When the individuals, habits, and innovations of the organization come together, Agile Scaling is merely a cultural revolution. They are committed to improving teamwork and the organization’s ability to carry out its plan.
Agile at scale achieves more than your team could by working together. If Agile is scaled inside your firm, all areas have the opportunity to produce better results. Additionally, Agile Scaling discusses how progress in one of these areas will eventually support decentralized decision-making.
Along with speeding up time to market, it would also contribute to more transparency and uniformity at work while firmly enshrining agile principles in the corporate culture. It is crucial to spread your Agile transformation across the organization if you want to enjoy its seamless benefits.
Without further ado, Let’s Explore Agile Scaling Frameworks in Detail:
A variety of frameworks assist the Agile Scalability when it comes to thriving businesses. Below are a few instances of those that are often used in the industry:
SAFe®, or the Scaled Agile Framework: A variety of online resources providing tried-and-true techniques for agile scaling to implement Lean-Agile software and systems development in big businesses.
Discreet Agile: A thoughtful decision approach that relies on a people-first, learning-oriented hybrid Agile.
Agile Scrum: A technique for scaling Agile that tends to take advantage of a community of participants from other scrum teams. They are invited to participate in synchronization meetings on a regular basis.
An Extensive Scrum Framework: A straightforward structure for extending scrum to numerous teams.
When choosing your agile scaling frameworks, you must keep in mind not only the size of a business, your processes, and whether or not you are tightly regulated, but also the corporate structure, patterns of communication, and the types of goods your company delivers.
Agile Scaling Frameworks for Businesses that Aim to Succeed
The scale and significance of the project have a considerable impact on the selection of Safe Agile Methodology. There are several parameters and subfactors that must be considered when deciding whether an Agile method is suitable for a particular project. Here we have mentioned the main selection criteria and the sub-factors that would help you choose the ideal agile scaling framework for your business –
|A) Development Team Skills||B) Customer Involvement|
|Communication Skills||Customer Collaboration|
|Team Competency||Customer Commitment|
|Domain Knowledge||Customer Domain Knowledge|
|C) Nature of Project||D) Project Constraints|
The mechanism behind Agile Scaling
The Agile development model offers advantages and disadvantages specific to the Agile strategy selected for the project. But iteration is an essential part of agile software development that guarantees continuous delivery.
Agile Scaling usually involves Functionality Development followed by its Testing. In the next stage, another functionality is developed, and then these functionalities are integrated for testing again. Post this phase of development and testing, the demo version of the product is released.
The company now avails the customer feedback and changes, if any, are implemented. Lastly, the system testing is carried out and if the results are satisfactory, all the functionalities get implemented. In case, if the outcome is not satisfactory, the next iteration process starts off.
Here’s the List of Agile Methodologies for Scaling Agile You Should Be Familiar Of
Definitely! When you know the reason and mechanism behind Agile Scaling, why not make it better by integrating them with a few of the popular Agile Methodologies down the line!
|Agile Modeling (AM)||Lean Development (LD)||Extreme Programming (XP)|
|Test-Driven Development (TDD)||Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD)||Feature-Driven Development (FDD)|
|Internet Speed Development (ISD)||Agile Software Process Development||Adaptive Software Development (ASD)|
|Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)||Crystal Family Group (Clear, Red, Orange, Yellow)|
Scaling Agile: The key to unlocking tech-driven challenges
Businesses decide to implement Agile as a solution to all of their problems. What problems, you may wonder! Well, there are many such as – Many businesses continue to operate in an extremely slow and cumbersome way. The organization’s consumers, stakeholders, and employees are dissatisfied due to its hierarchy, vertical reporting structure, and a number of other reasons.
Deadlines are frequently missed, project failure rates are greater, teams don’t get along, and there are too many sources of communication. These are the issues businesses have while utilizing conventional techniques for agile scaling.
And why not? After all, the Agile approach was created to streamline and accelerate operations. Agile implementation in a company is much more challenging than it first seems. It involves a complete revamp of an organization’s procedures and necessitates substantial adjustments to every facet of the business.
If the issues and challenges associated with implementing a safe Agile methodology are not handled and dealt with in a specific way, the transition process will collapse. The following were the primary difficulties encountered when it’s about shifting from the conventional to the contemporary approach –
- A complete shift in culture, philosophy, and application of lessons learned from the past
- Communication issues and modifications to day-to-day operations
- Clients’ readiness to offer comments after each phase
- Obtaining the team’s and management’s backing
Many companies are eager to make the move because, despite what may appear to be many obstacles, Agile can make it a competitive advantage for them. We will examine the most typical Agile Challenges that organizations encounter in the following section of this post.
