A strategy is composed of three parts:
- Diagnosis: a theory describing the nature of the challenge. This is trying to identify the root cause(s) at play, for example, “high work-in-progress is preventing us from finishing any tasks, so we are increasingly behind each sprint” might be a good diagnosis
- Guiding policies: the approaches you’ll apply to grapple with the challenge. Guiding policies are typically going to be implicit or explicit tradeoffs. For example, a guiding policy might be “only hire for most urgent team, do not spread hires across all teams.” If a guiding policy doesn’t imply a tradeoff, you should be suspicious of it (e.g. “working harder to get it done” isn’t really a guiding policy)
- Coherent actions: a set of specific actions directed by guiding policy to address challenge. This is the most important part, and I think the most exciting part, because it clarifies that a strategy is only meaningful if it leads to aligned action
Writing an engineering strategy.
from Irrational Exuberance
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