Aashish Vaidya, Cambia Health Solutions
Organizations, large and small, that are experimenting and succeeding in using agile practices at team level, face their next challenge in scaling these practices across the enterprise. This challenge can come from expanding pilot programs from handful of teams to more teams; or, it comes from agile teams working with non-agile parts of the organization. The process inevitably creates confusion as teams employing different methods interface with each other. Introduction of agile practices challenges existing structures and practices, and brings forth questions regarding traditional roles, responsibilities and expectations. Should an organization continue to hone team level practices or should it try to extend agile practices to other parts of the organization? Are there large scale practices that work in easing the interaction between agile teams, and other non-agile, semi-agile business units? While scaling, can an organization get too process heavy and risk losing the original intent of transitioning to agile practices?
There are primarily three scaling frameworks that try to address scaling agile practices: Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD), Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS), and Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). Each of these frameworks draws from variety of agile and lean practices. However, an organization’s context matters most in deciding whether to embrace particular framework or only select practices to obtain desired results. In most cases, an organization has to make informed, pragmatic choices and experiment with various practices in order to address its specific needs without losing sight of why it embarked on an agile transition and transformation journey in the first place.
Cambia Health Solutions has for over three years rolled out Scrum and other agile practices across more than 40 development oriented teams. We also keep apprise of scaling models and newer practices to better understand our own implementation. For Cambia, scaling practices, articulated in scaling frameworks, such as enterprise-wide synchronized Sprints, multi-program Quarterly Release Planning, Scrum of Scrums and Communities of Practices, have been effective in organizing our work. Many of these practices can prove useful not only to larger enterprises like Cambia, but also to smaller ones, who are looking to improve and refine their adaption of agile practices.
Target audience: Intermediate