Container cargo ships just like the Maersk ships are the ‘new way’ for the transportation of things of value!
If you look closely at a Maersk ship, you’ll see fixed capacity containers… wherein things of value are put in; the shippers (Business owners/enterprise) pay for the fixed-capacity containers… at fixed cost…and they can put anything in there as long as it fits and legal. They are also aware of Maersk’ published and fixed schedule: the shipment’s departure and arrival times got cadence… fixed… and predictable. Maersk’s customers can plan accordingly, schedule-wise… and cost-wise since the cost for the capacity is fixed!
Executives and business owners (the enterprise, really) all have to do is to fund / buy the fixed capacity … and then, they can put in the value they want delivered as long as it fits within these two aforementioned constraints: 1) fixed capacity… and 2) fixed schedule.
You might say: ‘The container is not large enough to take in all the valuable goodies we want shipped!’
That is true. That is the new reality. You now have / must / need to prioritize as to which of these valuables you want to be worked on, loaded and shipped first! You keep prioritization constant and active, almost daily, activity!
It is now all about fixed capacity and prioritization.
Can you buy more containers? Of course!
To summarize this analogy:
Fixed capacity container — this is your agile teams (component and feature teams.); set of containers: your ART– team of agile teams.
Fixed schedule — this is your cadence: a sprint spanning two weeks; Program Increment (PI…which contains several sprints) — 4 of these PIs in a year; deployment dates are set at the enterprise level; and there is that ‘release on demand’ concept that enables Continuous Integration: decoupling deployment from release. Maersk docks and unloads the containers… it is up to the business owners when they can release the valuable goods to the market/consumers/customers.
Flexible content — this is your MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and MMF (Minimum Viable Feature) — as long as it fits the aforementioned 2 fixed elements , there is no problem!
Maersk is doing this illustrated business value delivery process continuously… no finite thing about it… it just goes on infinitely. You can do a similar continuous delivery concept — funding capacity — with your enterprise.
This system works and delivers value much better than the old way: itemizing each shipment and weighing it and paying for each separately. Moneyed people are the noisiest… and get their way. Now, the new way, the enterprise buys these containers empowering underfunded executives with their own containers … and all the executives share free spaces with each other… due to the fact that they are all now talking with each other … and are prioritizing together for the greater good of the enterprise, not just myopically focused on their own domain.
This is an analogy that you can take to your executives and business owners… and Product Management!