy that. In order to help them and yourself you need to think at a higher level of abstraction.

Come and find out what strategy is and how to implement it. As a result you will know how to think strategically and help executives do the same.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Agile is a bad strategy or 5 things every Agile practitioner should know about strategy

  1. 1. Agile is a Bad Strategy 5 Things Every Agile Practicioner Should Know About Strategy Hanno Jarvet
  2. 2. www.jarvet.com Strategy Strategy is the framework which guides those choices that determine the nature and direction of an organization.
  3. 3. www.jarvet.com Strategy vs. Opera.ons A B C D WHAT? HOW? + -­‐ -­‐ +
  4. 4. www.jarvet.com Driving Force The strategic area which exerts greatest influence. Exists by default if not deliberately chosen. 1. Products and services offered 2. Markets served 3. Technology 4. Method of sale 5. Method of distribution 6. Natural resources 7. Production Capability 8. Size / Growth 9. Return / Profit
  5. 5. www.jarvet.com Givens • Quality • Customer service • Low cost manufacturing • Growth • Profit
  6. 6. www.jarvet.com Areas of Excellence 1. Products Offered: – Product Development + Sales/Service 2. Markets Served: – Market/User Research + Customer Loyalty 3. Technology: – Technology Research + Application Marketing 4. Production Capability – Manufacturing Efficiency + Substitute Marketing 5. Method of sale – Sales recruitment + Sales Effectiveness 6. Method of distribution – System Effectiveness + System Organisation 7. Natural resources – Exploration + Conversion 8. Size / Growth – Volume Maximization + Asset Management 9. Return / Profit – Portfolio Management + Information Systems
  7. 7. www.jarvet.com Critical Issues of Strategy Implementation 1. Structure 2. Systems / Processes 3. Skills / Competencies 4. Compensation
  8. 8. Problems With Current Product www.jarvet.com Development Orthodoxy 1. Failure to correctly quantify economics 2. Blindness to queues 3. Worship of efficiency 4. Hostility to variability 5. Worship of conformance 6. Institutionalization of large batch sizes 7. Managing timelines instead of queues 8. Absence of WIP constraints 9. Inflexibility 10. Noneconomic flow control 11. Centralized control Source: D. Reinertsen
  9. 9. Scaled Agile Framework™ Big Picture
  10. 10. www.jarvet.com Sequence of Strategy 1. Driving Force 2. Future Scope: product/service/market/geography 3. Performance and Timing Required 4. Key Capabilities Required * 5. Size/Growth Guidelines * # 6. Profit/Return Guidelines * # 7. Business Unit Missions * # 8. Departmental Missions * # 9. Individual Accountabilities # * Critical issues emerge # Evaluation required frequently
  11. 11. www.jarvet.com Sample Strategic Business Concepts 1/3 We proactively seek out the building, repair, and remodeling needs of professional trades people and DIYers in the commercial and residential construction industry. We respond with cost effective, differentiated staple products that enhance the performance or ease the installation of key building materials and are category leaders. We concentrate in geographic markets with a significant and/or a growing construction industry and an adequate distribution infrastructure to reach a critical mass of end users. Our intent is to be the recognized leader in the products we offer.
  12. 12. www.jarvet.com Sample Strategic Business Concepts 2/3 Our strategy is to fulfill the complete spectrum of health care needs of cancer patients and their families. We respond with treatment options that truly “make a difference”, delivered by the ablest professionals in a seamless and sensitive manner that empowers patients to make coherent decisions. We will concentrate on geographic markets in which we can develop competitive advantage with all constituencies involved in the continuum of cancer care. Our intent is to be the recognized leader in providing positive, measurable outcomes.
  13. 13. www.jarvet.com Sample Strategic Business Concepts 3/3 We will proactively seek out the market of the professional information/education needs of the health science market. We will respond with added-value content that maximizes the development of valuable copyright materials through multiple formats, languages and/or distribution channels to capitalize on profitable customer segments in English-speaking countries.
  14. 14. www.jarvet.com Recommended Reading • The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development. Reinertsen http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Principles-Product-Development-Flow/dp/1935401009/ ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414418416&sr=8-1&keywords=reinertsen+flow • Top Management Strategy. Tregoe, Zimmerman. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Top-Management-Strategy-B-B-Tregoe/dp/0906237165/ ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1414418571&sr=8-2&keywords=top+management+strategy • 90 min video: Decentralizing Control: How Aligned Initiative Conquers Uncertainty – Reinertsen http://vimeo.com/45947817 • http://scaledagileframework.com/

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