Agile and Lean Program Management: Scaling Collaboration Across the Organization

Agile and Lean Program Management: Scaling Collaboration Across the Organization

Scale collaboration, not process.

If you’re trying to use agile and lean at the program level, you’ve heard of several approaches, all about scaling processes. If you duplicate what one team does for several teams, you get bloat, not delivery. Instead of scaling the process, scale everyone's collaboration.

With autonomy, collaboration, and exploration, teams and program level people can decide how to apply agile and lean to their work.

Learn to collaborate around deliverables, not meetings. Learn which measurements to use and how to use those measures to help people deliver more of what you want (value) and less of what you don’t want (work in progress). Create an environment of servant leadership and small-world networks. Learn to enable autonomy, collaboration, and exploration across the organization and deliver your product.

Scale collaboration with agile and lean program management and deliver your product.

From the Introduction:

We hear a lot of buzz about “scaling agile.”

Instead of “scaling agile,” consider “scale projects to a program.” Program management is how we move from coordinating one project's work to coordinating the work of several projects in a program. When your product requires you to collaborate across the organization, you need agile and lean program management.

Program management is not a new idea. What might be new for you is the application of servant leadership to the program manager role. If you want to use agile and lean approaches, you, as a program manager, serve the program. You trust people to do the right thing, and manage by exception.

You use program management anytime you want to scale collaborative teams across the organization. Here are some possibilities:

* You are a project manager, trying to corral a few teams together, to release a product.
* You are a manager who needs several teams to collaborate on one strategic objective.
* You need to have the hardware and software people work together to release a product.
* You need Marketing or Sales or Training or some other function(s) to work with the software people to release a product.

You might have a difference circumstance for your program. All programs have one thing in common—the people collaborate across the organization to deliver the product. Whatever your product is, you or your team alone can't ensure that your product releases, no matter how agile or lean you are, when your team says, “Done!”

Programs are strategic collections of projects with one business objective. Program managers coordinate that one business objective across the organization.

When you coordinate across the organization, you recognize the need for the other teams—regardless of their function—to maintain their autonomy in how they create their deliverables. For programs, everyone comes together to serve the program's needs. Everyone optimizes for the program, not for their team.

Each program is unique. Some of you will have software-only programs. Some of you will want to use this book for products that include software, hardware, firmware, and mechanical components. That's why this book is based on principles, not mandates.

Principle-based agile and lean might also be new for you, too. Remember, that if you duplicate what works in small projects to larger programs, all you get is bloat. Bloat doesn't deliver—at least, not easily. Take the principles of agile and lean, and think, “How can I apply these principles to my context?”

Whether you are a team member on a feature team, a core team member, or the program manager, this book has something for you. Why? Because the agile and lean program is a complex adaptive system. Everyone has his or her own role to play. And, everyone in the agile and lean program has to be aware of the entire rest of the program. No one succeeds without everyone else succeeding.

This book will help you see how to use agile and lean approaches to manage your program. Here's to your success. Now, let's start.

The Table of Contents:

  1. Defining Agile and Lean Program Management
  2. Consider Your Program Context
  3. Organize Your Program Teams
  4. Start Your Program Right
  5. Use Continuous Planning
  6. Create an Environment of Delivery
  7. Encourage Autonomy, Collaboration, and Exploration
  8. Conduct Useful Meetings for Your Program
  9. Estimating Program Schedule or Cost
  10. Useful Measurements in an Agile and Lean Program
  11. Develop Your Servant Leadership
  12. Shepherd the Agile Architecture
  13. Solve Program Problems
  14. Integrating Hardware Into Your Program
  15. Troubleshooting Agile Team Issues
  16. Integrating Agile and Non-Agile Teams n Your Program
  17. What to Do if Agile and Lean are Not Right for You

You can buy the book here:

If you bought the audio book and are looking for the supplemental materials, click on this link: SupplementalMaterialsALPM

14 Replies to “Agile and Lean Program Management: Scaling Collaboration Across the Organization”

  1. Congratulations on completing your new book! I scanned one of the pre-release versions and could see that it crackled with solid experience. Now’s the right time to really dive in!

  2. Pingback: Johanna Rothman on Agile and Lean Program Management | 神刀安全网
  3. Pingback: Article: Johanna Rothman on Agile and Lean Program Management – Technology Up2date
  4. Pingback: Defining “Scaling” Agile, Part 3: Creating Agile Product Development Capabilities – Technology Up2date

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