Integrating Systems Thinking into Enterprise Agile
While Scrum and XP have become very popular in agile development shops, most companies adopting them run into problems beyond just a few teams. These challenges often fall into a common set of patterns, which points to a lack of systems thinking-the process of understanding how things influence one another within a larger whole. Alan Shalloway shares his ideas on how the agile community can move beyond its team-centric approach to adopt a more holistic, systems-based approach. Systems thinking creates new opportunities to create substantially larger development teams-Alan calls them “pan-teams.” These teams work interdependently with a common vision and context. Pan-teams enhance the motivations for the teams and individuals to collaborate as a normal part of their daily work thus reducing the amount of forced collaboration. Although not a panacea, systems thinking provides a better platform to solve enterprise-wide challenges because your organization learns to approach problem solving holistically and avoid the trap of unintended consequences.