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Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum Paperback – December 18, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0321480965 ISBN-10: 0321480961 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (December 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321480961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321480965
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Lean Development and Agile Methods for Large-Scale Products: Key Thinking and Organizational Tools for Sustainable Competitive Success


Increasingly, large product-development organizations are turning to lean thinking, agile principles and practices, and large-scale Scrum to sustainably and quickly deliver value and innovation. However, many groups have floundered in theirpractice-orientedadoptions. Why? Because without a deeper understanding of thethinking toolsand profoundorganizational redesignneeded, it is as though casting seeds on to an infertile field. Now, drawing on their long experience leading and guiding large-scale lean and agile adoptions for large, multisite, and offshore product development, and drawing on the best research for great team-based agile organizations, internationally recognized consultant and best-selling author Craig Larman and former leader of the agile transformation at Nokia Networks Bas Vodde share the key thinking and organizational tools needed to plant the seeds of product development success in a fertile lean and agile enterprise.


Coverage includes  

  • Lean thinking and development combined with agile practices and methods
  • Systems thinking
  • Queuing theory and large-scale development processes
  • Moving from single-function and component teams to stable cross-functional cross-component Scrum feature teams with end-to-end responsibility for features
  • Organizational redesign to a lean and agile enterprise that delivers value fast
  • Large-scale Scrum for multi-hundred-person product groups

In a competitive environment that demands ever-faster cycle times and greater innovation, applied lean thinking and agile principles are becoming an urgent priority.Scaling Lean & Agile Developmentwill help leaders create the foundation for their lean enterprise-and deliver on the significant benefits of agility.


In addition to thefoundationtools in this text, see the companion bookPractices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Large, Multisite, and Offshore Product Development with Large-Scale Scrumfor complementaryactiontools.

About the Author

Craig Larman is a management and product development consultant in enterprise-level adoption and use of lean development, agile principles and practices, and large-scale Scrum in large, multisite, and offshore development. He is chief scientist at Valtech, an international consulting and offshore outsourcing company. His books include the best-sellers Agile & Iterative Development: A Manager’s Guide (Addison-Wesley, 2004) and Applying UML and Patterns, Third Edition (Prentice Hall, 2005).


Bas Vodde works as an independent product-development consultant and large-scale Scrum coach. For several years he led the agile and Scrum enterprise-wide adoption initiative at Nokia Networks. He is passionate about improving product development, an avid student of organizational, team management, and product development research, and remains an active developer.

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Customer Reviews

The summary at the end of the chapters are quite good.
Shanmugam Annapoorani
This book provides a holistic view of doing software development applying Lean, Systems thinking, Queuing theory, Scrum, etc.
Venkatesh Krishnamurthy
The book is a must read for anyone looking to scale agile product development.
Lachlan Heasman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Methods & Tools Software Development Magazine on February 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is a classic example of the fact that it is better to teach somebody to fish than to give him fish. It emphasizes that it is important to "be agile" more than to "do agile". Approaches like Scrum or Lean are more frameworks to think about continuous improvement than tools that should be applied blindly like cooking recipes. The book will therefore tell you that "large-scale Scrum is Scrum" or that lean is not just kanban or waste reduction. The first part of the book is focused on thinking tools (systems thinking, lean thinking, queueing theory) that are presented with software project management related examples. Those who are looking for practical advice should not believe that the book remains only at the conceptual level. The authors distill many "try..." and "avoid..." recommendations that will help you implement agile and lean ideas in your organization. The second part of the book is devoted to organizational tools and the final chapter proposes frameworks to adapt Scrum to larger contexts.

This book is a must for those who believe that software development project management goes beyond the simple application of "silver bullet" recipes. It is a rich source of both thinking and practical content that is well suited for non-linear reading. A very good "Scrum primer" chapter at the end of the book will provide an introduction for those who are not familiar with this approach and a large number of "recommended readings" items will allow readers to explore more in details each concept.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Heck on March 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
Listening to Bas Vodde's speech about "the trouble with component teams" at the Stockholm Scrum Gathering 2008, I was amazed. From the participants' reactions, you could easily hear and see when someone recognized his or her own project: The troubles he described seemed too familiar. Yet most real big software development organization seems to be facing them, even on their way to getting agile, if the development teams are still organized according to architectural components. He also could explain with a really practical background why and how these problems would be solved by having agile cross-functional feature teams. These insights can be found with much more detail in the "Feature Teams" chapter of this wonderful book.

Craig Larman and Bas Vodde have put together lots of valuable background information on lean thinking applied to software projects. The book describes how agility is based in the Toyota values and principles, as well as in systems thinking and queuing theory. But it is far away from being a theoretical book, since it contains lots of practical experiences from the authors and other people introducing Scrum into large organizations. A big emphasis is on understanding that the pillars of lean are "Respect for people" and "Continuous improvement" and that the lean principles and the methods with which they are supported will not work alone, without the rest of the framework. As well as you cannot "do agile" but only "be agile". These are things frequently misunderstood, especially in large companies. Suddenly you are invited to dozens of daily "Scrum" standup meetings held by managers who have heard that daily standups make you agile.

A chapter I particularly like is the "Organization" chapter. How can you form an organization around agile development teams?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ade Miller on June 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
While supposedly on vacation and sitting on a beach in Jamaica I finally got around to reading a couple of books that haven't quite made it to the top of the stack. This is largely thanks to the lack of slack and impending annual performance reviews. More on that later...

In the meantime what of Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum?

It turns out this wasn't quite what I was expecting. Which, in this case, is a good thing. Much of the nuts and bolts of large-scale development will be covered in an--as yet unpublished--companion volume; "Practices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Large, Multisite and Offshore Product Development with Large-Scale Scrum".

Why is this a good thing? Well, the second volume will focus on the nuts and bolts and the temptation would for many potential readers--myself included--to skip the theory and go straight to the applied. A bad idea when the central theme of the first volume is that large-scale agile adoption has effects throughout the organization. The development team and day-to-day development activities are just the tip of the iceberg.

The first section of the book focuses on thinking tools; Systems Thinking, Lean Thinking, Queueing Theory. Which is typical of the book's approach of giving the readers the tools to "Be agile rather than do agile". This makes a lot of sense. Large organizations are complex and unique, attempting to author a one size fits all recipe for agile adoption would seem unwise. But if you're expecting a book containing a prescriptive set of recipes then you'll be disappointed.

The second section covers the organizational tools starting off with Feature Teams and the inherent problems with component teams.
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