How do we become more Agile (with Scrum/XP/etc.) and Lean, and how do we Scale to Win (in the Marketplace)? What’s the Secret!

Simply, Solution-ize (or Productize) — that is, organize to increase your Velocity to deliver Value — and cultivate Communities of Practice (CoPs). Note that a solution/product is a bundle of value, which might include software, hardware, services, etc. A solution may include products (hardware, software, etc.) and services.

Aniket Mahanti’s “Challenges in Enterprise Adoption of Agile Methods – A Survey” offers various insights, but perhaps Tuomo Kähkönen’s “Agile Methods for Large Organizations – Building Communities of Practice” offers a more cogent summary of the role of CoPs (emphasis added):

“Use of agile software development methods in large organizations has been challenging. This paper opened up new directions for scaling up the use of agile approaches by introducing CoPs as an explanatory theory. Using this theory, the paper pointed out one important limitation of most of the current public agile methods: they rely on a team concept that is insufficient for success in large organizations operating on dynamic markets. The results of this paper supported the proposition that in addition to the official team structures, there should be in place CoPs that transcend traditional team boundaries. For agile methods, this proposition implies that they should incorporate also practices that contribute to the creation and effective operation of such communities.”

How do we increase Velocity and Throughout (relative to Demand) to deliver Value?

Simply, Focus, leverage Feedback, and Balance. Note that Velocity is speed with direction and not merely directionless speed! Agility is not merely about Speed, but about Value – Less so about being Reactive and more so about being Sustainably Responsive with Quality!

How do we increase a Team’s or Enterprise’s Focus?

Simply, leverage Leadership through Collaboration (Contribution and Confirmation) with the members of the Team or Enterprise.

How do we increase our Team’s or Enterprise’s ability to Balance?

Simply, Support, Enable, and Empower the members of the Team or Enterprise.

How do increase Feedback for our Team or Enterprise?

Simply, Iterate.

Without Leadership through Collaboration, we jeopardize Focus; without Empowerment, we jeopardize the ability to Balance; without Iterations, we jeopardize the degree of Feedback; and ultimately we jeopardize Velocity and Value!

Underlying these concepts are Lean, Agile, and Competitive values and principles.

Why do you say “Simply”?

Because I wanted you to ask so that I can emphasize that which is Simple is not necessarily Easy!


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