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  • Henry Wengier

Implement, Scale, & Expand Agile




Recently I learned something new about a subject near and dear to me, Agile Scrum. I used this methodology for developing enterprise software for many years. I am a huge proponent and I thought I knew it all until I realized that like everything in the tech world, Agile continues to move forward and evolve.


If like some, you’ve heard about Agile Scrum, but are not sure exactly how it works, I would strongly suggest looking into it. It’s the worst method of developing software, except for all the other methods out there 😉


Here are a few places to go if you’d like to come up to speed on the methodology.


The Basics

Scrum in under 5 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Vt7Ik8Ublw

Great beginner guide: https://blog.trello.com/beginners-guide-scrum-and-agile-project-management


My favorite book on the subject, written by the co-creator of Scrum: Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half The Time, by Jeff Sutherland


Scaling Scrum

Scrum team works best with a small number of people. A small team can get an amazing amount of production-ready code completed in short iterations, but if you are developing large scale enterprise software, it can become difficult to get Agile Scrum working well. Team sizes start getting too big or cooperation between different Scrum teams can be difficult to handle.


Scrum co-creator Ken Schwaber and his Scrum.org team have developed a framework (Nexus) for multiple Scrum teams to work together on a single project. The Nexus framework was first released in 2015, but was updated this year. The framework lays out how different Scrum teams can work together to scale software development and product delivery. Other available frameworks to scale scrum have also emerged, including Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Large Scaled Scrum (LeSS), and Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD). If you are part of large organization and not Scaling Agile for your product development, you may be falling behind your competitors.


10 min overview of Nexus: https://youtu.be/wuc3NPsL844

Scaling Scrum with Nexus: https://www.scrum.org/resources/scaling-scrum

Interesting post on differences between Nexus and other scaling frameworks: https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-difference-between-the-Nexus-Framework-and-other-Scaled-Scrum-Frameworks


Scaling Agile to the Entire Company – The Spotify Model


There are tremendous benefits that are realized when software development teams start using Agile methodologies and principles. They see huge increases in productivity, reductions in bureaucracy, reductions in paperwork and documentation. The methodologies encourage flexibility, innovation, and creativity and facilitate flexible working environments. All these benefits have been seen time and time again within IT software development teams that have been using Agile. So how do we get these benefits from the software development teams out to the larger organization?


Companies like Zappos, Spotify, Skyscanner, and ING are utilizing Agile principles across the entire organization. Instead of standard departments like Accounting, Marketing, Sales, Finance, IT, and Legal, companies are creating highly autonomous and highly aligned cross-functional teams that are empowered to make good decisions quickly. The results are a highly motivated and efficient workforce that can deliver innovative solutions faster than ever.


Below are a few short videos from Spotify and ING explain their approach:


Agile way of working at ING Belgium: https://youtu.be/TaV-d7eKWFc

Spotify Method: https://vimeo.com/85490944


Interesting articles and posts on the subject:

Is agile management the future of the workplace? : https://businessandfinance.com/squads-tribes-guilds-agile-management-future-workplace/

Don’t copy the Spotify model: https://www.infoq.com/news/2016/10/no-spotify-model


If you need help implementing, scaling, or expanding Agile at your company, we’d be happy to introduce you to leaders in the space. Please feel free to reach out to me at henry@perspectivetalent.com

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