Team of Teams has a core set of artifacts that are used in its recurring cycle of events. These are the Portfolio Backlog and the Portfolio Roadmap.
Each Team of Teams has its own Portfolio Backlog. This backlog is a prioritized queue of high-level outcomes owned and driven by that Team of Teams. While there is usually dependent work being done within other Teams of Teams or groups, the items have their center of gravity within this Team of Teams.
The Portfolio Backlog is a key component of the content for the Monthly Stakeholder Review and Quarterly Review.
Portfolio Backlog Items
What makes for a well-formed Portfolio Backlog item depends upon the unique contexts of organziations and the products they deliver, but there are some common characterstics.
The items in the Portfolio Backlog are typically sized to deliver within one to two quarters, and initiatives larger than that are broken down such that their more distinct phases can be visualized and conveyed within the Portfolio Backlog.
Estimating Portfolio Backlog Effort
The level of effort for a given outcome is a large part of what determines its priority. However, items in a Portfolio Backlog are far larger, and therefore require a scale of estimation that is far less precise while still being useful.
The Portfolio Roadmap represents a subset of the Portfolio Backlog projected across the canvas of execution over the current quarter and the next. It is always derived from the Portfolio Backlog, and the size and position of items on the roadmap are informed by the roadmaps of the member teams, not created arbitrarily.
Team of Teams uses a particular roadmap format with dedicated lanes to convey backlog items, dependencies, market events and rhythms, and technical architecture investments.
The Portfolio Roadmap is a key component of the content for the Monthly Stakeholder Review and Quarterly Review.
Team of Teams leverages a few key artifacts of effective team-level process to ensure a close and effective relationship between the work of Team of Teams leadership and the work of member teams.
The backlogs of member teams are the core ingredient that informs the approach and level of effort for items in the Portfolio Backlog.
Team Roadmaps can greatly facilitate the creation and curation of the Portfolio Roadap, since the duration and displacement of items at the Team Roadmap level should always be what informs duration and displacement of items at the Portfolio Roadmap level.
Team Development Logs
Member teams’ Development Logs are a great artifact to use in the Biweekly Sync. While they primarily exist for the benefit of each team and their stakeholder and dependent teams, their concise yet holistic form enable concise yet complete overviews of development cycles in the 3 to 5 minutes afforded each member team in the Biweekly Sync.