Improving Scaled Agile with Multi-Domain Matrix
Editor: Harold (Mike) Stowe; Tyson R. Browning; Steven D. Eppinger; Jakob Trauer
Author: Narayanan, Nithin; Joglekar, Nitin; Eppinger, Steven
Institution: 1: MIT, Cambridge, MA, United States of America 2: Boston University, Boston, MA, United States of America
DOI number: 10.35199/dsm2021.8
Scaled agile projects require coordination of work dependencies across groups of teams called Agile Release Trains (ARTs). ARTs work on developing and delivering bundles of product features called Capabilities. Coordination can be especially complex when dependencies cut across organizational levels and product domains. We develop a field study involving Multi-Domain Matrix (MDM) mapping of dependencies across multiple ARTs and product capabilities. Our analysis finds that organizational dependencies (within a single team or an ART) associated with features that lead up to a single capability typically get tracked through periodic Program Increment (PI) planning processes. Product capabilities that depend directly on other capabilities are visible through customer delivery processes. However, some dependencies that link organizational and product capability domains may be episodic and may not be addressed through PI planning. MDM analysis can be used to both formalize PI coordination and to create dedicated problem-solving groups to improve such episodic coordination.