This is a blog about the 2 sessions Laurens and
I hosted at Agile Coach Camp Denmark 2014.
At first it looks like it’s only about one
session, but I sneakily pulled in the outcome of a second session, namely “The Awesome (Open Space) Session8R”. The
outcome can be recognized by the number between the brackets. To save time… so
you know… I provided you with a summary at the end of this blog.
Laurens and I wanted to do this workshop about agile
scaling models. This was decided in 2 minutes of texting, only agreeing up on using
my matrix of comparison I took from the ASK matrix and which I extended with
aspects I think are important. As we learned before, a catchy title (1) always
does wonders to the number of participants coming to a session..
Laurens came up with this title: “Scaling Agile,
Methods or Madness”, which I lent to draw your attention to this blog post too.
Nils, a fellow participant also wanted to
discuss agile scaling models, in particular differences / similarities between
SAFe and scaledprinciples . We combined the two ideas at the start of
the open space; the Market Place.
Just 30 minutes prior to the start of our
session we decide about structure and stuff (2) and agreed up on adding a few
elements of interaction (3). These were:
participant knew about scaling models,
if they could add
any method themselves that wasn’t on the list and
I draw up some flip
Nils and I would
present and Laurens, being a sketch note addict, would do all the writing (5)
We started discussing the 6 methods who are in
the ASK matrix and discovered there are 2 more: scaledprinciples.org (made by
the Germans) and POA ® (being: Plain Old Agile) which has a registered
trademark as of may 24th .
-This trademark is claimed by Laurens & Ron,
workers from to competing companies in the Netherlands (Xebia and Prowareness),
which in itself is a awesome thing in my view –
So Laurens added the two extra methods to the
flipcharts and we started asking / noting stuff like: what is it/ whose is it,
the web link to materials. Then we discussed of the methods are low – middle –
high on heaviness.
Only then we realized that 1 hour would be too
short, giving the number of attendees and the fierce discussions. I suggested
we do only three questions; the ones I think are the most important and which
Jenny wanted to address too. These 3 questions were:
What does it solve
At that point Laurens took over… and proposed to
dot vote (6) on the method we would like to do a silent brainstorm (7) for, by drawing only 2 dots per participant on
any of the 8 methods.
As we were 19 participants, 38 dots were placed:
The 3 flipcharts I draw in advanced were turned
into three new ones (of course again by Laurens) where we could stick our post-its upon. Each
of us could write a maximum 2 post-its (8) for every questions on the 3 scaling
methods that got the most dots: Less, Agile path and SAFe.
As we discovered we had adepts of the 3 methods
in our midst and we asked (9) them to summarize what was said on the post-its.
A simple (10) count revealed that the methods
with the most dots (SAFe) also got the most comments on the questions:
So we could easily conclude this method was hot
topic in Agile-land. As a bonus and because we suddenly had a few minutes left;
we asked all participant to write a post-it on which they could state what
people / which role in a company would like each of the methods most:
Who likes it
Take a way:
I wrote to the inventors of the ASK matrix (e.g.
Steve Spearman at all.) : Knock, knock: Could be useful for adding to the
All sum of sums you
can find below:
Dot votes: 0 for SoS – scrum of scrums, 0 for scaledprinciples,
0 for plain old agile POA ®, 4 for “Spotify”, 5 for Disciplined Agile Delivery - DAD, 6 for Large
Scale Scrum – LeSS,10 for Agile Path
And 13 dot votes for Scaled Agile Framework – SAFe.
38 in total.
Summary of comments
LeSS ( 5 comments): way to combine lean, agile,
TOC and systems thinking, agile thinking on large scale (up to Product owners
Agile Path (5 comments): stepwise structured
change, management language and focus, better products
SAFe (10 comments): link strategy to
development, buy-in at management level, shared backlog, separation of roles
and responsibilities at all levels
Less (5 comments): its simplicity, it’s
adoptable, you have choices, with lean, thru PO & feature teams
Agile Path (2 comments): agile capability
matrix, high quality support by agilepath.com
SAFe (10 comments): clear connection to vision
and strategy, alignment / inter team dependencies, easy to like by C-level,
less change needed, big room planning
LeSS (5 comments): topdown / big bang agile and
lean transformation, perfect in theory/ hard in practice
Agile Path (6 comments): IT focused or
initiated, no explanation how to do my job as manager, not broadly used yet
SAFe (16 comments): too prescriptive, can easily
limit team and personal autonomy, legalizes companies "to do what they
always did": command and control,
money blurred vision.
Who likes it:
LeSS (8 comments): product – middle and other
management, scrum solves all fanatics
Agile Path (4 comments): agile evangelists,
toolbox fetishists, team and product owner,
SAFe (7 comments): higher and portfolio managers,
old school people, consultants, vendor.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this blog you can find some tips on how to make an
awesome session of which Laurens did another session on: “The Awesome (Open Space) Session8R”with has a first subtitle: “Hung-over
Ideation From the Trenches (by two bitter Snoring Vets)” and a sub-sub
title “How to Come Up With a Legendary
Session in 2 Minutes” Just follow the numbers inside the brackets.
Oh, I promised a summary/ list ;) well, here you
1. Structure: title, subtitle
2. Structure: who does what, time
3. Expectations: put in interaction
4. Recording / capturing: flipcharts, post-its,
take a picture
5. Participation / visual knowledge exchange: Write
on flipchart or whiteboard
6. Simplicity: dot vote
7. Simplicity: silent brainstorm (prevents
8. Simplicity: restrain to maximum dots or post-its
9. Need help/ask participants to join/ summarize
10. Simplicity: count and draw conclusions from