Lean, Free Scaled Agile
There are several well-known methods of scaled Agile for multi-team, multi-iteration programs. Why FuSS™ with them? Because Full Stack Scrum™ was invented to address problems with popular methods. Specifically:
- Full Stack Scrum is free, licensed the same way open-source software is. All of the background information, specific steps, and forms you need to implement it with a single team; multi-team programs; or an entire enterprise are on this Web site.
- Self-serving consultants and organizations have misled employers into hiring more people and spending more training money than necessary to implement scaled Agile. With FuSS you don’t hire Scrum Masters, release facilitators, or Agile project managers, or waste productive time by making people sit through days of training.
- The majority of scaled Agile methods are software-centric and/or assume the ability to deliver output to customers each sprint; the “full stack” in Full Stack Scrum means the system will work for any type of project facing significant unknowns.
- “Agile” methods are not just different ways of managing work: They are a revolutionary yet realistic way to think about work. Some scaled Agile systems subvert the Agile Revolution by telling executives what they want to hear or pushing fictions to make money.
- For example, Full Stack Scrum rejects the “Waterfall Myth” that human beings can predict the future, especially in research and development (R&D) projects with high levels of “unknowns”:
- In its Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), the Project Management Institute states firmly that changes to a project plan will result from execution of the project.
- Every waterfall project manager is taught how to “rebaseline” a plan, providing new date, scope, and/or budget expectations as new information arrives.
- Executives have misunderstood the “Iron” in the “Iron Triangle” to mean the shape of the triangle remains as-is when the project manager does their job well. In any triangle, changing the length of one leg changes the shape of the triangle. The area changes as well, unless you lengthen one of the other legs.
- The Agile Manifesto shifted the focus of project management from predicting the future to state in its First Principle, “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer…”
- The creators of the Agile Manifesto got a couple of things wrong about human psychology, and did not cover everything a team needs to succeed, according to a review of more than 600 studies and other sources on small group dynamics. So Full Stack Scrum modifies or adds some practices based on that research.
Applying Systems Thinking to Scaled Agile
Evidence from scientific research, business failures, politics, military history and sports has proven over and over that a disciplined, systematic approach to achieving a goal has a greater chance of success than undisciplined processes. Full Stack Scrum™ initially enforces a system proven successful in multiple companies, and yet maximizes team empowerment over time relative to other systems.
Here are the key differences in FuSS™ from the way Agile is often practiced:
- The Agile Performance Standards.
- The part-time nature of the Product Owner and Scrum Master roles (under “Guidance Roles”).
- Extreme transparency through open meetings (“Scrum Ceremonies“), accessible work trackers (“Choose a Tracker“), and open-source Scrum training content and tools.
- Backlog and user story grooming by the entire team working together (“Groom Stories“).
- Creation of task lists prior to the sprint start (“Take Them to Task“).
- No story points required: FuSS relies on labor-hour estimation at the task level for story sizing, and story or epic counts for longer-term prediction (see “Why use task hours instead of story points?“).
Note: Organizations already using points and able to meet the Agile Performance Standards are welcome to keep using points.
- “Just enough, just in time” architecture documentation.
- Strict discipline around:
- Freedom of teams to revise or abandon most of the system once, and as long as, the Standards are met.