International Project Management Day




Scaling Software Agility: Best Practices for Large Enterprises

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Abstract
Richly detailed presentation on how to use Agile practices "at scale" for larger enterprises and their complex programs. The presentation also includes valuable overview material on all the benefits of Agile to an organization.


What this is

In-depth conference presentation, contributed by Dean Leffingwell, author of Scaling Software Agility: Best Practices for Large Enterprises, on how to use Agile practices "at scale" for larger enterprises and their complex programs. The presentation covers in detail the key techniques for software team agility, plus critical areas for making Agile work at the enterprise level. The latter area covers philosophies and approaches for handling system architecture, large scale requirements, release trains, distributed development, cross-functional impacts, organizational implications, and measuring business performance according to Agile principles and in a way that integrates well with the Agile development activities in sub-teams. The presentation also includes valuable overview material on all the benefits of Agile to an organization.


Why it's useful

Some people considering adopting Agile project techniques wonder how this approach can work in large organizations involving complex interrelated systems development. With so much attention in classes and literature to Scrum techniques at the small development team level, managers interested in Agile can be left wondering exactly how everything else gets handled—creating a cohesive system architecture, defining program- or release-level requirements, etc. How can those parts use Agile techniques? (Can they?) How do those front-end components integrate with the short sprints of Agile development? This presentation answers those questions with concrete examples. It is an excellent resource for understanding how to successfully implement Agile in a complex systems environment and adapt an organization's processes to do so. Excellent graphics are used throughout to bring the concepts to life and provide fodder for explaining them to others.


How to use it

  • Skim the presentation in full to orient yourself to the major sections and note areas that will be useful for learning of new philosophies or techniques, as well as sections that may be useful for explaining and selling Agile to others in your organization if needed.
  • Review the section on Achieving Team Agility for a thorough overview of the major elements of Agile development and management from a team perspective.
  • Review the section on Achieving Enterprise Agility to learn the key factors necessary to make Agile work at scale and how those factors play out in detail in defining requirements, doing rolling-wave release planning, and managing release trains.
  • Review the last part of the Enterprise Agility section for guidance on how to move incrementally to enterprise-level Agile.
  • Based on your current goals, decide how to use the material for selling others on the benefits of moving to Agile, to guide process development or adjustments to do so, and/or to consider how to manage the changes required to achieve Agility at scale.

About the Author
Dean Leffingwell is an entrepreneur, software executive, consultant, and author who provides agility coaching to large software enterprises. He founded or co-founded a number of companies, including RELA/Colorado Medtech; Requisite, Inc. (now part of IBMÕs Rational Division); and consumer internet identity company ProQuo, Inc. He formerly served as chief methodologist to Rally Software and as Vice President of Rational Software, now IBMÕs Rational Division, where his responsibilities included the Rational Unified Process.

Dean has been a student, coach, and author of contemporary software engineering and management practices throughout his career. His most recent book is Scaling Software Agility: Best Practices for Large Enterprises. His next book, Agile Requirements: Lean Requirements Practices for Teams, Programs and the Enterprise, will be published in 2010. He is also author of the classic text Managing Software Requirements, which has been translated into five languages. Dean can be reached through his blog at www.scalingsoftwareagility.wordpress.com.



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