The Case for Small When You Are @Scale – #SAFeSummit 15

We suggest our clients focus on:

  • Systems thinking
  • Quarterly business planning or shorter
  • Small business chunks so you can release quickly
  • Creating the right environment for teams to work in
  • Acceptance Test-Driven Development
  • A flow-based mindset

In over a decade of doing Agile at scale, we’ve found the most important concept to be that of the smallest realizable chunk of business value (hashtag14’s topic). But why small? Consider this:

  1. Working on too many things creates gaps in workflow & feedback which creates additional work
  2. Often reducing batch size is all it takes to bring a system back into control – Eli Goldratt
  3. If you only quantify one thing, quantify the Cost of Delay. Don Reinertsen (smaller things take less time to build)
  4. There is more value created with overall alignment than with local excellence. DR.
  5. Smaller pieces take fewer people to build & makes it easier to align around. The more alignment you have, the more autonomy you can grant (Stephen Bungay, Art of Action)
  6. There’s nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all. -Peter Drucker. Big items almost certainly have more in them that isn’t necessary than small items

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