Scale Agile in order to support more complexity, larger teams, and disciplines

Scale Agile in order to support more complexity, larger teams, and disciplines

Whether your organization goes full bore on a framework, or customizes your own homegrown process, remember that 'Agile at scale' is not the end goal. The end goal is to effectively execute your strategy.

Scaling Agile Solutions

Scaling Agile solutions integrate our wider solution offerings in Lean-Agile and Business Agility

Ready to learn more about scaling your organization's Agility?

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Partnering with us enables you to benefit from a holistic approach on your journey of adopting, embedding, and evolving Agile ways of executing your strategy.

The challenge now is to scale Agile to work in complex settings with more teams, larger systems, longer timelines, diverse operating environments, and multiple disciplines.

Scaling agile is not easy, and won't happen overnight!  NorthStar ensures your agile scaling goes smoothly.

As your company grows and your teams start getting larger, it is not uncommon for there to be scaling problems.  NorthStar Solutions Group can help you assess the pain points of scaling Agile and make recommendations based on your unique needs.

Scaling Agile

Scaling Agile has these common issues that we can help you address.  If you’re seeing any or all of these issues, leveraging one our Agilists will help you address: 

  • Your teams are sprinting separately in silos, rather than sprinting together 
  • You have great visibility into the individual team production, but are losing sight of the big picture 
  • Management’s expectations aren’t in alignment with the teams’ execution 
  • Expectations and goal setting are hindered by unrealistic goals and capacity misunderstanding 
  • Collaboration, especially with outsourced teams, are failing deliver the plan to all the teams involved in the solution

These are not unusual and can be addressed with several solutions here at NorthStar.  We have experienced Agilists who can assist you in scaling your Agile implementation.  The two most popular frameworks for scaling Agile are SAFe(c) and Large Scale Scrum (LeSS).  Let one of our experienced Agile coaches assist you in determining which framework is best for your environment.  

What is SAFe? 

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) methodology is an agile framework developed by Scaled Agile Inc. and Dean Leffingwell for development teams. 

 The framework addresses the scaling issues, buy splitting the problems into three pillars:  

  • Team 
  • Program 
  • Portfolio 

SAFe is fundamentally scaling the scrum process into larger, or 'scaled' ceremonies.  At the team level of Scrum, you have planning, daily stand up, product demo, and retrospectives.  SAFe helps by scaling the intent of those Scrum ceremonies up to the program and portfolio levels of your organization.  SAFe is based on these principles. 

  • Take an economic view 
  • Apply systems thinking 
  • Assume variability; preserve options 
  • Build incrementally with fast, integrated learning cycles 
  • Base milestones on objective evaluation of working systems 
  • Visualize and limit Work in Progress (WIP), reduce batch sizes, and manage queue lengths 
  • Apply cadence, synchronize with cross-domain planning 
  • Unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers 
  • Decentralize decision making 
  • Organize around value 

SAFe is a prescriptive framework in that it guides the organization step by step through what it is required to do to deliver the required product. 

What is LeSS? 

LeSS is very similar to single team Scrum, only extended.  In LeSS there is one Product Backlog, one Product Owner, one Definition of Done, one common sprint, and one shippable deliverable for all teams.  Since all teams are working on implementing the same product, all teams are cross-functional with few, if any, specialty teams. In summary, all teams work to deliver a common, shippable product each sprint. 

LeSS believes and enforces the following principles: 

  • Empirical process control 
  • Transparency 
  • More with less 
  • Whole-product focus 
  • Customer-centric 
  • Continuous improvement striving toward perfection 
  • Systems thinking 
  • Lean thinking 
  • Queuing theory 

When scaling your organization, there is a tendency to add more of everything and thereby increasing overhead and costs.  Where possible, LeSS’s goals for scaled agile projects are to do the opposite.  The main goal is to solve things as simply as possible with “less roles, less management, less organizational structures”.  LeSS does not only stand for Large Scale Scrum.  It also means “less” work to acheive the goal.

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