Tag Archives: scaling

Transforming the pyramid to an agile org

Posted on by

I recently published a video exploring how an agile team based organization could look like. How does it function under the hood? In the video I also discussed how you get there.

I got tons of great feedback so I decided to provide the contents of the video in the format of a blog. If you prefer to read instead of watching a 11-minute-long video, then this is for you 🙂

AgileOrg

read more »

Planning as a social event – scaling agile at LEGO

Posted on by

The past couple of years I’ve been travelling back and forth to LEGO’s HQ in Billund Denmark, helping out with their agile journey. Super interesting! Learned more than we could ever fit in an article, but here’s an attempt to capture at least some of it, written together with LEGO colleague and co-instigator Eik Thyrsted Brandsgård. Enjoy!

Planning as a social event – scaling agile @ LEGO

Agile @ Lego

 

Alignment at Scale – slides from my Agile Africa keynote

Posted on by

Here are the slides from my Agile Africa keynote Alignment at Scale (or How to Not become Totally Unagile when you have Lots of Teams). Thanks for a great conference!

And thanks everyone for the Emma greeting, that sure made an 8 year girl very happy 🙂

(Emma was supposed to join me on this trip, but couldn’t make it because I had missed some required paperwork for travelling with minors to South Africa).

Agile Alignment at Scale

read more »

Spotify Rhythm – how we get aligned (slides from my talk at Agile Sverige)

Posted on by

Here are the slides from my talk about Spotify Rhythm at Agila Sverige.

The talk is about Spotify’s current approach to getting aligned as a company. It covers:

  • what problem we’re trying to solve, and how we’ve gone through two other models (OKR and Priorities & Achievements) before arriving at our current model
  • how we define “Bets” using the DIBB framework (Data-Insight-Belief-Bet)
  • how we prioritize bets using stack-ranking based on company beliefs and north star goals
  • how we visualize bets on a kanban-like company level board, and group them into Now – Next – Later columns
  • how different parts of the company visualize their own bets and align with higher level bets, using interlinked bet boards.
  • how we synchronize and prioritize our work using different cadences at different levels of the company.
  • how this model is used to support squad autonomy
  • our challenges and learnings with this so far

Holy crap how did I manage to cover all that in 10 minutes?! Guess I talked fast 🙂

Some sample slides below.

RIP OKR

read more »

Agile @ Lego – our slides from Passion for Projects

Posted on by

UPDATE Dec 2016: Wrote an article about LEGO’s agile journey, see here. Includes all of the material below, plus explanations and updates.

Here are the slides for our talk Agile @ Lego at Passion for Projects in Uppsala. Enjoyed discussing this stuff with project managers and the like from all sorts of industries. A common theme from the conference was the power of self-organization, and the role of leadership in creating the right context for self-organization to happen. Our talk provided a real-life large scale example of this.

2016-03-15 Agile @ Lego Henrik Kniberg Eik Thyrsted Brandsgård

read more »

Scaling Agile (but not in the way you think…)

Posted on by

For more than a year now, I’ve been working with clients that have agile scaling problems. But not the kind of scaling problem everybody is talking about – one product and lots of teams. No, I’ve been busy trying to sort out what to do when you have one team supporting a multitude of products with different architectures, stakeholders, technology stacks and whatnot. This is what I’ve learnt, so far.

read more »

Real-life Agile Scaling – slides from keynote @ Agile Tour Bangkok

Posted on by

Here are the slides from my keynote “Real-life agile scaling” at Agile Tour Bangkok. Enjoyed hanging out with everyone!

Key points:

  • Scaling hurts. Keep things as small as possible.
  • Agile is a means, not a goal. Don’t go Agile Jihad. Don’t dump old practices that work.
  • There is no “right” or “wrong” way. Just tradeoffs.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all. But plenty of good practices.
  • Build feedback loops at all levels. Gives you better products and a self-improving organization.

Here is an InfoQ article with a nice summary of the keynote.

Sample slides:

Henrik Kniberg
read more »

No, I didn’t invent the Spotify model

Posted on by

You know the saying “don’t shoot the messenger”? Well, that goes both ways – “don’t praise the messenger”. Well, OK, you can shoot or praise the messenger for the quality of the delivery – but not for the message content!

I’ve spent a few years working with Spotify and published a few things that have gained a surprizing amount of attention – especially the scaling agile article and spotify engineering culture video. This has come to be known as the “Spotify Model” in the agile world, although it wasn’t actually intended to be a generic framework or “model” at all. it’s just an example of how one company works. The reason why I shared this material is because my Spotify colleagues encouraged me to, and because, well, that’s what I do – help companies improve, by learning stuff and spreading knowledge.

