Large-Scale Agile at Ericsson
Date: January 20, 2016
Our speaker for the January 20, 2016, Learning Consortium webinar was Paul Madden, head of Ericsson Product Development, OSS-RC & SON, in Athlone, Ireland. Paul hosted the Learning Consortium’s site visit to Athlone in July 2015.
In this webinar, Paul discussed Ericsson’s journey as a world leader in implementing Agile at scale in large enterprise projects. “Self-managed teams are not just tiny curiosities,” writes Andrew Hill in the Financial Times. “They can scale up to handle complex cross-border work. Ericsson — hardly a fresh-faced start-up at nearly 140 years old — has given autonomy to 2,300 engineers in 110 teams, coordinated from Athlone, Ireland, to produce enterprise software for huge telecoms operators.”
Paul also discussed how Ericsson lives the Agile mindset to cope with these challenges. At the Athlone site, many teams are working in a coordinated fashion on the next-generation product that will be released in about 18 months. The teams are encouraged to be autonomous and self-managed. Autonomy happens by leadership specifying the constraints on teams (about 17 people, cross-functional) and then letting the engineers organize themselves according to those constraints.