About this handbook

Scaling Agile practices so they work effectively across large enterprises is hard. A natural reaction to this is to look for structure, processes and rules that make it easier. There are several off-the-shelf frameworks to choose from that claim to do this - scaling Agile has become a hot topic - but inevitably, the 12 principles underlining the Agile Manifesto start to become heavily compromised as these frameworks are applied. This is especially true if traditional management 'rules of thumb' are followed - consciously or otherwise.

The authors of this handbook have many years of experience implementing Agile at scale in large enterprises, and one thing has become very clear to us: scaling agile successfully is not about frameworks, but about people.

This handbook is therefore not proposing a new framework or set of processes. There is no ‘start here and do this’ page, no predetermined steps to follow. It is instead a set of recommendations, arranged alphabetically by topic, that can be used as a reference for everybody in the enterprise. All of the recommendations have been proven to work in other enterprises, but are nevertheless intended only as a starting point for discussion: every enterprise is unique. Some of the recommendations do challenge established rules of thumb - so be prepared to enjoy some lively debate.

To illustrate how this handbook might be used, we can go back to the 1970s: at that time, Avis Car Rental was successfully transformed by the CEO (Robert Townsend) leaving a list of alphabetically arranged recommendations – some of which would still be considered radical today - on the desks of his employees. Those people picked it up, had a browse, and quickly started to understand what the CEO was trying to achieve. Those people then transformed the company.

We recommend doing something similar with this handbook. We hope you enjoy using it.