British Airways – Supporting agile scalability

A case study of our work with British Airways

A method for organizing an Agile portfolio to enable flexible trade-offs by 1) establishing functionality choices as options within projects 2) focusing portfolio prioritization decisions on business benefits streams.

Executive teaching

Traditional delivery methodology results in the inability to trade off priorities in the portfolio to obtain resource flexibility. Sunk costs and a lack of visibility into benefits realization make it difficult to halt projects in flight and move resources to higher-value initiatives. Rather than a portfolio of projects, British Airways constructs a portfolio of potential benefits that allows it to blur the line between project prioritization and feature prioritization. It leverages frequent release cycles of Agile teams to fluidly move resources.

Component teaching

Component #1: Benefits Stream Creation – Break down projects into benefit release streams prioritized by the highest benefit capabilities.

Component #2: Real Options – Emergn expresses benefits as real options to control delivery risk across the portfolio.

Component #3: Options Revaluation Based on Benefits Tracking – British Airways re-evaluates the value of benefits remaining in a project’s benefits stream after each release, allowing it to frequently but systematically reprioritize as its knowledge improves.

Component #4: Benefits Stream Reprioritization Across an Agile Portfolio – Trading off benefits streams as options create a blurry boundary between project and feature prioritization, allowing British Airways to view their portfolio in terms of benefits that can be more readily reprioritized than projects.

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