Rally’s Agile Strategic Planning Service–Now Seeking Early Adopters

This content is syndicated from Agile Development Blog: Scaling Software Agility by Ronica Roth. To view the original post in full, click here.

(This post is the third in our series Scaling Agile to the Strategic Level)

Where are you in your Agile adoption? Are you celebrating your Agile successes?  Have Agile practices and discipline helped you address challenges with quality, delivery, and customer satisfaction? Are your Agile teams–and even multi-team programs–delivering high-quality, valuable features reliably?  Do both your team and program leadership effectively promote learning and value-delivery?

Our new Rally service offering

If so, congratulations!  You are now ready for the next step in your Agile transformation: Agile planning at a more strategic level.  We call this Agile Strategic Planning. Rally now offers this new service wherein we partner with you in this next step in your transformation. Let us help you bring Agile thinking to your portfolio roadmapping and other strategic planning cycles through this new Agile Strategic Planning service.


In Agile Strategic Planning, we align development work to the business’s goals, outcomes and strategies. We still support detailed decision-making at the team level, the people closest to the work. And we continue to explicitly help teams start learning sooner. However, in Agile Strategic Planning, we do this by establishing business cooperation and a cadence of feedback loops at a higher level that enable you to help and steer strategically as needed. The result over time is that work remains aligned to key strategic goals and remains focused on value.

Agile Strategic Planning has different challenges and different disciplines

While you may be ready for this strategic next step in your Agile transformation, your challenges are not over. You’ll know you are faltering if you experience the following:

  • Long executive planning cycles drive big up-front planning
  • Executive commitments do not benefit from course corrections during the year
  • Portfolio Management or Product Management is still driving to plans with both date and scope fixed
  • Other departments–like Marketing, Ops, Release Management –struggle to align their activities to the rapid deliveries of development
  • The annual resourcing cycles that drive up-front planning also reduce agility in execution

Good Agile Strategic Planning embraces Agile thinking and discipline practices such as:

  • Rolling-wave planning, in which we recognize that we have more confidence in the short-term and less confidence in the long-term
  • Improving focus and throughput by limiting work-in-progress, funding fewer initiatives in a cycle, and potentially making initiatives smaller to reduce risk
  • Establishing new feedback loops, such as higher-level regular inspect-and-adapt cycles and new information radiators
  • Placing an emphasis on defining outcomes, rather than outputs, and on clearly defining value propositions and clear costs of delay for initiatives

Our Rally service starts with your context not prescription

Agile practices at this strategic level are far less prescriptive than at the team level.  As a result, we apply strategic principles to your specific context that then guide the practices that can achieve your strategic planning goals. Rally’s Agile Strategic Planning service starts with a Rally Agile Coach or Coaches spending time understanding your context: the current state of your Agile development practices and organization; your current strategic planning cycles; what challenges you’re experiencing; and, what goals you seek to attain by moving to Agile Strategic Planning.

Building from this initial assessment, Rally coaches facilitate your leadership team in applying Agile techniques to what becomes your Strategic Roadmap. We emphasize deciding on the right investments across the portfolio at the business level to get the right value from your development organization.

Next, Rally coaches work with you to define fundamental feedback loops that guide how you refine your Strategic Roadmap. Jointly, we help you develop a cadence for what we refer to as a “rolling roadmap” that continually sets a responsive and value-based strategy.

Our request: Be our co-creator

Rally is excited to bring this service to our customers.  Be one of our forefront customers, our partner, who helps us fill in more detail about this service while improving your own strategic planning.  We have built this Agile Strategic Planning service from our past experience working with enterprise Agile customers.  And now, we’re ready to put the pieces together into this single service.  Here is our invitation: help us create a great, whole offering that successfully brings Agile to the Enterprise level.

Our offer: Receive a special Rally partnership

Rally is eager to partner with early customers on this service. We are prepared to invest more with these first customers who help us help them.  As a result of your readiness to partner and co-create, you can expect more time, effort and Rally coaches for your money. Be our partner as we take Agile to the Strategic Planning level in your organization. Work with Rally and be prepared to celebrate your Agile success at a whole new level.

Ronica Roth is Rally’s Solutions Evangelist, an Agile Coach, a CST, a skier, and a Steelers fan.

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