Organizational Alignment is the Key to Delivering Customer Value

One of the challenges facing organizations that deliver software is how to make sure the company strategy is followed through planning, production and the finished product, and that everything is staying on track. In other words, how do they know if what they’ve delivered is actually what they set out to deliver?

One answer to this is by ensuring there is alignment throughout the organization, from business priority to ideation to production and delivery, and with marketing and sales on board. And that is done through the creation of value streams, which provide insights into how those teams are operating and continuing (or not) to meet organizational goals.

“When you think about alignment, you have to think about it across our whole value streams of tools, people and processes,” explained Lance Knight, Chief Value Stream Architect at Broadcom-AOD.

According to Broadcom, its ValueOps platform helps tear down organizational silos and helps teams collaborate by providing a single platform that ensures planning a project and delivering outcomes are aligned. When thinking about alignment, it has to bring in all the organization’s value streams of tools, people and process, Knight explained, adding that alignment has to be both downward and upward.

“Let’s say you’re in operations, and you’re working on things, but do those activities align to the outcomes and goals that you’re trying to achieve?” he noted. “Do they align to your OKRs? Do they align to cost and spending?”

Or, he said, let’s say you’re a developer and a defect comes in from a customer, and you think that’s something you need to prioritize and fix right away. But that may not align to the business goal, and isn’t connected to the prioritization alignments in portfolio management. So, while pushing the goals and objectives downward from the business, it’s also important to allow upward alignment, where portfolio teams have awareness of what the different units are working on and say that, yes, there’s technical debt to be cleaned up, but perhaps it’s not important that it get done today to achieve the goals.

However, Knight noted, communication is a two-way street, and perhaps a developer could argue that something in the code needs to be fixed today, even though it might not align with the business goals. 

Alignment, he pointed out, is about sharing the same vision by having all the information about what the teams are working on and knowledge about any particular artifact. That information flows up and down the value stream, in an automated and connected way, within the ValueOps platform.

Tying together Clarity, Rally, ConnectALL and Insights – ValueOps by Broadcom’s business stakeholders have an understanding of why teams are fixing what they’re fixing. And this alignment, Knight said, solves other problems as well. “With alignment,” he said, “you establish trust … trust that we’re building the right things.”


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