Product Alignment

Product alignment refers to the ongoing process of bridging the gap between the overall product vision and strategy with the day-to-day activities of Stream Teams. It involves ensuring teams understand the "why" behind their work, aligning objectives, maintaining transparency, and fostering a collaborative environment where everyone pulls in the same direction.


The purpose of product alignment is to ensure that the Stream Team efforts contribute directly to the company’s long-term goals, optimising resources and enhancing efficiency and effectiveness in achieving desired outcomes.

  • Enhanced Focus: Ensures all teams are working towards the same objectives.
  • Increased Efficiency: Reduces wasted effort on activities not aligned with strategic goals.
  • Improved Transparency: Fosters a culture of openness regarding progress and challenges.
  • Better Decision-Making: Aligns daily activities with strategic priorities, guiding more informed decisions.


Industry Context

Large products require multiple teams working in parallel to build and support the product. Without alignment between these teams, there is a risk of duplication of effort, misalignment of goals, and inefficiencies in resource utilisation. By ensuring that all teams are working towards a common vision and strategy, companies can maximise the impact of their product development efforts.

ZeroBlockers Context

Stream Teams are autonomous and decide on the features they should create to deliver on their objectives. To make high-quality and continuous decisions that are necessary during product development Stream Teams need to be aligned with the overall product vision and strategy. In addition, since Product Teams are accountable for product success, they need to have confidence that the Stream Teams are working on the right things.

ZeroBlockers Practices

Annual PlanningA structured process for setting strategic goals and objectives for the upcoming year.
  • Provides a clear direction for the year ahead.
  • Ensures focus on larger initiatives.
  • Ensures alignment across the organisation.
Quarterly Objective Setting MeetingsInteractive sessions to collaboratively explore the product vision and strategy, and agree on the Stream Team goals.
  • Builds shared understanding.
  • Promotes open dialogue and discussion.
  • Creates buy-in for objectives.
Weekly Product ReviewA recurring meeting focused on assessing progress against predefined metrics, rather than reviewing specific work items.
  • Ensures alignment with goals and metrics.
  • Facilitates quick identification of areas needing attention.
Continuous TransparencyProvide transparent access to the Stream charter, kanban board, research and more.
  • Provides transparency for all of the activities being undertaken.
  • Ensures that Product and Stream Teams have access to the same information.


The most contentious item here is annual planning because people think of the traditional, waterfall-style planning process. However, we are advocating for a more agile approach to annual planning. The purpose of annual planning is to set the strategic direction for the year, not to create a detailed plan that will be followed to the letter. The plan should be flexible and adaptable to change, and should be reviewed and updated regularly.

Other Practices

PracticeDescriptionZeroBlockers Opinion
Program Increment PlanningCross-team planning session to ensure alignment across multiple streams within a productIf you have invested the effort in ensuring that teams are autonomous then you do not need the overhead of cross-team planning.


  • Silos and Isolation: Allowing teams to operate in silos without regard for the overall strategy.
  • Overcomplication: Making the strategic alignment process so complex that it becomes a barrier to execution.
  • Lack of Transparency: Not sharing strategic objectives, progress, or challenges broadly within the organisation.

Case Studies

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