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Edge: Value-Driven Digital Transformation

Podcast host Mike Mason | Podcast guest Linda Luu, David Robinson and Jim Highsmith
October 11, 2019 | 27 min 59 sec

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Brief summary

Opportunity is moving faster and more unpredictably than ever before. As a result, organizations are facing a widening gap between fleeting opportunity and their ability to capture it. Authors, Jim Highsmith, Linda Luu and David Robinson share how they have evolved the live implementation of EDGE; the practical model they use to eliminate organizational friction.


Technology is changing the business world. 85% of CEOs know that they want to be more digital but only 15-18% have gotten there. There is a gap there that EDGE tries to fill.

Tech at the core is about eliminating the separation of the silo between the tech organization and the rest of the business, the value-stream that actually delivers products and services to customer. And that, to compete in this digital economy, you have to eliminate that separation and collaborate. This book is about the agile operating model that allows you to do to that. 

Available information in the marketplace about scaling agile, were about ‘getting bigger’ and expanding in the organization and running bigger projects, but we discovered that most organizations left agile behind once they got the documentation and structure in place, and we wanted to create a link between strategy and delivery in an agile, innovative way. 

You can’t just ‘copy’ what works for one team, because each team is dealing with a different kind of customer, with a different set of constraints, and different capabilities and an existing tech estate that may require them to operate differently to optimize. If you really want to win, you need to go further than a cookie-cutter approach and optimize for each team. 

The challenge is to have enough consistency to manage and steer across many teams but enough freedom and flexibility so each team can produce the maximum value for the customer. 

There are three critical questions to ask yourself in order to make strategy connect to delivery:

  • Where and how do you invest? Portfolio Management: how do you work out which of the many opportunities available to pursue and invest in?
  • How do you work together at an executive level? 
  • How fast are you- and are you fast enough- given your competitive situation?

Edge addresses the idea that everything is a hypothesis of value and enabling the whole organization to work incrementally, with feedback from customers, so that you aren’t wasting valuable investment dollars building the wrong thing.

To build a product mindset and scale it for an organization it’s important to remove friction from the rest of the organization (such as the budgeting and planning processes), in order to continuously adapt and deliver value to customers. 

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