APM Research Fund to support understanding of scaled agile
Posted by APM on 25th Aug 2016
The inaugural APM Research Fund has provided funding for a research study to investigate the understanding of Scaled Agile programme management and the extent of its practical adoption in the United Kingdom.
The perception is that by taking an agile approach, projects will be more productive, delivering better quality, faster, while still motivating individuals and teams. However, scaling agile for multiple teams can give challenges of co-ordination, visibility and design cohesion so conversely, whilst agile programmes promise a bright new approach, they can easily go wrong and descend into chaos. There is also an increased need for automation, particularly around testing, that can be seen as a barrier to adoption.
This research will focus on understanding agility, as scaled up across programmes rather than within a single project, and therefore what methodologies, tools and techniques are actually in use. The aim is to provide practical guidance for Project and Programme Managers across all industry sectors on what actually works for larger deliveries across multiple agile teams, as implemented by their peers.
It is anticipated that team structures and roles will be explored, how multiple levels of daily standups can best be managed without swamping people in meetings , as well as how cross-team dependencies and risks work. Guidance will be sought for the best ways to track progress internally, exploring the tricky subject of external progress reporting to stakeholders and sponsors, as well as cultural influences to be aware of. For example, scaling Kanban boards into materials acceptable to senior managers can be a challenge!
Building on the APM North West Volunteer study on The Practical Adoption of Agile Methodologies, the findings will be published and shared by the APM on its website by the end of spring 2017.
In addition to a white paper containing the principal findings, a series of post research presentations and workshops will be held across APM events including the APM North West Branch and a workshop with the APM Governance SIG (agile working group) amongst others.
Any interested parties can contact the author to arrange for more specific sessions or a discussion on the findings.
You can take part in the reaserch by completing the Scaled Agile Suvey
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Good governance is about how people behave. These behaviours need to be set from the top.
Agile is not a panacea – it should be applied in certain circumstance but not others.