This post is a supplement to my general post on Nexus and Nexus+. The Nexus format for these experience reports is essentially the same with additions of Kanban or The Lean Startup in "sprints"; the Nexus Integration Team is accountable for minimizing dependencies across all teams in the Nexus, and is accountable for a combined potentially shippable increment. I jokingly called it "KanScrumUp", but I wouldn't wish another framework on you. So it's Nexus with some tweaks. So perhaps this is not a fair account on Nexus. There are plenty of posts that already explain pure Nexus hopefully.
We had a number of teams per product that wanted a choice of Scrum, Kanban as per the 2016 Essential Kanban Condensed Guide, or the Lean Startup. The teams wanted a pattern. I wasn't aware of a pattern for those methods. So I modified Nexus as above. And in one Nexus+, I added the Architecture Owner role to reduce organizational "anti-bodies" while still urging emerging design by self-organizing teams.
We had three instances of (modified) Nexus - one across all initiatives, in one of those initiatives. In one of the initiatives, we had 5 teams in one Nexus, mostly Scrum teams, with one Kanban team; the other Nexus had three teams initially, one with Lean Startup, one with Scrum, one with Kanban.
The goal for the first 6-12 months of the change was faster delivery (while still focusing on the customer where we had opportunity) all the while deprecating WaterScrumFall, promoting good sustainable purposeful agility, transitioning the organization design to agility, with DevOps 1st and Lean Finance 2nd. The goal in each case was later to focus on the customer and innovation.
We were all for creative tension, but said to ourselves "why start a >70% chance of failing on a bad footing?". Our Boston Consulting Group DICE scores for change readiness only went green/amber if we either diluted our 6-month goal or limited the scope of the organization we attacked so to speak.
"Why promise lots when you've got delivery plumbing problems" was the rationale. When DICE scores were poor, it didn't take long to decide to :
- go narrow and deep where there is "strong pull", or
- simply aim for better lead times, delivery rates and failure demand, with a view to chasing more customer in the follow-up 6-12 month wave
The scope was 25m USD in spend pa roughly. We had an agility maturity model which was useful. I didn't like the targets, the targets were set based on progression through the agility maturity framework. But they were useful, in that I understood how leaders were motivated.
Looking back now, I’d say that senior management commitment turned out to be lower than in the example. When push came to shove, top down management fell back to Gantt charts as a safety blanket.