ScALeD - Scaling Agile Principles

The Scaled Agile Lead Development principles serve as a guide for a company to successfully transform the whole organisation beyond the agile team.


Along the way, we have discovered some patterns for the sustainable success of a company's agile transformation.

  • The management is aware of the fundamental importance of change.
  • One is guided by principles and values and does not put tools and practices in the foreground.
  • There is constant reflection on the process and practices.
  • The employees are involved at an early stage.

Many introductions fail or do not lead to the desired results. But it does not have to be that way. There is another way. A company-wide improvement in agility, adaptability and ownership works if the ground rules - principles - behind the approaches of Agile and Lean are followed.

With ScALeD - Scaled Agile and Lean Development, we have not simply created another method or framework. Instead, we offer a catalogue of principles by which process models or frameworks can be measured. So that every time a decision is made for or against a particular practice, the first question to ask is whether the new way is in line with the fundamental principlessteht.

An Overview of the Principles

Enthusiastic customers are the guarantee for every company to grow in the long term.

Create a working environment that ensures high employee satisfaction.

When optimising, it must be ensured that the overall value chain is always kept in view.

Leaders have an important role in an agile environment. They are teachers and enablers. 

Continuous improvement at all levels and in all areas of the organisation can be established through repeated inspection and adjustment.


Excited Customers

Excited customers enable sustained business growth. The task of product development is to create the basis for this growth.


Define Value and how it is Created

A shared understanding of the product’s value proposition is especially important in a scaled organisation. Product goals help to achieve the strategic objectives, and shared values provide guidance for all project members


Produce small, deliverable increments

Increments build on each other while presevering the functionality of the previous increments. They help create and measure value. A deliverable product increment can be released while additional features can still be added.

An increment ideally provides value for the customer. But even if that is not possible, small, deliverable increments provide the basis for the continuous growth of the product; they minimize risks and reduce complexity.

Happy and Productive Employees

In product development the employees offer the greatest improvement potential, and satisfied employees achieve a higher productivity. It is therefore important to create a work environment that results in motivated employees.


Create Independent, Cross-functional Teams

Teams are the most effective way to accomplish complex work. How people interact within one team and be extended to the interactions between several teams: Teams should be able to communicate with each other independently and without artificial barriers. The company’s job is to provide the right goals, structures, environment and support


Authorize and Empower your Employees

Employees working on a large-scale agile project require not only the right technical skills. They have to take on ownership for their work and support each other. Only then can teams do a great job for the organisation and the customer. Teams have to be empowered to own and manage their work and to make the necessary decisions.

Global Optimization

When scaling a modular, loosely coupled product architecture is essential. But focussing only on individual components can quickly lead to sub-optimisation. It is therefore necessary to consider the entire value chain and to integrate modules and components frequently


Create Transparency in all Directions

To make the right decisions, employees require the right information particularly the objectives, constraints, agreements and the current status. It is not enough to store this information. Encourage an active exchange of relevant information to foster continuous improvement.


Prefer Direct Communication

Personal and direct communication promotes the exchange of knowledge, skills, goals, needs, concerns. Tacit information is often only available when people communicate directly. Personal contact is important not only within a team but also between teams and with the rest of the organisation.


Create Flow and Rhythm

Flow and rhythm throughout the entire value chain are important enablers for high-performance teams alongside clear objectives, frequent synchronisation and fast (or no) handovers.

Supportive Leadership

Managers play an important role as teachers and enablers in an agile environment. As leaders they serve the company and the employees and they do their best to support creation of value.


Set Objectives and Provide Support

Managers set goals and provide support. They remove bureaucratic hurdles, dissolve rigid structures and successively empower the employees. As a leader, you serve the company and the employees by doing the best to help create a successful product in a healthy, sustainable way.


Decentralize Control Structures

Self-organisation does not only take place within a development team, but also across the teams. Long decision-making processes consume valuable development time. Most of the decisions should hence be made by those carrying out the work. For the coordination of multiple teams hierarchical control authority is not necessary. Follow the principles of transparency, direct communication, inspection and adaption, and global optimisation instead.


Cultivate the Change and Change the Culture

During an agile enterprise transition, all the parties involved should understand the values, the objectives and their own role in the change process. Senior management should lead the way and actively help to make the necessary changes.

Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement – at all levels of the organisation – is an important agile practice. It is facilitated by repeated inspection and adaption. Inspection should be based on direct observation and communication; adaption should happen without any delays.


Inspect and Adapt the Product

Frequently inspecting the entire product and adapting any plans allows the creation of a product that does a great job at meeting the customer needs. This is particularly crucial in a scaled environment.


Inspect and Adapt the Development Process

Just as the process within a team should be owned by team members, the process involving several teams should be owned by those teams. The teams reflect together. They identify strengths and weaknesses, define appropriate improvements and implement them.


Inspect and Adapt the Organisation

Improvement in an agile organisation is not a straightforward change, but an iterative process: inspection and adaption steps take place regularly. The current organisation is investigated, new opportunities and challenges are identified, improvements are derived and prioritised.

We are happy to guide your organisation in applying the ScALeD principles.