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Scaling Agile: A Guide to Meeting the Challenge

Scaling Agile is a hot topic, and a multitude of frameworks for Agile are being promoted: amongst them are the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Large Scale Scrum (LeSS), Enterprise Scrum, scrum@scale, nexus and Scrum patterns. Yet there is at the same time confusion about what ‘scaling Agile’ actually means: is it about putting multiple teams to work on a large Product Backlog?  Is it about growing lean start-ups whose product has found its place in the market? Or is it about transforming large organizations who have already found Agile to be beneficial? In context, it can mean any of these things which, in turn, implies that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the scaling question. In this course we will explore the broad issues in scaling, compare and contrast what is on offer in the market, and provide criteria for helping you decide which steps to take next.

Who Will Benefit:

  • Managers, Agile leaders and Agile coaches, and anyone effecting change management as a consequence of adopting Agile, can benefit strongly from this course

Learning Objectives

You Will Learn How To:

  • Evaluate your real business need for ‘scaling’
  • Decide whether multiple teams are needed for a large Product Backlog
  • Recognise the key features of the different frameworks on offer
  • Distinguish the benefits and risks of the different approaches
  • Costs and benefits of adding teams
  • Root your decision making in Agile principles

Course Content

Course Outline

What is Scaling?

  • Adding Development teams to a large project
  • Scaling ‘excellence’
  • Transforming a large organisation to one that is lean and Agile
  • Perceived barriers to scaling

Multiple-Team Projects

  • Ensuring the right question is being answered when adding teams
  • Scaling ‘just-in-time’
  • Criteria for adding teams
  • Dealing with initial velocity loss due to Brooks’ Law
  • Expanding support for the Product Owner
  • Applying the Scrum of Scrums pattern
  • Dealing with dependencies
  • Maintaining alignment and autonomy
  • Utilising an Agile Release Train
  • Tactics for synchronising across teams

Transforming Organizations

  • Anticipating the consequences of the Kubler-Ross curve
  • Preparing organisations to be thixotropic
  • Team autonomy: why top-down initiatives often fail
  • Creating the space for self-managing teams
  • Focussing on outcomes rather than outputs
  • Exercising “lean control” to ensure things are being done right
  • Lean portfolio management to ensure the right things are being developed
  • Auditing on value streams
  • Continuous compliance and governance in highly regulated environments
  • Recognising that impediments are the way rather than obstacles on the way to     Agility
  • Measuring product development flow and business value as the primary indicators of progress

Scaling Excellence

  • Building collaborative structures
  • Using obeya rooms to visualize the system of work
  • Identifying ‘deep Agile’ teams as exemplars
  • Employing tactics that generalise good practice
  • Developing a  permanent capability for Agile with coaching

Comparing Agile ‘Scaling Frameworks’

  • Using Kanban systems to visualize value streams
  • Employing the Scaled Agile Framework 4.0 (SAFe 4.0) as a scaffolding for change
  • Comparing and contrasting SAFe, LeSS, scrum@scale and Nexus for multiple-team development
  • Comparing and contrasting frameworks that promise Agile transformation (SAFe 4.0, Enterprise Scrum etc.)
  • Cherry-picking frameworks for custom scaling

Exams & Certification

This course is approved by PMI® for 11 professional development units (PDUs). For more on the Project Management Institute and a full list of courses approved for PDUs.

  Leadership : 6 PDUs
  Business & Strategic : 5 PDUs

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You may prefer an online course if you are looking for a flexible and cost-effective solution. Online courses allow you to study at your own pace, at a time that suits you.

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