Below are the agile challenges that are a hurdle to scaling agile and how they can be overcome
1) Technology Shift
Your organization must focus on the technological stack if it wants to scale agile. To adequately scale Agile, businesses may need to expand or even overhaul their current technological solutions in some cases.
The main threats to growing Agile are the industry’s technological barriers. The delivery of work is tracked in completely distinct tools. As a result, delivery teams are cut off from strategic interests. While the technology shift desires that the financials, management, and company’s objectives should be all included in a single collection of tools.
One just needs to ensure that technology and tools support and coordinate with one another on a tactical level. Agile cannot be scaled correctly without a suitable technology solution. What technological techniques for scaling agile are employed? It partially depends on how Agilely mature the organization is. If your firm already supports Agile teams, growing Agile can mean putting in place a solution that can bind them together for greater flow and transparency.
To better organize the repertoire of Agile work, some businesses could require something more substantial that can go above teams and its visibility. In order to put up business strategies for the Agile teams and to push effort, impact, and financial support up to stated priorities, companies must discover methods that enable data and interaction to flow in both ways.
2) Culture Change
Many individuals or organizations are accustomed to their conventional methods of functioning, which include adhering to norms, orders, or commands, maintaining a hierarchical structure or method of operation, and being steadfastly committed to implementing the plans stated by the top management.
With a scaled Agile, a new workplace culture must be created because the employees or teams are mandated to leave their old working habits and embrace the right ones.
As a result, productivity, integrity, and ingenuity are improved while rules, orders, and commands from the top management are reduced. It takes time to adapt to a new culture since it is challenging to acquire a new system or way of doing things after having become accustomed to one.
To achieve the intended goal, Agile scaling methodologies and agile scaling frameworks demand the entire business to perform, process, and take a different view in every aspect. Teams in Agile must give up their traditional methods of operation and be willing to participate in something that will influence the future of management.
3) Organizational Challenges with Authority and Management
One of the chief causes that Agile doesn’t succeed in every situation is insufficient managerial support. When transitioning to Agile, all executives, middle managers, and senior managers must be aware that project management methodologies will change in certain ways.
They need to be aware of the advantages of the impending Agile transformation as well as the specifics of how it will impact the operational facets of the company. They must completely comprehend what is required of them in order to assist the Agile adoption in an effective manner.
By coordinating with all levels of management before the real Agile transformation, communication and intercultural concerns can be readily overcome.
4) Failing to Choose The Appropriate Agile Technique
The Agile Manifesto asserts that while there is no single ideal technique, there are numerous rules and concepts that organizations can use to enhance their operations. This does not imply that every rule will be advantageous to the business.
This indicates that before choosing a strategy, businesses must take into account the nature of the business, its traits, and other external elements.
Additionally, businesses should adapt their strategies to fit their particular organization and project needs. The engagement of the workforce is a different aspect to take into account while deploying the Agile methodology.
They must be open to adjustments as well, and if the procedures don’t fit them, this could be a significant problem for the entire organization.
5) Poor Communication and Coordination Among the Team
The failure of some teams to embrace Agile techniques continues to be a major barrier to the expansion and development of Agile. Agile combats this organizational culture by encouraging teammates to fully own their work and give up the tendency of relying on what other people tell them to do.
In order to accomplish this successfully, project managers must promote increased team member communication and involvement.
Enhancing team members’ authority over the procedure would offer them the ability to independently examine problems and come up with ideas as they arise, rather than wasting so much time waiting for confirmation after approval merely to get a task done.
Members’ engagement and feeling of belonging to the business’s mission also rise when they put an emphasis on ownership. Along with a rise in work efficiency and production, they also experience a natural wanting for their aversion to change. The team members ultimately perform the work for the clients, therefore it makes sense for them to have a say in how things are done.
The techniques for agile scaling that are the best as per the experts
Have A Clear Vision
In order to expand your agile application to meet your business demands, it is critical to have a real direction of the results you would like to accomplish. You won’t be able to deploy Agile and get its benefits if your vision is unclear.
Additionally, this can cause a divide within your organization’s many sectors. To help clients understand where the solution might be going, a salesperson might, for example, question the project manager about the product concept. If the product owner is unable to respond, it will cause issues that will harm connections between divisions as well as sales.
Use a Hybrid Strategy
You’ll see that the Agile methods both large and small businesses utilize and the difficulties they both confront are similar when you compare them. The distinction is in the size and scope. A large-scale organization will encounter the same issue that a small business does, but it will be far more significant and complex for huge enterprises.
