Agile at Scale Generative Principles

A principle-based approach to achive Agility at scale in the whole organisation, and beyond one team, for software and digital products and services development.

# Preface

The Manifesto for Agile software development does not have an opinion about Agile at scale involving multiple teams, multiple products and the whole organisation. About large scale software development initiatives that require a large number of software developers. Or about scaling a small and agile start-up into a large organisation, or adopting Agile in an already large organisation.

An approach to scale Agility with 1-framework and by-the-book quickly become constraining. A 1-framework approach alone still is a self-imposed limitation. Most companies that succeed in achieving agility at scale grew their ways of working internally, without any scaled framework (Luca Minudel, 2020). A pluralistic approach (Mike Burrows, 2019) that takes inspiration from multiple sources such as sets of relevant principles, patterns, practices, and also non-scaled frameworks, is by far superior. The generative principles presented here aim to be a compass for such an approach.

These guiding principles are inspired by Lean and Agile principles and mindset, and by Human Complexity theory (see for example Ralph Douglas Stacey, 1993, and Ralph Douglas Stacey, 1996, and Living Complexity ).

<< As to methods, there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. 
 Those who grasp principles can successfully select their own methods.>> - Harrington Emerson

The role of the first four principles is to descale the problem, unwinding the dependencies spiral, before trying to scale the solution.

The role of the remaining principles is to scale applying Complexity, Agile, and Lean to the collaboration across teams, departments, and business units.

# The Generative Scaling Game

The game created by Matt Philip is an in-person simulation game to help participants experience and understand the generative scaling practices. It is intended to be facilitated for 90 minutes but can be adapted as needed.

The open-sourced slides and facilitator guide are here: Generative scaling game by Matt Philip

# Thanks to the contributors

The effort to document these principles was started by Luca Minudel and Giovanni Asproni, is evolving with the contributions of many.

We want to acknowledge their contributions and the gift of their time, energy and wisdom. Our heartfelt thanks to:

- BCS SPA Software in Practice conference 2021 - the XP 2020 21st International Conference on Agile Software Development - the XTC Extreme Tuesday Club London - Sunil Mundra - Andrea Tommasini - Thoralf Klatt - Patrick Kua - Andrew Holm - Saleem Siddiqui - Brett Ansley - Mike Burrows - Nat Pryce - Lucy Hunt - Matthew Philip

Discussions

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