Scaling Up Agility

PMI Southern Alberta Chapter

Mike Griffiths is a consultant and trainer who help organizations improve performance through shared leadership, agility and (un)common sense. He maintains the blog LeadingAnswers.com.

Scaling agile is a hot topic these days. Frameworks like SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) and DAD (Disciplined Agile Delivery) are in the limelight as companies training up ‘’agile transformation consultants’’ to transition entire organizations to agile. However, successful scaling is not easy. It is one thing to put a company through a week’s worth of training and mentoring, but another completely to make lasting changes to working practices and resolve all the issues that surface along the way.

The logic is simple: When executives see a successful agile project, their initial thoughts are often, “Great, let’s do more of this!” Yet the solution is complex. Likewise, solving the simple question of “How do we reliably duplicate exemplary performance?” is anything but simple. Moving from one or two successful agile projects to transitioning an entire organization to use agile methods is a challenging and daunting task.

Factors such as people who do not understand the problems with current practices and a lack of agile thinking are difficult issues to overcome. Strategies for transforming an organization to agile vary. Some favor a top-down education process, others a bottom-up, grassroots initiative.

Should the approach be Buddhist (teach the principles and allow local adaptations) or more like Catholicism (…

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