Agile scaling in the company – but how?

Since the introduction of agility, we have been trying to scale it. The first step towards agile scaling was taken with Scrum of Scrums. Subsequently, a large number of agile evangelists began to think about solutions for a company-wide scaling of Scrum and wrote very exciting books and approaches from 2010 to 2016.

LESS, DAD, SAFe? Is it all just marketing?

It all started with the SAFe Framework by Leffingwell (2010). The magazines reported about this framework as being very bureaucratic and inflexible. Leffingwell has greatly improved this framework to date and releases new versions every year. More information is available in his new book . IBM then wanted to scale agility and, with Ambler and Lines in 2012, created Disciplined Agile Delivery, a collection of many best practices that were introduced in 2012 have been published as a book . In 2015 Ken Schwaber (Nexus) and soon Larman and Vodde (2016) followed suit with the LeSS framework. There are first lectures by the two and a book that will appear from September 2016.

Evaluation of the frameworks through interviews

In the course of Research on agility I’ve studied these scaling frameworks in depth and wondered why I rarely see them in use. I then evaluated the frameworks together with agile coaches and came to a surprising result: Actually, these frameworks were described by the coaches as pure marketing frameworks. People would be pushed into a framework and the actual freedom that Scrum had to offer was no longer given. For this reason, according to the coaches, the introduction of such frameworks was often canceled halfway and new solutions and approaches were sought.

Does agile scaling even exist?

Scrum is a bit like Lego. It can be combined with any other method. So it is in the big as well as in the small, z. B. A backlog should always be understood in the same way. The only difference is that if there are several teams there is a backlog that carries larger user stories, so-called epics, with it. Or let’s take a project backlog that lists all projects and prioritizes them. So I always start with the most important projects. So I don’t actually scale Scrum, I use the values and methods of agility so that they create value in the right place at the right time.

Holocracy, the Scrum principle, agile leadership and resilience

After evaluating the interviews, I have now summarized all the frameworks I found and sorted them by relevance. A detailed overview of the exact contents and authors can be found in the article Frameworks for agility . I would now like to go into what constitutes this.
The frameworks mentioned in the heading do not restrict the organization as strictly as current scaling frameworks, because their focus is on the organization and the people within it. No framework prescribes exactly what is to be done, but each aims at a flexibility and self-organization of the individual participants. Roles instead of positions should be formed and, if necessary, the actual organization should be overridden at any time in order to react faster and better to changes.
[werbung] Verwendete Quellen anzeigen

Larman, C., & Vodde, B. (2016). Large-scale Scrum . Hallbergmoos: Pearson Education.

Leffingwell, D. (2010). Agile Software Requirements: Lean Requirements Practices for Teams, Programs, and the Enterprise . Boston: Addison Wesley.

Schwaber, K. (2015). Nexus Framework. Retrieved from

Ambler, SW, & Lines, M. (2012). Disciplined agile delivery . Boston: IBM Press.



I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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