Spotify engineering culture

read more »

Agile @ Scale (slides from Sony Mobile tech talk)

Posted on by

Here are the slides from my tech talk Agile @ Scale at Sony Mobile. Full house & very high level of engagement, I was impressed by this crowd! And thanks for the awesome recommendation on LinkedIn 🙂

 

Some sample pics below:

Visualize and limit WIP

Visual planning

Productivity and motivation

 

Tradeoffs

Round Table Agile Transformations @ Crisp

Posted on by

Crisp has the luxury of working with small, medium, big and very big companies. We help through providing education. We coach and mentor projects, teams and organizations adopt and master the agile way of working. Last week we at Crisp invited a couple of our clients to participate in a round table discussion regarding agile transformations. The unifying theme were the challenges surrounding large scale agile implementations.

We at Crisp offered a platform and forum to share and learn in a neutral and safe environment. Four companies attended. One to four participants from each company. The participants were directly involved, and in one way or the other, responsible for the agile transformation taking place in their respective company. The size of the department or company involved in the change varied from 300 – 1500 people.

read more »

A team experiment with and without offshoring

Posted on by

A cross-functional team I was working with last year had three testers offshore in India. The rest of the team (about 15 people) was co-located here in Stockholm.

Some team members had a nagging feeling that they could go so much faster if the testers also moved to Stockholm so they went to their boss and asked. The reply was that testers are so much less expensive, by a factor 2.3, so it was not possible, unless they could settle with fewer testers.

So they decided to do an experiment for a few months. They moved one of the testers from India to Stockholm and dropped the other two testers (re-allocating the other two to other teams) to see how that would work.

read more »

How to run a Big Retrospective

Posted on by

At Spotify we recently did full-day retrospective with 65 people. The goal was to capture learnings from a large coordinated effort involving dozens of teams for over half a year. The teams had been doing sprint retrospectives during the project, but we also felt the need to get a larger group together and look at the big picture. The key output was 3 lists:

  • Insights (“what did we learn?”)
  • Recommendations (“what should we do the same in the future, what should we do differently, and why?”)
  • Mysteries (“which questions and problems need further investigation?”)

Organizing this was a lot of work, probably one of the toughest gigs I’ve been involved in, due to the number of people involved and the complexity of the project. I’ve run full-day retrospectives before, following a similar format as this, but with only half as many people. I’ve also run larger events with 100-200 people, but “unconference” style with no specific output expected. This event was more demanding, since we had lots of  people in the room and expected concrete, actionable output. Norm Kerth’s classic on Project Retrospectives provided lots of useful ideas on how to do this..

All in all it worked out well, and we learned lots (both about the project, and about how to run an event like this).

Joakim Sundén, one of my coach colleagues at Spotify, participated in the retrospective and wrote an excellent blog post about what we did, and also listed some ideas on how we can do retrospectives like this even better in the future. Here is Joakim’s article Running big retrospectives at Spotify. PS – Joakim is the guy with the green shirt below 🙂

Scaling Agile @ Spotify with Tribes, Squads, Chapters & Guilds

Posted on by

(UPDATE: see Spotify Engineering Culture, two short animated videos showing how we work)

Dealing with multiple teams in a product development organization is always a challenge!

One of the most impressive examples I’ve seen so far is Spotify. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Spotify on and off ever since the company was founded, and it’s one of the few companies I’ve seen with a truly agile culture. Spotify has grown a lot lately and now has hundreds of developers divided into 30 agile teams spread over 4 cities in 3 timezones. So how is this managed?

Check out the article: Scaling Agile @ Spotify with Tribes, Squads, Chapters and Guilds. I wrote it together with Anders Ivarsson, one of the agile coaches that I’m working with (Spotify has a truly awesome group of coaches!).

Translations:

Lean from the Trenches @ Øredev

Posted on by

Here are the slides for my talk “Lean from the Trenches” at Øredev, Malmö. And here is the book/ebook, in case you want more details. There may also be some copies left at the conference bookstore.

Thanks for attending!

Lean from the Trenches keynote @ AgileEE, Kiev

Posted on by

Here are the slides for my keynote “Lean from the Trenches” at Agile Eastern Europe, Kiev. And here is the book/ebook, in case you want more details. Thanks for attending!

How do you scale projects?

Posted on by

When I have scaled Scrum over several teams (up to 10 in parallell), I have simply strived to strengthen the same processes that gives traction to a single team.

Alistair Cockburn compiles this beautifully in his Software engineering in 21:st century

People issues determining a projects speed

  • Can they easily detect something needs attention? (Good at Looking Around)
  • Will they care enough to do something about it? (Pride-in-work; Amicability)
  • Can they effectively pass along the information?  (Proximity; face-to-face)