The Agile at Scale Checklist

This page is continuously under development. It is expanded on both request and when we perceive a need.

This is a checklist of what should be attended to when doing Agile at scale. Much of this comes from the book Introducing FLEX – FLow for Enterprise Transformation: Going Beyond Lean and Agile (online book).


  • Take a systems thinking point of view. This means to attend to the interrelationships between all roles, artifacts, events and rules. In particular, it requires attending to your culture.  When you adopt an approach for improvement the approach becomes part of the system. How it is adopted must attend to your culture if it is to have much chance to make a difference. See Improving your company’s culture for more.
  • Take an approach defined along the value stream. The value stream is the flow of work from concept to realization of value. How people and work items interact are easiest to see by looking at this workflow. Many organizations have challenges because they do not see where the true cause of the problem is. See Part II: The Value Stream of the Effective Organization
  • Remember that value streams are what they are.  You can improve them by attending to how they start, the size of the work in them, the amount of work in process throughout the value stream, the workflow that takes place in the value stream, how people doing the work are organized, the level of visibility present and the agreements people make with each other.

Portfolio and Product Management

  • Come from a business perspective in defining the portfolio of the organization and in doing product management to achieve it.
  • Use standard industry terms and avoid using the same term in different ways.
  • Use MVPs for new products, MBIs for increments to existing products and MVRs (Minimum viable replacements) when a system is replaced.
  • Educate leadership on the importance of a well-defined intake process. See Using the Intake Process to Educate Leadership

Adoption and Support Methods

  • Do an Agile adoption  in an agile manner – do it incrementally – an “all-in all the way” approach may be counter-productive.
  • Provide a way to learn the approach in a step wise manner so that insights and practices can continually be added without making it more complicated to learn
  • Attend to the company’s culture when preparing for an adoption
  • Provide a method to predict if a change will be an improvement.  See A Simple Guide to See if a Change Will Be an Improvement and The Value Stream Impedance Scorecard.
  • Provide a support system on how to do the actual work instead of just being more about what the framework is
  • Present the approach from a value stream perspective. This provides a good platform for adoption by filling in in more depth that part of the value stream that needs most of the work while keeping it in the context of the whole.
  • Ensure the approach being taken illustrate the principles underneath all of the practices so the more you use the approach the more you understand the principles.
  • Define your trains by attending to how cost of delay will be reduced through greater collaboration. Have several methods to do this according to the products being developed and the interactions between them. This is particularly important when multiple platforms that are also applications are involved.


  • Have initial training focus on the work to be done with just enough training on the framework as needed
  • Use scaled learning methods in your workshops to both have more collaborative learning as well as to reduce costs
  • Tailor the training for the company being adopted
  • Teach attendees how to teach the materials a course enables them to, not merely allow them to do so.



  • Have each practice have a clear objective and ensure each objective has several practices on how to achieve it based on what’s right for the situation at hand. This is especially needed for:
    • planning (big room, long term planning is only one of several ways)
    • creating trains
  • Ensure anything referred to as part of the approach has specific practices mentioned on how to achieve it. These can be provided separate so that the core materials needed to understand the approach are not more than needed to get started.
  • Provide flexible team approaches  that span from Scrum to Kanban and anything in between – such as