Cross-functional teams are the ideal of Agile cross-functional teams because of their ability to deliver high value continuously. Dependencies outside the team are proven to be the number one impediment to value creation[note] http://www.managecomplexity.dk/blog/2018/06/28/agile-is-organizational-re-design/ [/note]. Today we don’t just define cross-functionality as developers with different skills: the DevOps movement has brought operations into the teams, and BizDevOps is a common term for bringing business into the teams as well. I am a big believer in fully cross-functional teams, and I believe they can take direct responsibility for business development[note] http://www.managecomplexity.dk/blog/2019/05/23/agile-planning-circles/ [/note].
However, it’s not enough that teams are cross-functional if we desire to create as much value as possible with the resources we have available. It’s not enough that they are efficient within their bubble (e.g. project); portfolio management should make sure that they have the optimal responsibility. We must avoid the vicious cycle of portfolio management. The teams should not only be able to do all the necessary tasks. They should have full lifecycle responsibility for the product; they are developing to maximise their value creation from a holistic perspective.
At the team level, this means that all teams should be Quad-coloured. This article will explain the concept of Quad-coloured teams, which is derived from The Portfolio Circle[note] http://www.managecomplexity.dk/blog/2020/02/14/vicious-cycle-of-portfolio/[/note]. If you’re not familiar with The Portfolio Circle, you should read that article first.
This article will also make it clear how the Portfolio Circle and Quad-coloured teams have a significant impact on how we must think about Portfolio Management in the future.Continue reading “Agile Teams must be Cross-functional AND Quad-coloured”