During my fifteen years working as a Scrum trainer I’ve contributed to a few concepts on Scaled implementations that have been adopted by the larger Agile community. My first words of advice: bundle external experience with internal champions. Also, find the smartest people within the enterprise.
I learned this during one of my most successful and largest Agile Transformation. It was with the CISCO Voice Technology Group (VTG). I was one of three people who had the opportunity to help VTG think about how to best transform their operations. This was an extremely complex change involving over 2,500 people, globally distributed teams that were working on 40 complex interfacing products.
I had the privilege to work with Kathleen Rilliet and Michael Kalt, both members of the project management office, and our success at Cisco was largely due to Kathleen and Michael’s incredible knowledge and experience.
The core solution in handling CISCO’s context was to address the scale and complexity by actually scaling down. Start with a modest goal. We decided to move to a 3-month release with fewer people, features, and interacting products. The key challenge here was to first go smaller and faster – not an easy feat!