In a word, Everything.
In a few words, while scaling agility can help organizations improve their ability to deliver value and respond to change, many aspects of agility may only scale well if there is intention and investment in these aspects. A few examples from our experience are:
Mindset and culture: The agile mindset and culture are critical to the success of agile practices. However, it can be challenging to maintain this mindset and culture as an organization grows, mainly if there are multiple teams and departments. This can lead to poor alignment, communication issues, and difficulty consistently implementing agile practices.
Dependency management: As an organization scales, the dependencies between teams and departments can increase significantly. This can make it challenging to manage these dependencies effectively, resulting in delays, duplication of effort, and suboptimal outcomes.
Technical debt: Scaling agility can result in a higher volume of work, leading to the accumulation of technical debt. This can impact the quality of the work, resulting in delays and additional costs in the long run.
Quality assurance: As an organization scales, it can take time to maintain consistent levels of quality assurance across all teams and departments. This can lead to quality issues, customer dissatisfaction, and damage to the organization's reputation.
Communication: Effective communication is essential to agile practices, but it can be challenging to maintain consistent communication across multiple teams, departments, and stakeholders. This can lead to misaligned expectations, delays, and misunderstandings.
It's essential to address these proactively when scaling agility. This may involve investing in training and coaching to ensure that everyone in the organization understands the importance of the agile mindset and culture, implementing tools and processes to manage dependencies, prioritizing technical debt reduction, fostering a culture of open communication and collaboration, and maintaining a focus on quality assurance throughout the scaling process.
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