There are three levels, or dare we say levels of scale, for “agility at scale”:
All three levels are important. As you can see in the diagram above they build on, and support, each other. Let’s examine these three fundamental levels for agility at scale:
- Tactical agility at scale. Tactical agility at scale refers to the application of agile and lean strategies on IT delivery teams. This includes the ability to apply agile on teams of all sizes, on teams that are geographically distributed, on teams facing regulatory compliance, on teams addressing a complex domain (problem space), on teams applying a complex technologies, on teams where outsourcing may be involved, and combinations thereof. Figure 2 below summarizes these scaling factors. An important implication of this is that because you are likely to have IT delivery teams facing different situations, these teams will be following different tailorings of the Disciplined Agile framework – context counts.
- Strategic agility at scale. Strategic agility at scale refers to the application of agile and lean strategies across your entire organization. From an IT point of view this includes the majority, if not all, of your IT delivery teams as well as a the IT-level teams support activities such as enterprise architecture, operations, support (IT help desk), portfolio management, IT governance, and other capabilities. From an enterprise point of view this includes all divisions and teams within your organization, not just your IT department. Figure 3 below overviews how agile scales both tactically and strategically and Figure 4 overviews the Disciplined Agile process blades.
- Lean enterprise. A lean enterprise is able to anticipate and respond swiftly to changes in the marketplace. It does this through an organizational culture and structure that facilitates change within the context of the situation that it faces. Lean enterprises require a learning mindset in the mainstream business and underlying lean and agile processes to drive innovation.
Figure 2. Complexity factors of the Software Development Context Framework (SCF).
Figure 3. Tactically and strategically scaling your agile delivery process.
Figure 4. The Disciplined Agile 2.x framework.