You must employ a hybrid strategy to properly expand Agile to meet your company. To thrive, all you need to do is apply the same Agile principles utilized by small organizations on a massive scale.
Get Your Teams Involved In Planning
You can take advantage of the increasing corporate practice of cross-functional teams by including them early in the planning process. You never know if someone in a specific section has a brilliant idea that could really help.
Participating in planning will increase trust among team members since they will feel like their ideas are respected. More significantly, they can present you with an alternative viewpoint or novel angle you may not have considered before.
Instances to slay! – Look at Uses Cases of Different Companies that got success by scaling Agile
LegoAbout the Company: Danish toy manufacturer Lego A/S is situated in Billund, Denmark. It creates toys under the Lego name, most of which are made of interlocking plastic bricks. The Lego Group also owns and maintains a large number of retail establishments in addition to creating various Legoland theme parks across the globe.
Pain Points: After the first transition, even though individual teams had adopted Agile methodologies, they were still unable to work successfully as a unit. To make that possible, LEGO introduced a further level of abstraction—the program level—while still adhering to the SAFe framework paradigm.
- At the program level, a squad of teams exists (also known as Agile Release Train, or ART for short).
- For eight weeks, the team of teams at LEGO gathered for a one-and-a-half-day long big room planning session.
- Teams presented their work, resolved dependencies, calculated risks, and made plans for the upcoming release period during this meeting.
- The portfolio tier, the program’s top tier, is another option. Long-term proposals, stakeholders, and top management are located here. The SAFe framework is accustomed to breaking down into organizational tiers in this manner.
- No excessive documentation.
- Accurate estimates, predictable outcomes, and faster operations.
- Real-time decisions and extreme transparency.
- High morale, given the face-to-face communication.
- Easy and quick resolution.
- Work-place independence that leads to creativity.
About the Company: The industry pioneer in networking and IT, Cisco is based in San Jose, California. They assist businesses of all sizes in transforming employee collaboration, connection, and communication.
Pain Points (Specific to Cisco’s Subscription Billing Platform): The project previously followed a Waterfall methodology, which resulted in a disorganized and fragmented focus which was a major pain point. In other words, Cisco had designing, development, testing, and deployment as totally different units that led to a disturbing focus. There were lots of errors, and deadlines were routinely missed. Many people were involved in putting in extra hours to resolve the issues that took place.
- The team met for 15 minutes each day to decide on the day’s tasks.
- With SAFe, they were able to achieve improved openness because each team was cognizant of what the other teams were up to and could govern themselves, encouraging responsibility through status updates and mindfulness.
- They merged it with the Scrum methodology, which was already being utilized on the WebEx app for Samsung, another product.
- Additionally, several XP techniques like test-driven development and continuous integration (CI) were applied.
- A 40% reduction in faults that are serious and significant.
- A DRR drop of 16% (Defect Rejection Ratio).
- DRE (Defect Removal Efficiency) increased by 14% as a result of CI and increased multinational team communication.
- High morale, given the face-to-face communication
- There is no longer any overtime, and the additional product is shipped on schedule.
About the Company: Five home gaming consoles, two handheld devices, a smartphone, a media center, an internet service, and numerous periodicals make up the video game company Playstation Network. Sony Interactive Entertainment, a division of Sony, is tasked with developing the PlayStation brand. The original PlayStation console was initially released in Japan in December 1994 and internationally in the subsequent year.
Pain Points: Co-located teams in eight different locations discovered that Agile Scrum and Waterfall weren’t able to bring the team’s participants together harmoniously.
- SAFe: Enabling Value Delivery.
- The corporation made developer demonstrations optional with the transition to SAFe.
- In addition, in contrast to previous all-day trials offered, demos are still high-level and only last 5–10 mins when they do occur.
- $30,000,000 in savings.
- Currently, SAFe is being used by about 700 members of over 60 Scrum teams.
- Six trains have been successfully launched by the organization during 2014, along with more than 350 production releases, 22 PSIs, more than 125 sprints, and 250 features.
- Additionally, SEI reduced initial development time by 28% with the Framework. It now requires 1125 man-days to plan as opposed to 1550.
About the Company: American consumer electronics and fitness firm Fitbit develops wireless-enabled wearable devices, fitness trackers, pedometers, smartwatches, as well as associated software. These products also include monitors for heart rate, sleep quality, and the number of steps walked.
