|By Udayan Banerjee||
|January 5, 2012 10:00 AM EST||
Scaling agile is not simple. The complexity increases not in proportion to the size of the team but at the square of the size of the team. That means a 20 member team project will be 4 times as complex as a 10 member team.
To ensure that complexity does not turn into chaos it is inevitable that the pure agile way of working may have to be sacrificed – is it possible without violating agile manifesto? It is also inevitable that the agile practices will need to integrate into other practices of the enterprise.
To be able to scale agile we need to understand:
- What the dimensions to this complexity?
- How to split the problem and the team?
- How to introduce processes and tools?
- How to manage collaboration among distributed team members?
- How to plan and manage workflow?
Dimensions of scaling and the need to integrate with other enterprise processes
Scaling Agile: An Executive Guide – Scott Ambler
To scale agile to an enterprise level, eight dimensions of complexity needs to be handled.
- Team size – from less than ten to hundreds
- Geographical distribution – from collocated to globally distributed
- Regulatory compliance – need for mandatory compliance
- Domain complexity – straightforward to complex and emerging
- Organizational distribution – from all in-house to multiple external parties
- Technical complexity – from homogeneous to heterogeneous including legacy
- Organizational complexity – from flexible to rigid
- Enterprise discipline – from no external constrain to need to adhere to enterprise standards
Different options of splitting the teams
Scaling agile teams – by features or by component? – David Draper
There are four options to split a large team into smaller sub-teams
- Component orientation: (Pro) Typically this is how developers align themselves. (Con) Need to split user-centric feature – focus shifts away from business value.
- Discipline: (Pro) This is how enterprises are already organized. (Con) Risk longer lead times with a “throw over the wall” attitude.
- Location: (Pro) Collocated teams tend to be more effective. (Con) Need to match feature set with specific team.
- Feature: (Pro) Aligns well with goal of delivering value. (Con) Integration issues may arise.
In practice a mix-and-match approach may be best where the split is done primarily based of feature and location.
Harmonizing the tool and process dimension with agile practices
Scaling Agile for Project Teams – Alan Bustamante & Rahul Sawhney
There is a need to harmonize three dimensions of people, process and tool. Here are some of the recommendations on how to achieve it.
- People issues are best tackled through structure, empathy, communication, and people-oriented policies.
- Addressing process challenges for scaling requires organizations to understand their process focus and validate that it is aligned with the organization’s vision, mission, and values.
- Focus on tools that support and facilitate the team and sub-team’s processes by eliminating or minimizing non-value added work.
- Configuring tools around a flawed process will still yield a flawed process. Fix the people and process issues first.
Making distributed teams effective through communities of practice
Scaling Agile to work with Distributed Teams – Mike Cohn
Total team size increases complexity. Distribution increases complexity. It becomes impossible for all team members to know each other let alone trust each other. One way to build the bridge is to set up communities of practice.
- A group of likeminded or like skilled individuals which is self-organizing, organic and can span projects / location
- All communities need not be officially sanctioned – they can completely informal to highly institutionalized
- Creating proper environment for the communities is important
Managing the product backlog at multiple levels
Scaling Agile Processes: Five Levels of Planning – Hubert Smits
Agile planning activities for large-scale development efforts should rely on five levels:
- Product Visioning
- Product Roadmap
- Release Planning
- Iteration Planning
- Daily Planning
Product Vision is more like a desire of what the product will deliver once it is finished and would not talk about specific features. On the other hand Product Roadmap would talk about high level product backlog from which backlog for lower levels will be derived. It will communicate when releases are needed, what would be sufficient functionality and what business value would be delivered.
Like the two previous levels Release Planning is also for all the teams. Releases are defined by fixed date, theme, and planned feature set to which all teams must commit to. Typically, the product release would be once a quarter and the iteration cycle would be 2 to 4 weeks.
Managing workflow between multiple teams using Kanban
Large-Scale Agile – James Shore
Use Kanban for workflow not within a team but between teams.
- Treat each agile team as a work cell
- Use Kanban to manage cross-team workflow
- Create a Product Portfolio team which is collocated, cross-functional, intact team consisting of product managers, business experts, UX designers, architects etc.
- Partition the teams in such a way as to minimize the dependencies
- Monitor the system using lean techniques which is Visual control, Throughput and Value-stream mapping
- Sacrifice reuse in favor of throughput
- Keep communication flowing with Scrums of Scrums
Since, to scale agile, we may have to deviate from the spirit of the original manifesto, the question is how much can we deviate and still call the resultant methodology agile? And, when does it become an iterative development methodology?
Incidentally, iterative development seems to be as successful as agile development. Have a look at this survey outcome.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust IoT ...
Jun. 29, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,760
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Jun. 29, 2015 12:19 PM EDT Reads: 678
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
Jun. 29, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,564
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
Jun. 29, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,116
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
Jun. 29, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,884
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Jun. 29, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,037
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Jun. 29, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,447
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
Jun. 28, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,174
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Jun. 27, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,193
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fillin...
Jun. 26, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,186
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jun. 26, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,045
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
Jun. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,987
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
Jun. 25, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,132
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, and the “Third Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place June 7-9, 2016, at Javits Center in New York City. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Jun. 22, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,715
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Jun. 20, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,835
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
Jun. 15, 2015 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 4,065
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
Jun. 15, 2015 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,861
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Jun. 15, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 5,917
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discusses the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
Jun. 11, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,315
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Jun. 10, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,311