Part X: Additional Resources on the Net Objectives Portal

This page lists resources on the Net Objectives Portal that we find relevant to FLEX but not an essential part of its description. If you have a particular challenge with something (whether you are using FLEX or some other approach) you might want to start out with the FLEX Support System.

Lean Product Management

Managing Large and Small MBIs


Art of Action: How Leaders Close the Gaps Between Plans, Actions and Results. Short re-cap of this great book by Stephen Bungay.

Minimum Business Increments

MBIs are useful throughout the value stream. They not only designate what to work on but they provide alignment while assisting in making local decisions that within the context of the big picture. This section provides a series of articles that discuss how to use MBIs.

Defining an MBI based on balancing value delivered sooner Vs potential extra development cost. This is a case study that illustrates why driving from business value is more important than driving from development efficiency.

Decomposing a Capability Into MBIs

Decomposing an MBI into Features

Why WSJF Should Be Done on MBIs and Not Features or Epics

Using MBIs in the SAFe Planning Event

Focus on Finishing Stories in the Sprint and on Finishing MBIs in the Program Increment

Managing Large and Small MBIs

Systems Thinking

If Russ Ackoff had Given a Ted Talk. 12 minute video that provides the best explanation I’ve seen of systems thinking.

Improving Frameworks with Operating Models. The biggest difference between FLEX and other approaches is FLEX is an operating model, not a framework. This expands on why this is important.

Team Level

Cross-Functional Teams: Improving Communication Between People who Work Together (Case Study)

Team Agility / Scrum Support Systems. provides considerable support for Agile teams using Scrum, Kanban or Lean.

Team Estimation is a simpler, faster, just as effective approach to estimation as planning poker. You can learn it in 5-10 minutes.

Dynamic Feature Teams: Creating Small Mobs Within a Large Group (Case Study). Although the ideal case is independent teams, very often requirements come in that require multiple teams to work together. Dynamic Feature teams is often a great way to increase collaboration across teams that have a common requirements base.

Technical Agility

A Primer on Emergent Design. In the Agile world our designs must evolve with our requirements. Here’s a primer from Scott Bain’s award-winning book Emergent Design: The Evolutionary Nature of Professional Software Development.

Refactor to the open closed is a method that provides changing the design so that it can better accommodate a new requirement. This is a chapter from our Essential Skills for the Agile Developer: A Guide to Better Programming and Design book.

Theory of Constraints

Theory of Constraints (TOC) 3 Bottle Oiled Wheels Demonstration (short video). Provides a metaphor for how activity does not mean value.


Scaled Learning. How to learn new methods is often as important as the methods themselves. Most Lean and Agile workshops use methods that are known to be less effective than modern methods.

The Dot Game is a simple way to teach the essence of Lean, Scrum and Kanban. It takes only an hour to run the game but it can be expanded into a 4 hour sessions to teach all of Scrum.


Art of Action: How Leaders Close the Gaps Between Plans, Actions and Results. Stephen Bungay. One of the best management books written. See above in Management for a short re-cap.

The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development. Don Reinertsen. Going Beyond Lean and Agile is based on Don’s book.

Turn the Ship Around: A True Story of Turning Followers Into Leaders. David Marquet creates the leader-leader management paradigm.



Two online FLEX courses are now being offered – FLEX for SAFe, and Adopting FLEX (the first course in becoming a FLEX trainer).

If you want to learn about how to adopt FLEX in your organization please contact the author, Al Shalloway.