Pain Points: When it comes to creating firmware and software for every product upon each central platform, target deadlines are rigid (iOS, Android, and Windows). Fitbit engineering managers, tech leads, and Scrum masters have recently worked closely together to accomplish goals. However, as the business and user base expanded, Fitbit was forced to broaden and improve this procedure to satisfy business and customer demands.
The Scrum accomplishments do not scale as a result of the expanding team and international reach. Finding a method to balance the requirements of the company and our worldwide network of users with the organic culture that people enjoy about Fitbit was the company’s main worry in such a situation.
- Research on the different models for scaling Scrum.
- SAFe training.
- Aligning Program Layer with Scrum teams.
- Fitbit completed both a long- and short-term think ahead on its product roadmap and team tasks.
- Teams now accomplish five business goals per PI as opposed to just three in the past.
- Year over year, velocity rose by 33%.
About the Company: An international universal bank with its main office in London, England is Barclays. With the assistance of a service provider, Barclays Execution Services, Barclays works as two divisions, Barclays UK and Barclays International.
Pain Points: Barclays understood that a lean and Agile method is a more effective way to get started than the conventional waterfall technique. There were enclaves of agile brilliance, as there are with most major companies. It’s not just about technology; Barclays’ agile transformation, which began at the start of last year, was comprehensive. By connecting the agile island, it eliminates the impedance mismatch. The entire value chain, from idea to payment, is engaged. It prioritizes making clients happy first and foremost.
- They employed the flexible Disciplined Agile scaling framework as our guiding principles. They developed an Agile Change Lifecycle based on DA that can be used with perhaps an iterative or flow-based methodology.
- At the organization or product level, they also created agility levels 1 through 4, where 1 is amateur and 4 is master. The levels of agility are a general lagging indicator.
- Additionally, they evaluated parameters like lead time, performance, and team engagement levels; surprisingly, the data is favorably associated.
- The agility levels also assist in giving teams a vision of what excellence looks like and what they should concentrate on next via a self-assessment survey.
- They observed a 300% boost in productivity from a trial data set. The reason behind such growth is the timely completion of user stories and tasks that are both advantageous.
- They observed a 50% average reduction in code intricacy across 80+ apps via data mining static code analysis, as well as a 50% boost in test validation.
- This is clear from the production incident data, which shows a positive association with the lowest average number of production issues per app being in the regions that deploy all of their apps with a frequency of at least every 0–4 weeks.
Important factors for the success of Agile Scaling
Here are the major considerations that you must keep in mind to gain success in Scaling Agile –
Pick the Appropriate Teams
An agile team must have a diverse range of skill sets. Select individuals that are interdisciplinary, driven, and have a foot in both the business and IT. IT leaders may hire non-IT individuals for IT tasks thanks to the technologies and tools that are currently accessible. Individuals who can interact with customers, manage procedures, and have technical aptitude should be included.
They will require dedication, foresight, and curiosity. Develop a talent list of the people who possess these specific abilities over time so you can draw on it for upcoming initiatives. Recognize the skill sets that helped projects get finished from agile successes, and reprioritize recruits for those specific skills as you create more agile teams.
Agile Proponents and Changemakers
Without Agile evangelists and influencers, who serve as the primary accelerators between administration and teams, the dial won’t move in a company. Any significant transformation needs an individual who can interpret an organization’s goals into reality. This is made possible by agile advocates and facilitators.
They assume responsibility for enacting transformation and collaborating with teams and management. Due to their enthusiasm and conviction in innovative working methods, they participate in Agile Scaling to larger teams. Surrendering the old ways of thinking is never easy, but their participation is more fruitful because they are more familiar with the organization’s strategy than outsiders.
Gaining Confidence in Others
You have a visionary and strategic leadership role. Determine and rank the projects that Agile teams will work on, as well as the budget and team members. Don’t be overly prescriptive about objectives or how teams should undertake and deliver on assignments once the team has been chosen.
Keep a watchful eye on developments, but you’ll need to trust the people and give them the freedom to make their own decisions rather than micromanaging them.
Promote Cultural Transformation
You’ll need to support cultural transformation if the current workplace is hierarchical and controlled, or if it follows conventional development methods like Waterfall. Some people will be resistant to change or just find it challenging to modify their working style. People must stop being rigid with required requirements and start being extremely flexible. Effective team communication will need to be learned by everyone.
They must shift toward trust and cooperation by seeking out solutions with users and customers and acting morally rather than legally. A behavioral engagement from all levels of the company is required for full-scale agile implementation.
