Agile Zone is brought to you in partnership with:

Mike is a certified PMP project manager and a certified ScrumMaster. Mike was involved with the creation of the DSDM Agile Project Leader certification, holds this certification at the Foundation, Practitioner, and Examiner levels. Mike was named an honorary member of the DSDM consortium and served on the board of APLN and the Lean Software and Systems Consortium. He currently co-leads the PMI Agile Community of Practice. Mike is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 148 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Agile Adoption and Scaling Patterns

08.19.2009
| 1999 views |
  • submit to reddit

Over the past few months of writing Leading Agile... doing the Cutter Paper... and now preparing to write this book... we've talked a lot about different agile adoption and scaling patterns in the enterprise. Specifically here we've talked about team based agile, first order agile scaling, and second order agile scaling.

As Dennis and I have noodled around on this... talked to clients... implemented and consulted... and tried to build out this framework... I think we've landed on a five phase roadmap that can be talked about with some degree of clarity. We'll go into detail on these over the next few weeks... but for now... I want to just put the model out there and see what you guys think:


Team Based Agile is what we mostly talk about when we talk about agile. We have Product Owners and Customers... we have ScrumMasters and Teams. We are 6-8 people... maybe all in the same room.. maybe not. We focus on solid engineering practices... collaboration... teamwork.

Horizontal Scaling is the next step. As the name implies... horizontal scaling is taking the team based model and replicating it in different parts of the organization. We see this quite a bit... pockets of agility across the enterprise... but no one is really working together in a coordinated way. Pretty much the same as team based... just more of it.

First Order Agile Scaling is basically Agile Project Management. It is the first time we start talking about how to get multiple teams working together to deliver an integrated product or project deliverable. This is where we first start thinking about the various Scrum of Scrum patterns we talked about a few posts ago.

Second Order Agile Scaling takes a collection of teams from the single project space into agile portfolio management. How are we going to break up projects and throttle them through the teams? This is where we really start to focus on lean and TOC and have to focus on enterprise priorities and investment decisions.

Third Order Agile Scaling is an area we haven't talked much about yet. This is where we take agile outside the product delivery organization. Getting projects out the door isn't our problem anymore... it's not our constraint. We need to start focusing on the integrating the value stream across the entire enterprise.


At each level of adoption and scaling... we plan to introduce a new set of organizational capabilities... and new set of desired outcomes... a new set of WHATs. At each level... we'll explore the agile practices... the HOWs... that can help enable those desired outcomes.  
Think about this for me a bit and let me know what you think.
References
Published at DZone with permission of Mike Cottmeyer, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

Comments

Bob Youngblood replied on Fri, 2009/09/04 - 1:14pm

Good work Mike, Another part of Agile Scaling is getting the manager's incentives aligned with Agile development practices. Until this is fixed the organization is probably limited to horizontal scaling.

john green green replied on Sun, 2009/12/06 - 11:37am

It is the first time we start talking about how to get multiple teams working together to deliver an integrated product or project deliverable. This is where we first start thinking about the various Scrum of Scrum patterns we talked about a few posts ago.
nike china shoes

Ash Mughal replied on Thu, 2012/01/26 - 2:52am

I like this structure… just make sure people don't start confusing this with (or falsely smelling) the APMM that IBM is pushing. The whole 5 level thing is a structure that invokes the maturity model smell.

I'm just throwing that out there so you have a head's up that some people might react funny, and why. The fact that you call it "order scaling" is new terminology and might be enough.

advanced java

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.