Pattern: Value Hierarchy

When an organization’s values are clearly stated and prioritized, as well as fully internalized across the company, people have the basis for making day-to-day decisions without needing to seek consent or permission/approval

The company’s cloud native transformation has just begun, and there is a lot of uncertainty. People are still learning about the tech, and the organizational structureis evolving. Teams are becoming independent, and there are many moving pieces.

In This Context

Without a clear understanding of the company values and the priorities, people have no easy way to connect their daily work to the company strategy. In such a situation, different teams may make conflicting decisions or waste a lot of effort on low-priority tasks.
• Gaining consensus from all stakeholders is time-consuming.
• In traditional organizations managers make all the decisions.
• The market is changing frequently, with new competitors appearing unexpectedly.
• Cloud native technology is constantly and rapidly evolving.


Create an ordered list of clearly stated values to simplify decision making and guide behavior in an uncertain environment.• Identify the company’s values: what is important to us?
• Formulate these simply and clearly.
• Rank these values in order of importance.
• Incorporate this value hierarchy into the company’s culture and identity by broadcasting it across the organization.


Teams and individuals in an organization are able to make decisions with confidence.
+ Organizational principles and priorities are clear and commonly understood by all.
+ People can easily make informed choices that reflect both the company’s values and best interest.
+ In a constantly changing environment, there is a stable and constant point of orientation.
- Too-frequent changes to the value hierarchy can cause confusion and chaos.