AoAD2 Chapter: Scaling Agility

This is an excerpt from The Art of Agile Development, Second Edition. Visit the Second Edition home page for additional excerpts and more!

This excerpt is copyright 2007, 2021 by James Shore and Shane Warden. Although you are welcome to share this link, do not distribute or republish the content without James Shore’s express written permission.

Scaling Agility

In a perfect world, every Agile team would be perfectly isolated, completely owning its product or portfolio of products. Cross-team coordination is a common source of delays and errors. If every team were isolated, that wouldn’t be a problem.

It’s also not at all realistic. A typical Agile team has 4–10 people. That’s often not enough.

So, then, how do you scale? Although this book is focused on individual Agile teams, the question is important enough to deserve a chapter of its own.

Scaling Fluency

Far too often, organizations invest in scaling Agile without investing in teams’ fluency or organizational capability.

Far too often, organizations try to scale Agile without actually having the ability to be Agile in the first place. They invest a lot of time and money in the large-scale Agile flavor of the day, without investing in teams’ fluency or organizational capability. It never works.

To scale Agile, you’ll need to scale your organization’s ability to be Agile. This involves three parts: organizational capability, coaching capability, and team capability. continue reading, buy the book!

In this Section

  1. Scaling Agility
    1. Scaling Fluency
      1. Organizational Capability
      2. Coaching Capability
      3. Team Capability
        1. Sidebar: Second Adopter Syndrome
    2. Scaling Products and Portfolios
      1. Scaling Vertically
        1. LeSS
        2. Adopting LeSS
        3. FAST
        4. Adopting FAST
        5. Challenges and benefits of vertical scaling
      2. Scaling Horizontally
      3. Scaling Vertically and Horizontally
      4. My Recommendation
        1. Sidebar: What About SAFe?

Discuss the book on the AoAD2 mailing list or Discord server. For videos and interviews regarding the book, see the book club archive.

For more excerpts from the book, see the Second Edition home page.

If you liked this entry, check out my best writing and presentations, and consider subscribing to updates by email or RSS.