Manage episode 371845089 series 2481978
This week, Dan Neumann is joined by Jamie Christoforou, Vice President of Portfolio Management at American Express.
In this episode, Jamie discusses her career, how she became Vice President of Portfolio Management, and how the company leaned toward an Agile methodology at the beginning of its digital transformation. Portfolios don’t stop; they are, by nature, the continuous flow of an organization. Jamie and Dan explore how an organization such as American Express underwent an Agile transformation emphasizing outcome and delivered value by bringing teams together and accelerating strategic alignments.
Jamie shares about American Express’s transformation from Waterfall to Agile.
Firstly, they ensured everyone was ready to shift their mindset to become an Agile organization.
They moved forward dynamically; not everything was planned.
The focus started to be the outcome that was tried to be achieved.
Bringing everyone together!
Stakeholders, product teams, and engineers came together in consistent forums. These forums were needed to understand what they were building, why they were doing it, and what was the outcome they were expecting.
What does it look like to manage a portfolio in a more Agile way?
Portfolio and product operations were critical.
Accelerating strategic alignment, bringing together the right people to deliver the same value to customers having the most possible impact.
Before Agile, teams worked independently and went through the significant shift of becoming organized by value streams; all the teams came together.
Dependency is Agility’s nemesis.
Find the right time to start upfront planning. It is important not to start too soon or too late.
Keep the focus on the outcome.
SAFe and program increments:
The SAFe model helps adapt and shift faster when new things occur.
Experimentation at a portfolio level:
The product needs to be tested to learn more about it.
The process needs to change if the outcome has changed, and everyone must agree.
Teams work to drive efficiency, optimization, and the right goals for customers.
What would Jamie wish she could have done differently?
In the beginning, do not create a structure that is confined to organizational nuances.
Define your point of departure and then try to figure out how you will get to your point of arrival.
Think about your tool sets; they shouldn’t hinder your journey but should be a way to communicate to have data and insights. (For example, automation is critical! Mainly operating at a big scale.)
Processes are only as robust as the outcome they drive.
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