Scaling Agile in the Enterprise – (3 days)


This 3-day course is aimed at organizations already actively using lean/agile methods for Software Development or IT Operations. It aims to help you optimize agile at the enterprise level by building scalability, sustainability, metrics and controls at the team, program and portfolio levels. Here we cover advanced concepts, tools and practices selected based on many years experience in moving agile from the team to the enterprise level. This framework has been successfully used to combine agile methods like Scrum and Kanban across large enterprise projects and products involving in some cases thousands of engineering staff. In this course we cover the entire ‘big picture’ of agile at scale, including Portfolio, Product and Requirements Management, Architecture, Specification by Example, Acceptance Test Driven Development and coordination mechanisms for large projects based on multiple development teams. We also touch on wider organisational impacts of Lean/Agile, such as aligning Self Organising Teams, hiring, career paths, motivation and performance management in agile environments, the role of leadership and emerging organisational structures.

Target Audience

This intensive course is intended for Executives, Technical Management, Project Managers, Scrum Masters, Team Leaders and Architects as well as Change Agents working in established Lean/Agile environments. It assumes a working understanding of Agile methods like Scrum and the Lean concepts underpinning these methods.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course you will understand

  • The ‘Big Picture’ of Agile at Scale – Team, Program and Portfolio perspectives
  • Commonly used agile methods (Scrum, XP, Kanban, Lean) and how they can be selected and combined for use in various contexts
  • How to craft incremental requirements using Stories, Acceptance Criteria and Specification by Example.
  • Minimal Marketable Features, Minimum Viable Products and Potentially Releasable Product Increments
  • Rightsizing Stories using Progressive Elaboration and Splitting Techniques
  • Prioritisation based on the Return on Investment, Cost of Delay and Net Present Value
  • Defining an agile Product Vision, Roadmap and Releases
  • Using time boxes and cadences to co-ordinate work across multiple teams and functions
  • The Product Owner Role in large, enterprise environments: Internal & External Facing
  • How to scale Scrum roles, artifacts and events such as PO, sprint planning and backlogs
  • How to perform portfolio and program planning at scale: The Release Planning Event
  • Project and business level metrics for increase increased transparency
  • How lean/agile enhances organizational learning and innovation
  • Balancing anticipatory and emergent design to optimise overall agility and effectiveness
  • The use of time-boxes and WIP limits to drive Continuous Improvement (Kaizen)
  • Designing contractual forms that support the use of agile in commercial engagements

 Course Outline:

Origins, Concepts and Principles

  • A Brief History of Agile and Lean Product Development Flow
  • Principles of Lean Software Development Flow
  • The heart of Lean: Continuous Improvement, Elimination of Waste and Maximisation of Value

Lean/Agile Methods in Software Development and IT

  • Timeboxed (e.g. Scrum) vs. Flow (Kanban) based methods
  • Pros and Cons of Common Agile Methods
  • Selecting and Combining methods based on Business Objectives and Work Context
  • Method Hybrids: Scrum/XP; Scrumban – Getting the best of both or avoiding the pain of either?

The ‘Agile at Scale Big Picture: Team, Program and Portfolio Perspectives

  • Team: Scrum Teams, Iterations, User Stories and Increments
  • Program: Vision, Roadmap, Backlog and Releases
  • Portfolio: Investment Themes, Epics and Architecture

Agile Requirements Management

  • From Investment Themes to Epics/Features to User Stories and Spikes – Late Elaboration for Agility
  • Iterative and Incremental Development: Defining Incremental Features
  • User Stories to Drive Value Focused Innovation
  • Defining the ‘User’ – personas, roles; Understanding Business Value
  • User Story Forms
  • Acceptance Criteria and Acceptance Test Driven Development
  • Applying User Stories where there is no user and no story
  • The INVEST criteria for user stories; Knowing a Bad User Story
  • Techniques for splitting stories

Prioritisation with Multiple Stakeholders, teams & Product Owners

  • The key role of Prioritization in agile development
  • Inputs to Prioritisation: Cost/Benefit/Risk/Dependencies
  • Small investments – making estimation & priority less painful
  • Multivariate decision making – finding a common Unit Of Measure
  • Defining & Measuring Business Value (RoI, NPV, EVM)
  • Defining a strategy for temporally sensitive prioritisation
  • Introducing Cost of Delay (CoD) and Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF)
  • The Kano Model for Feature Prioritisation

Scaling Agile Methods

  • Product Owner Committees, Embedded POs, The Dual Product Owner Model
  • Scrum of Scrums, Sprint Planning, Backlog Grooming, Retrospectives, Reviews
  • Tools for Scale: Team boards, Metrics, Estimation, Collaboration, Communication
  • Physical Environment: Cave & Commons, Layouts, Facilities
  • Kanban at the Individual/Team Level and Project/Portfolio Levels


  • Measurement: Concepts and Considerations
    • Measures to reduce uncertainty
    • Leading vs. Trailing, Absolute vs. Relative, Cheap, Fast
    • Performance vs. Information Measures
    • Measuring One Level Up
  • Project and Business Metrics for Expense, Cost, Performance and Speed
  • Common Lean/Agile Metrics

Emergent Design and Architecture

  • The Benefits and Dangers of Anticipatory and Emergent Design
  • Emergent Design: Concepts
  • Making Emergent Design Work
  • System Architecture and Adaptable Design: Using ‘Architecture at the Seams’ to balance Emergent & Anticipatory Design

People and Process : Motivation, Learning and Innovation

  • Ideation and Implementation
  • Development as Information Discovery: Creating an Environment for Innovation
  • Fail Fast; Succeed Faster: Buying Valuable Information Cheaper
  • Organisational Learning

Organising for Agility

  • Action vs. Interaction Orientated Organisations
  • Specialisation of Skills vs. Demarcation of Responsibility
  • Functional Silos: Efficiency
  • Project/Team Silos: Speed
  • The Matrix Organisation and Other Hybrids
  • Self-Organising Teams – What makes them tick
  • Teamicide – how to kill self-organisation

Engaging your Customers

  • Collaboration over Contract Negotiation
  • Breaking the Iron Triangle: Variable, Just In Time Scope
  • Oil and Water? Fixed Price/Scope Contracts and Agile Development
  • Deriving Scope from the Goal; Progressive Scope Definition & Validation
  • Economies of Speed – Reducing Waste by doing things Faster
  • How to apply the VC funding model to projects: Incremental Funding and Kill Points
  • Contracting approaches to Leverage Agile Discovery and Delivery

Training will include presentation of concepts and practices, examples of application, interactive exercises and in-depth discussions.

For further details of our services in Lean/Agile software development methods contact We specialize in embedded coaching and training in Scrum, Kanban and Lean. 

2 Responses to Scaling Agile in the Enterprise – (3 days)

  1. john Walsh says:

    Please email me details on upcoming SaFE courses / training

    • coheocha says:

      Hi John,
      No public courses scheduled for SAFe – I’m not seeing the demand yet – its pretty new and although a lot of my bigger clients are adopting it all my training sessions have been in-house as of yet. If you’d be interested in that option please get in touch.
      I hope to promote SAFe at this years AgileTour among other events so if I get enough interest I’ll try scheduling public course towards end of the year and see what happens.

      Thanks, Colm

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