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You Can’t ‘Scale’ Agility, but here’s what you can try instead, with Jules Yim

Inherent in the idea of scaling Agility is that you can apply ordered systems approaches to a complex environment. What could be more complex than multiple moving, interacting agents attempting to come together within an organisation to deliver something? The Agile Manifesto tacitly acknowledges that software development is complex, especially seen in the statements “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools” and “customer collaboration over contract negotiation”.

If you feel overwhelmed by the slew of scaling frameworks out there that don’t seem to yield the results you’re looking for, Beck’s statement in Extreme Programming reminds us that we should look for the “simplest thing that could possibly work”. In complexity speak, we define that as optimising granularity – what are the smallest and simplest things that could possibly work, and how do we recombine them?

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