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Scaling Agile without the scaling framework

Speaker: Jeffrey Anderson

Duration: 60 min

Track: People and Leadership

Level: Advanced

Increasingly Agile adoption has focused on how to operate larger enterprises with agility, and run larger and larger initiatives, at scale.

In many cases, organizations have turned to explicit agile scaling frameworks to address their needs to coordinate increasingly larger efforts to deliver value in a way of that does not sacrifice feedback and self organization . Often these frameworks attempt to address the complexity that comes with large scale by adding extra process and procedure. Prescriptive advice is prescribed in the form of additional roles, stages, gates, and methods. This approach to scaling bears more than a little similarity to the heavy weight methods of the past, but in this case merging agile terminology with much of the same framework bloat and bureaucracy we have seen in the past.

As a a result adoptees struggle to understand how to fit these frameworks to their context, and seasoned coaches struggle to wrestle out the good bits.

During this session I will discuss a different approach to scaling agile, one that places an emphasis on both mindset and practice. I'll pay particular attention to the topic of leadership, organizational design, and the role management has to play in designing a system of work that allows larger efforts to work with an agile mindset without being forced into a one size fits all process framework.

A key part of the discussion will be to showcase how core agile methods and techniques can be extended and expanded to successfully manage coordinated agile deployments that range from hundreds to thousands of FTEs. I'll present these techniques by using real examples of agile deployments I have been a part of during my work with ScotiaBank's agile journey.

Key Scaling Practices covered will include:
- The design components required to structure your organization based on demand
- How to continuously de-scale your organization
- "Get Out Of the Boardroom" style governance and leadership
- Operational cadences and Impediment Escalation Flow
- Managing the flow of value at the Business Technology Asset level
- Moving the conversation from stories to domains
- Streamlining finance and budgeting to align to the agile mindset

I hope to illustrate ways that both management and knowledge workers can select techniques that allow them to scale agile as needed to support ever larger initiatives without succumbing to a one size fits all framework that does not adapt constant change.



Jeff Anderson

Over the last decade, Jeff has played a leadership role on a large number of enterprise-scale agile transformations, providing program management, operating-model design and change-management services. Jeff frequently blogs about and presents on lean and agile adoption, and is the author of The Lean Change Method, which guides organizations through the agile change through application of lean startup techniques. As the president of Agile By Design, Jeff continues his mission in life to help knowledge workers be awesome at what they do.

Jeff has presented at numerous conferences, has been nominated for a Brickell Key award, and is a founding fellow of the Lean System Society.