The Magic of Tiramisu: How Vertical Slicing Helps Agile Teams Deliver More Value

The success of an Agile transformation stems from three key areas: behaviors driven by an Agile mindset at all levels of an organization, adherence to frameworks, and a relentless pursuit to deliver value to the customer.

One of the more nuanced tactics I use to drive rapid, incremental delivery of value to customers is called vertical slicing.

Think of a development project like a tiramisu. Each vertical slice of tiramisu contains many decadent layers of flavors and varying textures. Each portion is delicious because the combination of layers is better than eating one layer at a time. To do so would reduce the value of the culinary experience.

Similarly, a large item on your product backlog can be sliced up into smaller pieces either horizontally (that is, so the work only relates to a single architectural layer) or vertically (so the work spans multiple architectural components).

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Is Your IT Architecture Designed to Strengthen Your Business Capabilities?

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For years, consultants have been recommending tighter alignment between IT and business strategy. At a high level, it makes perfect sense. But when you begin to peel back the various layers of organizational complexity, aligning IT with the needs of the business becomes a more complicated exercise.

In order to optimize the alignment of IT and business strategy, organizations must understand the discrete business capabilities that the IT architecture is intended to enhance, and build accordingly. At the same time, the IT architecture needs to be able to adapt as the business changes.

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