Wednesday, March 20, 2013

SV-ALN Meetup: Be Agile. Scale Up. Stay Lean.

Dean Leffingwell
If you are already familiar with the concepts of Agile methodology at the team level, following Dean Leffingwell when he elaborates on the scalability of the Agile framework is a breeze. Such was my experience yesterday when he presented the Scaled Agile Framework™ (SAF) at the SVALN meetup.

The primary ambition of the Scaled Agile Framework is to take the Agile principles to be effective at the enterprise level.

We have already seen several approaches to utilizing hierarchy in using the Agile methodology at the team level. This framework takes the hierarchy, from a team or a project level, to program and portfolio levels, and recognizes the need for non-functional requirements (NFRs), in addition to the user stories that a user would definitely interact with, and recognizes business epics and architectural epics.

Meetup on 19 March 2013.
Several different considerations apply at the project, program and portfolio levels. For instance, at the team level, the recommendation from experience is that the user stories scheduled for an iteration be such that it encourages the development engineer to see the implementation through testing so that, at the end of the iteration, the team has a demonstrable increment in functionality.

At the team level, you may have 2- or 3-week sprints; a release may occur at a Potentially Shippable Increment (PSI) comprising of work amounting to several sprints; at the portfolio level, there may be a need to synchronize of releases of several products.

Scaled Agile Framework™.
Note also, the scaling is chosen to be described as a 'Scaled' framework, rather than a 'Scalable' framework. You'd have to conclude that an impressive array of enterprises that have adopted SAF is what may be behind that choice.

And, if you believe that organizing the enterprise-level needs to be driven hierarchically, you wonder why anyone would not want adopt a framework such as SAF.

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