Effective planning and uncertainty management across the enterprise

Hendrik Esser

Manager, Portfolio and Technology Management for the Mobile Core, Ericsson (Germany)


“Life is what happens while you are busy planning it”. While planning is important, it at the same time needs to be effectively adaptive to changes. In a large agile organization planning needs to be done on many levels, starting from the (company) strategic level over product portfolio and product releases down to features and sprints. The complex task of planning is distributed over different roles and teams across an organization. There are practices for the planning on all levels. However, often it is not understood how the plans interact with each other and how all plans converge to an overall, continuous planning flow. This session will explain how such a large planning flow can work. It is based on the practical experience from agile portfolio management in a large organization over 2 ½ years. The session will cover the principles of planning at scale, an overview of the different levels of planning, the interaction between the different levels and how the feedback coming from the implementation of plans and strategies is used for learning, refinement and adaptation.

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Hendrik Esser has worked as a developer, project manager and in a variety of management roles at Ericsson since 1994. In 2008 he was a key contributor to the agile transition of the 2000 people organization he works in. He today supports the Ericsson enterprise transition to lean and agile by consulting and teaming up with other parts of Ericsson. He also is active as a speaker at agile conferences and as a member of the Agile Alliance’s Supporting Agile Adoption work group.