experiences on scaling agile

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  1. 1. Experiences on scaling agile Jens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.comIndexChanging team structure as scale evolvesProcess from strategy to team level workStrategy and product days(Single) tool for shared understanding and KPI performanceJens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  2. 2. 0 TargetsClear process for company strategy to guide the actual work done by the teamsTransparency regarding the work planned, progress and dependenciesClear roles and ownershipJens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  3. 3. 1 Scaling the team structuresOrganizations scaling from very small to big. Following slides show some models that I have seen functioning in practice.Jens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  4. 4. Assumptions regarding the workA software project or projects in dynamic market situation. Effective and agile throughput matching the customer needs is assumed to be the top priority.Jens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  5. 5. From very small (1-4 persons)With a very small team Kanban is great, due to its low overhead. In a small team, communication can be effective through frequent brief meetings.As team size grows, the Kanban process can be scaled towards scrumKanbanTeamJens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  6. 6. To quite small (5-9 persons)Scrum teams typically are sized between 5 and 9 persons. Throughput per head is reduced, as the team size grows, and too big teams should be avoided.Scrum TeamGraph from: Succeeding with Agile, Mike CohnJens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  7. 7. Jens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.comTo multiple teams (10+)As team size grows, the team should be split to multiple teams. If there are dependencies, they can be managed through (1) shared backlog visibilities and (2) scrum of scrums. Each backlog should have single master owner for avoiding stalemates.ScrumTeamScrum TeamPOSMSMPOProgram/Strategic level backlog, e.g. Big features or epicsScrum of scrums
  8. 8. Jens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.comTo multiple teams, bigger (20+)Larger amount of domains with dependencies needs some coordinating entity between them, e.g. Program manager. It is not mandatory to have same agile model in all teams.ScrumTeamScrumTeamSMSMPOProgram Manager/ TeamKanbanTeamPOScrumTeamSMPO
  9. 9. Jens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.comLarger organizations (50+)Larger organizations can have more entities, e.g. for strategic planning.ScrumTeamScrum TeamSMSMPOProgram Manager/ TeamKanbanTeamPOScrumTeamSMPOProgram Manager/ TeamScrum TeamSMPOPortfolio TeamStrategy Team
  10. 10. 2 Process from strategy to the team backlogsJens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  11. 11. AssumptionsRegarding the process scale, Im assuming a 3 level, that would suitable for medium and large scale software development. These tiers are1.Strategy2.Program3.TeamJens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  12. 12. Team levelIf teams are working with Scrum, they should also use the Scrum process for managing their work. This works, as the progress is quite foreseeable, and can be effectively planned. Planning happens on detailed level.Tier 1 Strategic levelTier 2 Program levelTier 3 - Team level: ScrumJens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  13. 13. Strategic levelOn strategic level, short sprints are not meaningful, and Kanban is more effective for managing the flow. On this level, backlog consists of highest level epics.Tier 1 Strategic level: KanbanTier 2 Program level: KanbanTier 3 - Team level: ScrumJens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  14. 14. Jens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.comProgram levelOn program level (above team level), the predictability is not good enough, e.g. planning 2 weeks sprints would not make sense. Kanban is the choice for managing the flow. Tight co- operation with team level.Tier 1 Strategic levelTier 2 Program level: KanbanTier 3 - Team level: Scrum
  15. 15. Jens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.comFlow from strategy to team workThe company product vision and strategy should guide the work. Strategy is reflected by the strategic epics on the highest level. Program level adds enough detail for effective planning and Team level adds needed detail for the implementation.Tier 1 Strategic level: KanbanTier 2 Program level: KanbanTier 3 - Team level: Scrum
  16. 16. Process example in practiceCase: Strategy updateStrategy team updates the strategy and strategic epics. This update is then discussed with program level, so that the impact to planned epics becomes clear to all parties involved. For example, prioritizing a new strategic epic will delay an epic in implementation. Thus from strategic level work is pulled (per Kanban) to Program leven and from there it goes to implementation by the Scrum teams.Jens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  17. 17. Jens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.comExample of the 3 levels in the form of a Kanban board.Described process shown as Kanban table. Strategic and Program levels manage the flow of items. Team level adds the details and builds using Scrum.Work in progress (wip) limits highlight the fact that on all levels there should not be too much work in single phase. Could be useful.Tier 1: StrategyTier 2: ProgramTier 3: Team
  18. 18. 3 Regular strategy and product daysThe teams usually have great understanding regarding the marketThe planning process should be 2 way process, and not just a flow from top downOne way to regularly bring all the relevant stakeholders together are regular events. For example:Bi-annual strategy daysQuarterly product daysJens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  19. 19. Strategy dayBusiness environment updateWhere we areWhere is the market going, and where will we be thereVision and strategy updateAny new strategic level items plannedFeedbackPossibly workshop with program and team on relevant topicsNote that strategic level updates can be updated any time. Then triggering the more detailed planning with program and team levels (no need to wait for strategy day)Precede product day, so that the strategy changes can be taken into account in product planningJens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  20. 20. Product dayUpdate by teams (short)PlansActual progress vs. plansProduct specific competitive environment newsPortfolio/big picture updateHow everything comes togetherSales and marketing updateSales usually has a good touch on the market sentimentSales and marketing feedbackJens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  21. 21. 4 (Single) tool for shared views and KPIsJens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  22. 22. Transparency all waysThe plans and progress should be clear to all parties. This includes:1.Plan visibility on all 3 levels2.Transparency on progress3.Clear dependenciesJens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  23. 23. Jens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.comPlan visibility on all 3 levelsTeams below strategic tier, can see what has been planned well into the futureFrom the strategic level, its broken down to smaller items for program level planning and team level implementation.There should be a mapping from the team level items to the strategic level, so that team level progress can be effectively seen on strategic level.Detailed team level planning does not reach far to the future.Tier 1: StrategyTier 2: ProgramTier 3: Team levelQ1Q2Q3
  24. 24. Transparency on progressSelected tool should enable seeing progress on all levels, as progress is being made.Tier 1: StrategyTier 2: ProgramTier 3: TeamJens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  25. 25. Clear dependenciesMost top level items require the work of multiple teamsHigher level items need then map to multiple teams, so that dependencies become clear on all levelsPossible issues are identifiable and can be effectively managed.Tier 3: Team ATier 3: Team BStrategy level epicJens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com
  26. 26. 5 SummaryAgile process should span all the way from strategic planning to the work done by teamsClear ownership on all levelsTeamwork for best possible plans and effective implementationTransparency throughout all the levels will make the planning and work more effectiveOn further note, VersionOne and Rally have some great webinars on this topicJens Wilke, LangFox, www.langfox.com