Speed only makes sense if you sprint in the right direction 🏃‍♂️. How do you link the WHAT to be done with the WHY to do it in the company? In agile we use a 5 level thought model for this. Classic teams are often very busy and work at the operational task level at the limit.
In agile we try to create a balance between the strategic and the operative levels. Do you want to know how this works? The 5 levels look like this:

5️⃣ TOPIC – Large focus areas across (A) the entire organization, (B) individual product development, (C) individual projects e.g: Climbing all the mountains in the world that are over 6,000m high.

4️⃣ INITIATIVE – Collections of Epics, all with a common goal
Example: Climb the K2 in Asia next year.

3️⃣ EPIC – Large packages of tasks to be completed (longer than a sprint)
Example: Change your entire diet to high performance, do regular altitude training and run 15,000 meters of altitude per quarter.

2️⃣ USER STORY – Requirements from the user’s point of view (clear criteria for fulfilment)
Example: Put on running shoes at 7 am and do 15 km mountain run. For breakfast eat oatmeal with fresh fruit and yoghurt.

1️⃣ TASK – Steps to be taken to build a deliverable product
Example: Buy new running shoes, write a training plan, buy fruit and yoghurt, set the alarm clock to 5:30.

My tip for the implementation: Build your own MAP with a big piece of brown paper and post-it. You can stick on all EPICS and get a good overview, depending on time and logic of the EPICS.
The advantage, you keep the overview, recognize single clusters and can distinguish the INITIATIVES from each other more easily.

Does it make sense for you to strengthen the connection between the WHAT and the WHY?

Have fun 🏄🏽‍♂️ Roman

About the Author

Roman Paeske is a hands-on expert in agile product development. He has a broad practical experience in teaching and coaching agile, setting up agile work environments and helping companies build successful and sustainable agile organisations. He is a pragmatic person who fights for practical approaches to agile interpretations.

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