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XSCALE

We don't sell Big-A Frameworks that make clients dependent on Big-A Consultancies. We build self-directing portfolios of self-managing streams of self-organizing teams of the client's existing staff. XSCALE is about de-scaling the complexity of large organizations and large projects to the simplicity of Agilism. The result is a high efficacy organization with increasing throughput capable of achieving exponential growth.

Effectively applying lean-agile for many teams is a different ball game than applying it to a handful of teams. It isn’t a matter of how many teams do Agile as much as it is how the teams interact that justifies concern about scale. An enterprise with a dozen highly interconnected teams will be in greater need than an enterprise with 50 unrelated teams. Team-level agile practices may suffice in the latter case, but interconnected teams experience coordination and communication overheads at strategic, tactical and operational levels. An important question then is, what’s the best approach to scaling?

Scaled Agile Framework, or SAFe, is by far the most popular and consists of a set of three levels (portfolio, program, and team), whose structure resembles traditional org charts, which contributes to ease of acceptance by leadership layers of large enterprises. SAFe has matured over time but imposes a heavy-weight paradigm over the underlying light-weight foundations of lean-agile. Large Scale Scrum—LESS—focuses on team number growth while growing the Scrum Masters and Product Owners at lower rates. It targets organizations with multiple teams working on the same product. Nexus tackles scaling through an iterative-incremental approach, in which the scrum teams work together in the same sprint cycle, using a single product backlog. Disciplined Agile Delivery—DAD—is decision-making centric, combining Scrum, Agile modeling, and Lean with a sharp focus on IT delivery

 

XSCALE—https://xscalealliance.org—is a learning ecosystem developed by Peter Merel that enables the organization to de-scale to agile instead of scaling agile to the organization. It recognizes the agile manifesto principles for software development and extends them to all business levels, not just to technical concerns but to the organization of teams. It restores the original XP value of collective ownership as the key to de-scaling the organization in the modern sense of decentralization. The XSCALE manifesto promotes five Agile Organization Values.

 

  • Learning communities over training hierarchies

  • Business throughput over cost accounting

  • Autonomy and alignment over command and control

  • Self-propagating transformation over big transformation up front

  • Decentralized ownership over siloed responsibilities

 

XSCALE has been developed considering that Agile should to scale to the organization. Rather, the organization should de-scale to Agile—Conway’s Law helps understand why this approach makes sense. Applying XSCALE’s six principles accomplishes it:

 

  • eXponential return by stacking growth curves

  • Simple design to the elegance of minimum

  • Continuous optimization of throughput

  • Autonomous teams, self-managing streams

  • Learning organizations

  • Ecosystem-thinking

XSCALE’s approach to agility for large organizations is based on an entirely different approach compared with the existing agile-at-scale approaches where instead of matching agile methodologies to the complicated organization’s structure it de-scales the organization to the simplicity of agile. It is also possible to take elements of XSCALE and integrate them in large scale transformations being made with those other approaches