Coordination Strategies: Beyond Scrum | Part 3

In the previous post, we discuss different strategies that are imperative in successful implementation of Scrum process model in GSD context. In this post, we take this discussion further by introducing few strategies that are originated from other disciplines than software development; however, they can have positive impact on LFDS.

Queuing Theory: Increase Parallelism by Eliminating Queues

Queuing Theory [1] provides an insight on the release cycle in the large-scale product development. In today’s competitive market, in order to survive, it has become essential to minimize the release cycle of the new features. Hence, careful consideration of Work-in-Progress (WIP) queues with long-batch of task should be taken into account in large-scale Scrum, as they increase the average cycle times and eventually, reduce value delivery. C. Larman and B. Vodde propose the following approaches to manage WIP queues in large-scale Scrum context [1] :

  1. Eliminate the queues by changing the system – removing the bottlenecks and the other factors that create the queues.

  2. Introducing the feature teams  that implement customer features from end-to-end and reducing the dependencies, can vanish these queues, as the feature teams begin a highly parallel development cycles.

  3. Reduce variability e.g. ambiguity in user stories [2], estimated vs. actual effort variance and so on. Variability is considered as one of the three sources of waste in lean thinking [3].

Incorporate Lean Thinking in LFDS

Lean thinking is a proven system that works for the large-scale development. Toyota and other companies show such evidences. The main two principles of lean are following:

  1. Continuous improvement or kaizen,
  2. Respect for people [3].

The lean principle always strives for self and organizational improvement and promotes an atmosphere of continuous learning and embracing changes, which is complementary to the Scrum principle as well. Reducing waste from every phase of the development cycle is one of the primary motto of lean principle. Hence, adopting and embracing these principles in the software development sub-culture of the organization is bound to have a positive impact on the efficiency of LFDS.


[1] C. Larman and B. Vodde, Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum: Addison-Wesley Professional, 2008.

[2] M. Cohn, Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum: Addison-Wesley Professional, 2009.

[3] P. Middleton, “Lean Software Development: Two Case Studies,” Software Quality Control, vol. 9, pp. 241-252, 2001.


[R-1: 11-03-2013] Updated formatting to make this post more consistent with current CSS.


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