Agile Scaling Cycle: from SCaLeD principles to practices


The SCaLeD principles (http://scaledprinciples.org) were well received and gained many supporters. Of course a set of principles is not sufficient to be successful in projects – specific practices (depending on context) need to be used.

When we defined the SCaLeD principles we knew that practices would be needed and that we didn’t want to define another blueprint. So we accepted the gap for the moment.

Later I did a CSM class together with Peter Beck where the participants collected scaling practices. While the participants brainstormed we thought about how to structure the results and came up with the Agile Scaling Cycle (the name came into being during a presentation about scaling I did some weeks later).

The Agile Scaling Cycle is a simple three step cycle. It starts with „reduce dependencies“. Autonomous teams are a cornerstone of agile. Therefore we reduce dependencies between teams as much as possible.

Then we start to work and in the second step of the Agile Scaling Cycle the teams have to coordinate the remaining dependencies.

During the work problems (often pointing at organizational dysfunctions) will occur. These feed the third step of the Agile Scaling Cycle: develop the organization. After that we should have more options to reduce dependencies so we start over again with the first step „reduce dependencies“.

Agile Scaling Cycle.001

We have gathered lots of practices for reducing dependencies during the last decade:

Agile Scaling Cycle.002

And we gathered lots of coordination practices as well:

Agile Scaling Cycle.003

For developing the organization we often work with a transition team:

Agile Scaling Cycle.004

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