Stream Teams need to ensure that the work that they do aligns with the goals of the Product as well as the company as a whole. Given that products require multiple teams working together alignment also encompasses aligning with other Stream Teams to ensure that they complement each other's work and don't duplicate effort.


The purpose of this alignment is to ensure that all teams are working cohesively towards common product objectives, maximising efficiency, and fostering innovation through effective collaboration and data sharing.

Principles and Practices


Not all opportunities are worth solvingWe need to identify the opportunities that align with our strategy and deliver the best impact for customers.By understanding the long-term vision of the product as well as the more medium-term strategy we can ensure that we are working on the right things.
Fail to plan, plan to failWe need to ensure that the Stream Teams are looking at the big picture and not just the immediate work.By running an annual planning process that identifies the key bets that the team will make we can balance the benefits of long-term planning with the flexibility needed to respond to change.
Involvement drives commitmentWe need to ensure that people are committed to the Stream Team objectivesBy involving the Stream Team in the setting of the objectives we can ensure that they are committed to them.
Transparency builds trustWe need to share the work that we are doing freely to build the trust needed for Product Teams to continue empowering Stream Teams.By creating public Stream Kanban boards we can ensure that the work that the Stream Teams are doing is visible to the Product Teams.
Trust, but verifyWe need to ensure that the work that the Stream Teams are doing is delivering the expected value.By implementing a Weekly Product Review we can identify variance from the expected value early and take corrective action.
Multiple perspectives drive innovationWe need to ensure that the members of the Stream Team are working closely in all aspects of the product development process because they bring different perspectives, knowledge and experiences.By implementing teaming and pairing practices we can ensure that the members of the Stream Team are working closely together.


Quick decision making is a competitive advantageWe need to ensure that people have the information they need to make decisions quickly.By defining the company values and principles of how we work, coupled with the product objectives, we can ensure that people have the information they need to make decisions quickly.
Collaboration across teams is expensiveWe need to minimise the overhead of collaboration across teamsBy defining clear boundaries between the Stream Teams we can encourage lower overhead interaction modes instead of more time-intensive collaboration.


Information silos increase the risk of failureWe need to ensure that people are rotating through the Stream Teams to share knowledge and experience.By balancing the benefits of a long-lived team with rotating people between teams we can achieve the best mix of detailed knowledge and fresh perspectives.


Overemphasis on PlanningHaving strict annual planning with detailed solutions can reduce agility and responsiveness to change.Integrate regular review cycles to adapt plans based on new information and market changes.
Verification RigidityWeekly reviews could become bureaucratic, stifling innovation and flexibility.Ensure that the weekly review focuses on metrics and not the solutions being developed.
Rotational ComplexityRotating individuals between teams might disrupt team cohesion and project continuity.Implement a structured rotation process that minimises disruption and maximises knowledge transfer.
Decision-making ParalysisOver-reliance on company values and principles for decision-making could lead to analysis paralysis.Provide training on practical decision-making and empower teams with context-specific autonomy.


  • Planning Paralysis: Teams spend so much time planning and aligning that they delay taking action. Holding teams accountable for outcomes will instill a bias for action.

  • Over-verification: The practice of "Trust but Verify" becomes overly bureaucratic, leading to micromanagement and diminishing team autonomy. Balance oversight with trust, emphasising outcomes over process adherence and allowing teams some autonomy in how they achieve objectives.

  • Collaboration Overhead: Efforts to minimise collaboration overhead ironically increase it, as teams navigate rigid boundaries and overly complex collaboration protocols. Streamline collaboration practices, focusing on simplicity and effectiveness rather than strict adherence to predefined boundaries.

Was this page helpful?

Other SMEs
© ZeroBlockers, 2024. All rights reserved.