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Applying Systems Thinking to Agile Systems – Optimising Product Backlogs

By March 1, 2023 No Comments

On Thursday 15th December, we held our first in-person and our final event for 2022.  Rob Healy and his team at intive kindly invited us to their offices in Dublin City Centre.  During a tour of their offices, Rob showed us where they have been busy working on one of the largest scaled agile projects in the world for nearly a decade.  They have also been developing some of the best CI/CD and DevOps automated toolchains mostly using Open Sourced tools.

Rob started by explaining that intive is human centric engineering, connecting industry expertise, design and engineering for exciting business impact.  In reality, they are very much focused on design – usability design, experience design and business design.

Rob said that intive are very proud of their achievements including

  • 16 times higher engagement for Newscorp Mobile Platform
  • 10 million cars on German roads enabled by intive technology,
  • 40% more users for Gewinnarena app
  • 6 UX design awards
  • +5 FinTech Unicorns hyper-growth journey powered by intive engineering
How do they work at intive?

Research Project with University of Limerick

Intive is actively involved in a research collaboration with the University of Limerick. In his presentation, Rob talk about the results of their current research to analyse if Agile systems are stable.  He gave us a brief introduction into stable queuing systems, modelling ideal agile systems, the queues of Scrum followed by the queues of Kanban.  They developed their own model assuming a perfect service approach.

They concluded that with an idealised stable system, a “perfect” team and perfect knowledge Scrum and Kanban systems can be shown to be marginally stable at best and are likely unstable.  The next steps for intive will be to analyse real Agile teams to see if their systems are stable and determine if there are additional costs to stability / instability.

This blog post was written by Trish Ferguson, Steering Committee Member of the Dublin Lean Network.

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