Scrum Lean in Motion (SLIM) is an anti-pattern. coined this acronym for a non-existing, personal framework. SLIM is one answer to scaling agile. Instead of scaling up it’s an advice to scale down your organisation to avoid a communication meltdown and collaboration sinkhole. Especially in large IT departments, this makes sense. The Dunbar number states that the number of people we can maintain social relationships with is around 150. Yes, that number includes your partner, children, parents, and extended family, friends….and colleagues. According to Samantha Laing, you cannot expect a well-oiled machinery as a result of scaling up agile, just because too many people are involved. Remember the Agile Release Train 2-days planning sessions in SAFe with 80-125 people?
It’s SLIM to focus on product and projects again
What would be the effect of splitting your company along the lines of projects and products or services? Involvement and sense of ownership will increase. Your added value becomes visible in the product, service or change you create. Fewer people, more collaboration, more working together and less confusion. Sounds like a no-brainer. Nothing new under the sun. Big isn’t beautiful for all CEOs.
To chew on
- Here is an article with some ideas of why smaller teams get more done.
- Ever heard of the ‘two pizza’ rule? Check out some more .
- Maverick, written by Ricardo Semler (1995) on how and why he split off and created new companies when they grew too big.
- ThoughtWorks has a similar structure in place.