Scaling Agile Series Part 1: Can you Scale Agility?

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This post is for anyone who wonders like I do whether scaling agile is possible in large IT organizations.

Agility: noun

  • the power of moving quickly and easily; nimbleness
  • the ability to think and draw conclusions quickly; intellectual acuity

More and more companies are choosing to “go agile” throughout their organizations. As a scrum master, agile coach and early adopter of Agile frameworks, I appreciate reading about these transformations and being a part of them. But, as I dive more deeply into the topic and consider the true meaning of the term agility, I can’t help but wonder…

  • Can large companies really be agile in a scaled environment?

  • Does “scaling agile” mean losing the ability to stay nimble?

  • Can teams think and draw conclusions quickly, and with intellectual acuity, at scale?

These questions led me to explore whether true agility is possible in a scaled environment. (Full disclosure: I have spent the better part of the last five years convincing both big and small organizations that adopting an Agile framework is indeed the best approach to software development.)

Over the next several posts, I will review scaled Agile techniques, share discussions I’ve had with friends and colleagues working within organizations using scaled frameworks, and provide options and opinions based on the outcome of my research. I invite you to follow me as I iterate along a path towards organizational agility.

Scrum of Scrums Scaled Agile Framework

Don’t forget to catch up on the series by reading Scaling Agile Part 2 and Scaling Agile Part 3 and Scaling Agile Part 4.

Stay tuned for my forthcoming posts where I will take a quick look at four popular Agile Scaling Frameworks: LeSS, SAFe, DA, and SoS. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to comment below. 

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