Keeping the Momentum: Driving Continuous Improvement After the Large-Scale Agile Transformation

Josefine Bowring*, Maria Paasivaara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is currently the most popular framework to scale agile development to large projects and organisations. An organisational transformation to SAFe is usually driven by a Lean-Agile Centre of Excellence (LACE). What happens to the LACE after the initial transformation is over? How does the organisation keep improving? In this single-case study we investigated how the volunteer-driven LACE in a Nordic bank, Nordea, drives continuous improvement long after the organisation’s transition to SAFe. We collected data by 10 semi-structured interviews and several observations. We found that the LACE at Nordea drives continuous improvements by working in a Scrum-like fashion: it uses Product Owners, maintains a backlog of improvement features, works in sub-teams to identify and solve issues, and meets once a week to coordinate and share between the sub-teams. The LACE consists of volunteers, which is an advantage as changes are identified and implemented by the same practitioners who experience the need for them. However, this volunteering model is not without challenges: the LACE lacks the formal mandate to implement the needed changes and other work takes priority for the participants.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProduct-Focused Software Process Improvement
Subtitle of host publication22nd International Conference, PROFES 2021, Proceedings
EditorsLuca Ardito, Andreas Jedlitschka, Maurizio Morisio, Marco Torchiano
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-91452-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-91451-6
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Product-Focused Software Process Improvement - Virtual, online, Turin, Italy
Duration: 26 Nov 202126 Nov 2021
Conference number: 22

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
Volume13126 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceInternational Conference on Product-Focused Software Process Improvement
Abbreviated titlePROFES
Internet address


  • Continuous improvement
  • LACE
  • Large scale agile
  • Lean-Agile Centre of Excellence
  • Scaled Agile Framework


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