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Intersection18: Scaling Agility by Descaling Organizational Complexity - Robert Briese


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Presented at Intersection18 Conference -

Robert Briese
Agile and Lean Product Development Coach, Consultant and Trainer, Lean Sherpas GmbH

Scrum, Extreme Programming and other agile frameworks have been introduced more than 20 years ago to improve the way software is developed, to get better business results and at the same time improve the life of development teams. Nowadays it’s more and more clear to managers in all business areas, not only IT, why such frameworks based on empirical process control are much more successful in complex systems like business environments than old ways of project management. Unfortunately, the mentioned frameworks are designed for teams up to 9 people and courses like the Scrum Master certifications are focused on how to introduce the agile way of working in a team not in an organisation.

In this talk I will make the case that to achieve true agility an organization needs to descale the complexity of processes and roles. We will discuss the organizational design implications that Scrum (as an agile framework) creates both regarding structure and policies. We will discuss what it takes for an organization to adhere to the foundational principles that support Agile software development as conceived in the Agile Manifesto. Furthermore I will provide learnings from adopting Scrum in large organizations with hunderds of developers.

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Intersection18: Scaling Agility by Descaling Organizational Complexity - Robert Briese

  2. 2. w w w . l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m ROBERT BRIESE Agile & Lean Startup Consultant – Certified Scrum Master – Certified Product Owner – Certified Scrum Professional – Certified LeSS Practitioner Software Development Experience – 18+ years Enterprise Software Development Large Scale Agile Experience – Helped companies like SAP, adidas, BMW improve agile mindset & practices 2
  3. 3. w w w . l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m LEAN SHERPAS GMBH About Us – Founded in Berlin in 2013 – We provide training, consultation and long term coaching in Lean & Agile Development Methods Our Goals – Our customers confirm measurable results like higher customer satisfaction, faster time-to-market and adaptability, accelerated ROI (return of investment), more engaged and motivated employees Our Clients & Activities – SAP SE, BMW AG, adidas AG, Lufthansa Systems, Ergo Digital, Innogy SE – We talk at meetups & conferences, organize Coach Camps and continuously improve and exchange our knowledge through daily collaboration 3
  5. 5. w w w . l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m “Agile is not a practice. It is a quality of the organization and its people to be adaptive, responsive, continually learning and evolving… with the goal of competitive business success and rapid delivery of economically valuable products and knowledge.” - Craig Larman & Bas Vodde 5
  6. 6. w w w . l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m WHY BECOME AN AGILE ORGANIZATION? 6
  7. 7. w w w . l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m ONE TEAM PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT 7Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
  8. 8. w w w . l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m WATER-SCRUM-FALL 8 “Root Causes of Failed Product Efforts“ from INSPIRED, 2nd Edition by Marty Cagan
  9. 9. w w w . l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m SCALED-INDUCED IMPEDIMENTS – Feature Teams (or worse Component Teams) working on “separate products“ – Portfolio Management for prioritization – Project/Program Management for synchronization – Harmful HR practices and policies – Role distinctions & overspecialization – Geographical distribution – No continuous integration with other parts of the product 9
  10. 10. w w w . l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m MORE WITH LESS (PART 1) We don’t want more roles, as that leads to less responsibility of teams We don’t want more artifacts, as that leads to a greater distance between teams and customers We don’t want more processes, as that leads to less learning & team ownership of process 10
  11. 11. w w w . l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m MORE WITH LESS (PART 2) We want more responsible teams by having less roles We want more customer-focused teams by having less artifacts We want more team ownership of processes and more meaningful work by less defined processes 11
  12. 12. w w w . l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m MORE WITH LESS (PART 3) 12
  13. 13. w w w . l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m AGILITY-REDUCING ORG. DESIGN PATTERNS – Portfolio / Program / Project Management – Separate teams of analysts, architects, UX, or QA/test groups – Separate operations group – Head of QA, UX, Architecture, etc. – Chief Product Owner and Team Product Owners – Scrum Masters who coordinate between teams – Team members without domain knowledge or customer interaction 13
  14. 14. w w w . l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m TRY THIS INSTEAD – Cross-functional, self-managing teams with shared responsibility – One Product Owner and one Product Backlog for customer-facing product – Team responsibility for managing its own relationships with external teams and people – Eliminate specialized roles and processes – Let teams resolve dependencies rather than tracking and have someone coordinate for dependencies 14
  15. 15. w w w . l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m OTHER NON-ORGANIZATIONAL SUGGESTIONS – One Sprint and one integrated Potentially Shippable Product Increment – Managers as Teachers – Use agile engineering practices that support agility 15
  16. 16. w w w . l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m SAP STORE ON HYBRIS 16
  17. 17. w w w . l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m WORKING MODEL 17
  18. 18. w w w . l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m BMW AUTONOMOUS DRIVE PLATFORM 18
  19. 19. w w w . l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m WORKING MODEL 19
  20. 20. ww w. l e a n s h e r p a s . c o m THANK YOU