The Runway provides the ability to avoid “just-in-time” work when time to iterate is necessary. For both IT and UX, this increases the quality of work. This is also a key aspect of governance within any enterprise Agile implementation.
It is important to distinguish that the Program segment is focused on a specific value stream for the organization. All decisions made within this Program team should have effects only within the value stream. For higher level decision making, such as a standardized e-Commerce platform for the entire enterprise, decision-making would need to be made within the Portfolio segment.
The IT and UX Runway can be used for a number of activities, including:
- Deliverable work - During a sprint-long runway, designers and developers have the opportunity to “get work done”. With the two-week lead time, deliverables can be planned, reviewed with the team, and iterated upon rather than being rushed to completion.
- Augmenting standards - As new requirements emerge for new work, the standards across architecture, user experience, and operations may need to be updated prior to the work being executed. By utilizing Runway for this effort, standards are updated prior to the start of the feature work.
- Technical and experience prototyping - Experience or architectural concepts can be prototyped at the Program level to ensure that ideas are tested before they are added to sprint work for a Feature team.
- Research - As new features are identified, research becomes more important. For IT, research may include decisions around product purchasing and integration. It can also include the adoption of new standards. For UX, research may include user testing, focus groups, or surveys to identify real needs. Any research should then be shared with the team and included when making any decision about next steps.