Scaling Agile: Methods & Framework

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  • 0:04 Adapting Agile to Large Orgs
  • 1:43 Scaling Methods and Frameworks
  • 4:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Olga Bugajenko

Olga is a registered PRINCE2 Practitioner and has a master's degree in project management.

Traditional Agile methods like Scrum work well for five- to nine-person teams. In this lesson, we'll review some of the most popular Agile methods and explore frameworks aimed at adopting Agile for large organizations.

Adapting Agile to Large Orgs

Agile methodologies are becoming increasingly popular for software development. However, the most popular Agile methodology, called Scrum, is best suited for a single, five- to nine-person development team. In order to adopt Agile processes for larger organizations, longer projects, and more complex environments, scaling is necessary.

In order to successfully implement Agile principles, it is important to maintain the following attributes even as you scale them up:

  • Team size: Small teams help to enable efficient information sharing.
  • Specialization of roles: In an Agile team, members are encouraged to remain multi-skilled and avoid specialization.
  • Iteration length: Development iterations should remain short (two to four weeks) even in bigger organizations.
  • Synchronized cadence: If several teams are involved, the length of iterations should be synchronized as much as possible to avoid the need for multiple integrations.
  • Release definition: It is recommended to synchronize the release schedule and the number of iterations in each release with existing business and budget cycles, such as quarterly reports.
  • Batch size: Slow feedback is a frequent problem in larger organizations because of excessive documentation. Quick, batched feedback should remain a priority.
  • Product owner role: The product owner role must be preserved in the scaled Agile method to define and prioritize customer requirements.
  • User role: It is crucial to involve users in the process of explaining customer requirements to the development team early in a project.

Scaling Methods and Frameworks

Let's review some of the most popular Agile methods and frameworks that are scaled to larger organizations.

Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD)

DAD is a process decision framework based on a set of capabilities, developed by Scott Ambler and Mark Lines. Instead of prescribing certain practices, it provides the project manager with alternatives and the freedom to choose the best-suited practice for a given situation. The DAD method splits the development process into three phases: inception, construction, and transition. Through all three phases, it's important to meet certain ongoing goals, including fulfilling the project mission, growing team members, addressing risks, improving processes, and enhancing existing infrastructure.

Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)

The DSDM framework was created in 1994 based on the Rapid Application Development (RAD) framework. The fundamental idea behind DSDM is the 80/20 rule, which states that you should deliver 80% of the product in 20% of the time, thereby delivering a simple solution as quickly as possible. DSDM relies on the MoSCoW framework for requirements prioritization, and splits the development processes into three phases: pre-project, project lifecycle, and post-project. The project lifecycle is further split into five stages: feasibility study, business study, functional model iteration, design and build iteration, and implementation.

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