Give the Tools for Cooperation
Business stakeholders frequently do not comprehend application software code or the jargon used by developers and other expert team members. Interparty communication may be hampered by a language barrier. To get around this, we’d advise against using traditional coding and instead think about using a low-code system or visual workflow programming environment.
Low-code platforms’ visual nature enables collaboration between users and developers because both parties can see precisely what is being created and the advancements being made. Users can give feedback immediately and directly within an application thanks to built-in feedback widgets. Low code is the best choice for collaborative, iterative, and Agile development since workflows can be readily changed to accommodate change.
Celebrating Achievement While Accepting and Understanding Failure
Showcase off accomplishments, give teams credit, and urge them to divulge their winning strategies. Describe what worked well, and what failed or could have been done better. Be aware that there may be setbacks in any new process, particularly one involving innovation.
The idea is to accept failure but to learn to recognize the warning signs before they become too serious. Encourage experimentation to assist teams in identifying the strategies that are most effective and are likely to provide the best return on investment.
Excellence in Engineering
When scaling Agile, successful engineering culture is essential. Generally speaking, a dearth of sound engineering procedures decreases team productivity and produces outputs of inferior quality. The strain of continuous delivery causes technical debt to increase, and the problem is made worse by the need for more teams to synchronize their agile initiatives.
Teams may omit important quality assurance tasks while under time pressure from extra contacts across teams, which lowers the quality. In order to ensure engineering brilliance when Agile Scaling practices, organizations should use end-to-end test automation, create a cross-functional DevOps culture, uphold a precise understanding of accomplished, develop experienced and skilled team members, continually collaborate across teams, and use visual radiators to monitor the overall quality of the code.
Taking Care of Dependences
We often devote a significant amount of effort to establishing interconnections across product lines inside the programme as part of PI (Program Increment) planning. The application cannot provide end-to-end capabilities if the dependencies between the value streams are not in line. Even more challenging than effectively managing obligations, nevertheless, is handling dependencies that are outside the program’s mandate, funding, or managerial control.
Agile is used in certain external programmes, but not all. Some exterior projects have supply restrictions for BAU (business as usual) that don’t always match the program’s sprint rhythm or releases. In order to find a nice balance for the delivery of programme components, the programme team must maintain continuous communication with external programmes. The value streams are where mature programmes regulate all of their dependencies. External dependencies frequently call for more managerial effort, negotiating, and money.
Conclusion: Future for business with Agile Scaling
Although we don’t see something else replacing Agile in the future, there are a number of trends that seem evident to us in the future of Agile:
Mastering a wider spectrum of approaches at a higher level is necessary to learn how to combine different approaches. Currently, a lot of people follow Agile practices fairly mechanically and “by the book” without actually comprehending its underlying ideas. As a consequence, applying Agile takes on a relatively rigid approach. That is the absolute reverse of the adaptable strategy that Agile is supposed to use.
Agile is being scaled up by many businesses and individuals for use in broader, more complicated enterprise-level projects. That will hasten both of the aforementioned developments. Agile can be challenging to scale because it was first developed for modest, straightforward, single-team projects. Agile scaling frequently necessitates considering how to integrate it with customary enterprise-level management approaches. These techniques for scaling agile encompass project/program management, portfolio management for projects and products, and general business administration.
Agile project management is starting to integrate with conventional plan-driven project management. That will undoubtedly play a significant role in Agile’s future. Agile began as a revolt against conventional, plan-driven project management techniques, or “Waterfall,” as it is sometimes referred to. The pendulum is beginning to return to its center.
People are starting to understand that choosing between “Agile” and “Waterfall” isn’t truly a binary and mutually-exclusive option. The approach should be matched to the nature of the issue rather than being forced to shoehorn a project into one of those extremities. That can necessitate combining both strategies in just the appropriate amounts to suit the circumstance.
Organizational Agile Transformations
To embrace an Agile development approach, it is occasionally attempted to make an entire firm Agile. In some circumstances, that is simply not entirely realistic or desirable. Being Agile is not always an objective in and of itself. It needs to be used in regard to the most important corporate goals. How will it address the issue and what issue will it address?
Put simply, although it is challenging to anticipate the future of Agile, certain tendencies are undoubtedly developing:
- Agile Scaling for broader and more complicated enterprise-level solutions has received much less expertise than employing it for tiny, straightforward single-team development projects.
- Agile must often be combined with some kind of project or program management as businesses start using it more widely for bigger, more complicated projects in order to be effective.
- The organizational challenges call for a lot more expertise and knowledge, as well as a much deeper understanding of the Agile core tenets.