Today marks an important milestone in our Agile transformation here at Valpak. We put in place the final major piece of Dean Leffingwell’s Scaled Agile Framework , the Architecture Kanban, or what I like to refer to as our Mount Olympus.
The Scaled Agile Framework has served as our goal for scaling Agile across our enterprise. Even though Agile structures differ greatly from company to company, it’s important to have a common framework to consider for large scaled implementations such as ours. It wasn’t reasonable or realistic to think that we could implement the entire Scaled Agile Framework in one fell swoop, so we took it in pieces like building blocks throughout the past year. Even though we had strong top-down support for Agile, we chose to implement the Scaled Agile Framework from the bottom-up by establishing the Agile teams first, back in October 2011. We currently have 9 Scrum teams and 2 Kanban teams at the Agile teams (bottom) layer of the Scaled Agile Framework. Shortly after the Agile teams were established, we got smart about road-mapping and release management with the middle layer of the Scaled Agile Framework in mind. Most recently, we implemented the Portfolio Kanban at the top layer of the Scaled Agile Framework with our leadership team of Executive Sponsors (which this aspect alone deserves a blog post unto itself some day). Now, we’ve got the Architecture Kanban complete with a Mount Olympus themed board as shown in the pic. I’ve always joked with the Architects about how they are like the Gods of Mount Olympus throwing the occasional lighting bolts and declaring “The Gods have spoken!”. Well now, the Gods have spoken and we are well on our way to successfully scaling Agile across the enterprise.