James Shore teaches, writes, and consults on Agile development processes. He is a recipient of the Agile Alliance’s Gordon Pask Award for Contributions to Agile Practice, co-author of The Art of Agile Development, and co-creator of the Agile Fluency™ Model. You can find more of his writing on his Art of Agile blog.
One of the pernicious problems in large-scale software development is cross-team coordination. Most large-scale Agile methods focus on product and portfolio coordination, but there’s a harder problem out there: coordinating the engineering work.
Poor engineering coordination leads to major problems: bugs, delays, production outages. Cross-team inefficiencies creep in, leading to Ron Jeffries’ description: “a hundred-person project is a ten-person project, with overhead.” One of my large-scale clients had teams that were taking three months to deliver five days of work—all due to cross-team coordination challenges.