Manifesto for Scaling Agility
An extension of the original Manifesto for Agile Software Development
Draft for Release – Version 0.9.2
Revised 16 May 2019
Agility at scale is the ability of multiple teams to effectively achieve a common purpose within highly dynamic environments.
Agile “scaling” may involve:
Scaling up: adding more people or more teams to an existing effort (involving one or more interrelated products).
Scaling out: introducing Agile to multiple teams, regardless of their interrelationships and connections.
These concepts require an evolutionary approach that aligns the work of flexible, autonomous teams to organizational objectives through continuous inspection and adaptation. Our values and principles are meant to extend, not replace, the original Manifesto for Agile Software Development, but are applicable to all creative work, not just software development.
In our work to help organizations become more agile, we have come to value:
Shared vision over aligned processes
Organic growth over pre-defined structure
High performing organization over high performing teams
Team-empowered responsibility over organizational policies
While there is value in the items on the right and the left; we value the items on the left more.
If you can achieve your goals with a single team, do not scale. Employ the minimum number of people required to meet your strategic outcomes.
If you have a single team and it cannot deliver effectively using Agile principles and practices, do not scale. Succeed with a single team first.
Respect, trust, and be kind to your people; foster a climate of open, honest, rapid, and empathetic communication.
Continuously reflect and improve across all levels and maintain focus on the whole; prioritize collective high performance over the performance of any individual team.
Keep teams and their work loosely coupled to preserve flexibility; minimize handoffs and dependencies with cross-functional teams and clearly decomposed work.
Radiate information between and among teams to develop shared understanding and promote asynchronous communication; create visibility across the entire work system.
Aim for a minimally viable bureaucracy and nothing more; effective and repeatable practices, policies, and procedures will emerge as you scale.
Decentralize decision-making; push authority to teams so that they can quickly take advantage of emerging opportunities.
Prioritize experimentation for each individual team over conformity across the organization. Celebrate the learning that comes from experimentation—successes and failures—across all teams.
Ensure each team is working towards the shared vision and delivering real value regularly and consistently. Demonstrate progress with frequent validations by stakeholders.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
& Trent Hone
with help and support from Excella and many of their colleagues.
Submit suggestions via the GitHub repository.
Attribution for the background photo of Matterhorn original file: Marcel Wiesweg derivative work: Zacharie Grossen CC BY-SA 3.0