You want to have Agile at scale but not to scale Agile

It’s is important that we understand the difference between Agile at scale and scaling Agile. Agile at scale means the organization is Agile. It can develop, deliver and pivot quickly. But it doesn’t mean that the projects are scaled. Large projects are an anathema to Agile as are large teams and trains. Scaled Agile should help us break workflows down into small and separate value streams so as to create efficiencies and quick feedback.

Just because you can hold planning events to coordinate hundreds of people doesn’t mean you should. In fact, large projects are usually a symptom of not being able to decouple functionality or not being able to create properly organized teams.

Sometimes getting started with big planning events is all you can do. But whatever method you are using needs to help take you further. A good coach can bring a tool box of many different ways to do this so you don’t have to re-invent the wheel. No one-size fits all approach will work because organizations and their teams are different. With a good understanding of the science of Flow and a set of practices to create small, (semi-)independent teams it is possible to create a custom-fit approach that you can be confident will work for you.

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