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Agile is exploding! As stated by the 15th State Of Agile Report, 94% of organizations state that their company is doing at least some work in Agile and over half of these organizations state that majority or all of their teams have adopted Agile.

Around 2010, the Agile way of working did not have this level of acceptance. In fact, there was a lot of skepticism around the Agile way of working. There used be heated debates around if there is actually any benefit in 15 minutes only “meeting” or if leaders in the real world lead by serving their teams.

Today such discussions are not very common and there seems to be a consensus within the IT industry that at least at team level, Agile way of working definitely helps.

The question then remains – if Agile is doing so well and organizations are reporting so many benefits – why do we need to scale Agile? Challenges That Persist – These are the driving factors causing companies to look at Scaled Agile

Even when the teams are working in Agile, there are some challenges that remain unsolved – These challenges are the ones which drive organizations to consider scaling Agile within their organizations

Lack of alignment with Business

In team-level Agile, there is no underlying structure which helps to  percolate the organization and/or portfolio vision down to each individual Agile Team. As a result, even when each team is operating in Agile, some of the benefits still remain elusive. Especially those that are achieved by business and IT synergy Going

Amount of Work in Progress makes a uniform way of working a necessity

The sheer amount of work being done in any organization means that there has to be a way to review and monitor all the projects. To enable objective decision making, it is critical that each project (whether Agile or not) has to share information in a uniform manner. When each team is working independently, having such an enterprise-wide working agreement becomes key to smooth operations. Organizations are looking to scale their Agile way of working in the hopes to establish these working agreements across teams.

Large Monolithic Architecture

Over the last few decades many organizations have developed a humongous piece of code that is essential to keep the organization running smoothly. Having such a monolithic architecture makes it very difficult to handle

Dependency Management

Most of the programs in a large organization require more than a single team to reach the goal in a competitive timeframe. Organizations need an established scaled agile framework to deal with complexities of multiple teams 

Sub Optimal Leverage for Specialized Roles

Many specialized skills like UX experts or Architects are not needed full time. Since these are rare to find/ niche skills, it is very inefficient to waste these skills. Also organization-wide uniformity is needed in most of these areas. Considering this, having a shared pool as a part of scaled agile way of working makes definite sense for most of the organizations

Co-Coordinating Release Windows

Since it can potentially disrupt day-to-day work, Software release is often a stressful event for any organization. When there are multiple teams working on small bits of improvements, it’s often wise to coordinate releases across multiple teams. Having a defined scaled Agile framework makes this coordination easy