Companies have limited resources so it is critical that funding is aligned in the right areas to maximise the return on investment. But the business case process that is often used to ensure funding alignment leads to the problems of locking in solutions before they have been validated and shifting the accountability from outcomes to the delivery of features.

ZeroBlockers uses a different approach to funding that is designed to ensure that the right areas are funded and that the accountability is on the outcomes.

Stream team scope

In the structure article we explained how we identify the value streams associated with a product. But given the number of value streams, it would be prohibitively expensive to fund a separate team for each one.

Different value streams will have different relative importance depending on the current product strategy. We can influence the work that people do by assigning a single, important value stream to one team and multiple, less important value streams to another team. This ensures more money is invested in the areas that are most strategically important.

Stream team metrics

Stream Teams are expensive so we need to have clear success criteria for the teams. Product Teams need to identify core product metrics that the Stream Teams will be responsible for achieving. The Product Teams should outline the expected correlation between the product metrics and the business metrics that the Product Team is responsible for. The metrics enable effective governance of the Stream Teams.

Stream team funding

With a scope and metrics in place, we can determine which teams are more closely aligned to the product strategy and allocate funding accordingly. The teams with more funding will be able to afford more team members which will allow them to investigate more potential solutions and deliver better outcomes.

Example team funding

If our current product strategy is focused on growth we can align teams as follows:

Stream TeamValue StreamsTeam size
  • Catalogue
  • Recommendations
  • Search
  • Comparison
  • Promotions
  • Cart
  • Orders
  • Shipping
  • Returns

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