The dos and don’ts of scaling agile
via Work Life by Atlassian by Jessica Seitz
Virtually every organization in the world is going through some sort of transformation, whether it’s digital, cultural, or agile. Atlassian customers (and non-customers) come to us for guidance in navigating these changes because they understand that what got them to where they are today won’t get them to where they want to be. They want real-life examples from people on the ground of how to drive their transformations. We’re operating in a new era of commercial enterprise, where low barriers to entry mean near-limitless competition from traditional and non-traditional businesses; consumers are more selective than ever before, and there’s an ongoing war between companies to hire the best-of-the-best talent.
This landscape demands a departure from traditional service delivery models (read: waterfall) in favor of more nimble practices that are conducive to change – in people, practices, and tools – and innovation. Simply put, agile at scale means breaking up large projects into smaller pieces, so you can release to the market faster, run experiments, get customer feedback, and end up delivering something the market wants rather than waiting to ship one big risky bet.
We talked to Atlassian’s Work Futurist, Dom Price, about the dos and don’ts of scaling agile, how Atlassian can help organizations find their agile footing, and what a work futurist actually does.
Dom’s role at Atlassian is two-fold. Internally, he helps the company understand how to continually scale and evolve – because our biggest existential threat is standing still when the world around us is changing. Externally, under the banner of our core value “Open Company, No Bullsh*t,” he shares our growth story with other organizations, not only due to a sense of professional altruism but to inform our own approach to scaling.
“My job boils down to an agile feedback loop,” he tells us. “We experiment ourselves, ship the experiments, learn from the experiments, and go again. And we’re doing that with scaling and pioneering the future of work. And when we share with other organizations, like ANZ Bank, how we’ve scaled, we hear what’s worked exceptionally well and what’s failed, which we can bring back internally.”
So what are scaling enterprises getting right – and getting wrong – in their agile journeys? As Dom emphasizes, there’s no one path to success, but we have a few generally applicable best (and worst) practices to share.