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Scaling Agile – Essential for Your Organization
So you’ve gone Agile. You do daily scrums, retrospectives, and all the “right” Agile ceremonies. But still your organization isn’t quite convinced that Agile is the answer. And while you might have some idea of what the team that works next to you is doing, for some strange reason the teams sometimes conflict and there seems to be a lack of communication between you, the other teams, and leadership.
It becomes important to balance the drivers and goals of both Agile and traditional thinking in order to achieve organizational success.
What Is Scaling Agile
Atlassian defines scaled Agile as “a cultural transformation, where the business’ people, practices, and tools are committed to improving collaboration and the organization’s ability to execute against its strategy.” Scaled Agile goes beyond what just your team would do. Ultimately, if Agile is scaled within your organization, all parts of the organization can achieve better results.
Atlassian further emphasizes that “…changes across these areas will help decentralize decision-making, create greater transparency and alignment around work, and increase speed to market, all while hard coding the values of agile into the DNA of the organization.” It is critical to scale your Agile transformation across the organization in order to achieve these benefits.
Scaling Agile Frameworks
There are several frameworks available to support organizations in scaling Agile. Below is a roundup of a few that are commonly used in the industry:
An online knowledgebase of proven success patterns for implementing Lean Agile software and systems development at enterprise scale.
A technique for scaling Agile that leverages a system of ambassadors from other scrum teams to participate in regular coordination meetings.
A process decision framework based on a people-first, learning-oriented hybrid Agile approach to tactically scale Agile.
A lightweight framework for scaling scrum to more than one team.
While important factors to consider in choosing your scaled Agile framework include the size of the organization, your processes, and whether you are highly regulated, you should not ignore the organization’s culture, communication styles, and the types of products your organization creates.
Mindset Shift and Tooling
As organizations look to scale their Agile implementation, the use of a well-integrated tool chain becomes key to maintaining communications across the enterprise.
Ensuring that you have a tool or tools that work from end to end or that integrate well as they support each team is critical to facilitate the communication necessary within a team and the organization. Examine carefully how your existing Agile toolset – whether it’s for requirements (Modern Requirements, TopTeam, Jama), workflow management (Jira, VersionOne, Asana), product management (ProdPlan, Roadmunk), or testing (Ranorex, Micro Focus) – can be leveraged to support scaled Agile.
If you really want Agile to work, you’ll need to optimize the benefits of Agile by scaling it across your organization. Consider your organization’s culture, communication style, size, and products in selecting the scaling framework that works best for you.
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