InfoQ Homepage Articles Agile Rehab: Replacing Process Dogma with Engineering to Achieve True Agility
Struggling with your "agile transformation?" Is your scaling framework not providing the outcomes you hoped for? In this article, we’ll discuss how teams in a large enterprise replaced heavy agile processes with Conway’s Law and better engineering to migrate from quarterly to daily value delivery to the end users.
We had a problem. After years of "Agile Transformation" followed by rolling out the Scaled Agile Framework, we were not delivering any better. In fact, we delivered less frequently with bigger failures than when we had no defined processes. We had to find a way to deliver better value to the business. SAFe, with all of the ceremonies and process overhead that comes with it, wasn’t getting that done. Our VP read The Phoenix Project, got inspired, and asked the senior engineers in the area to solve the problem. We became agile by making the engineering changes required to implement Continuous Delivery (CD).
Initially, our lead time to deliver a new capability to the business averaged 12 months, from request to delivery. We had to fix that. The main problem, though, is that creating a PI plan for a quarter, executing it in sprints, and delivering whatever passes tests at the end of the quarter ignores the entire reason for agile product development: uncertainty.