Episode 14

15: The USS Agile Enterprise


September 9th, 2015

1 hr 26 secs

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About this Episode


Ryan Ripley, Tim Ottinger, Don Gray


Ryan Ripley (@RyanRipley) Tim Ottinger (@tottinge) and Don Gray (@donaldegray) got together to talk about the word “enterprise”. Quite a few connotations were thrown around: inertia, masses of people, waterfall. Better, Faster, Cheaper was even discussed. We moved on to talking about the limitations imposed on scaling by Dunbar’s Number (150) and then learned about the Rule of the 2nd Floor:

“Nobody 2 levels above or below you in the organization really understands what you do for a living.”

The discussion then shifted to how we can do Agile with 5,000 people. Typical scaling patterns emerged:

  • Scale by Division:  Dividing people in to functional teams.
  • Scale Out, Not Up:  Group people in to feature teams.
  • Holocracy:  Peer to peer organization.

Using Extreme Programming (XP) and other disciplined software engineering practices to improve team outcome were discussed as was an organizationals ability to move up the Agile Fluency Model. We talked about Mike Cottmeyer’s recent post about stopping the anti-management rhetoric and finding ways to meet management where they are and help them find the path to an agile organization.

The discussion then shifted to how teams can measure their agility and the renaissance of craftsmanship in the software development world.

Don walked us through transformation management theory, we asked why organizations should even go “agile” in the first place, and worked on a definition of “agile” in the enterprise.

And then…we called it a night.

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