4 disciplines of execution (4DX)
The 4DX is structured approach for execution to achieve organization’s strategic goals. This post describes synergy of 4DX with Agile product management.
The dilemma is that organizations are not short of ideas and strategy but they lack the capability of execution to achieve them. The 4DX uses the analogy whirlwind to describe the urgency and daily job which distract the organization from achieving its goals.
Discipline 1: Identify Wildly Important Goals (WIGs)
Organization goals are realized by completing product goals. The product goal can serve to remove a business barrier or attain a new benefit. For example, automating a business process will help remove the barrier to provide faster service. This is aligned with organization goals of adding X% clients this year. Agile teams must have goals which should be same as product goals.
Discipline 2: Identify Lead Measures
The product (team) goals are decomposed into Lead Measures, which are for me are the product features. The product feature progress is predictive to how the team will achieve its goals. This is in contrast with Lag Measures which serves to measure the WIG. Lead Measure (features) are what the team must work on and they’re the team means to achieve the WIGs.
Discipline 3: Establish a compelling score-board
In order to be compelling, the score-board should be:
- Highly visible
- show both feature progress and progress towards the WIGs
- Can tell immediately whether you’re wining or losing
Discipline 4: Establish cadence of accountability
Team meets at short intervals and at same time for same duration where each member reports what each will do towards the lead measures. Each member reports on the status of his past commitment and the what she will do till the team meets next.
As product manager, I use discipline 1 to come up with the product quantitative goals and I use them ti establish the team goals. The team understanding of its goals (WIGs) is a key for its alignment to the organization goals and to become engaged in a shared vision.
Discipline 2 is where I am challenged to arrive on collaboration with the team on the minimal features which allow the team to advance towards its WIGs.
Discipline 3 provides transparent environment and shared understand on whether we as team are winning or losing.
Discipline 4 establishes inter-accountability among team members in term of commitments to be made to progress towards completing the product features.