Scaling Agile for large software teams

Agile White Paper Overview

The big question for any enterprise software development organization is how to use an Agile software technique for a large development project.  The Agile Manifest is pretty clear that the Agile approach should be used for ‘co-located’ teams.  At WFS, we have yet to work with team that is all located at the same site. This White Paper provides solid suggestions on how to handle a larger and more-geographically dispersed software development team.

This 37-page White Paper examines an IBM term called ‘The Agile Scaling Model’ (ASM) and defines a roadmap for effective adoption and tailoring of Agile strategies to meet the unique challenges faced by a software delivery team. The first step to scaling an Agile software strategy is to adopt a disciplined Agile delivery life cycle which scales mainstream Agile software construction techniques to address the full delivery process, from project initiation to deployment into production. The second step is to recognize which scaling factors, if any, are applicable to a project team and then tailor your adopted strategies accordingly to address the range of complexities that the team faces.

Agile scaling factors are:

  1. Team size
  2. Geographical distribution
  3. Regulatory compliance
  4. Domain complexity
  5. Organizational distribution
  6. Technical complexity
  7. Organizational complexity
  8. Enterprise discipline

This paper begins with an overview of the fundamentals of Agile software engineering and common Agile methodologies. It then argues for the need to scale Agile software development strategies to address the full delivery life cycle, showing how the Scrum method can be extended to do exactly that. In fact, our experience is that the first “scaling factor” that organizations face with Agile-style software development is full life cycle adoption.

There is also an interesting overview of the Agile Manifesto and how it relates to enterprise development.



Other Agile White Papers to Consider

Scaling Agile: An Executive Guide
Reducing Software Development Costs
Agile Enterprise Adoption Improves ROI