How the LeSS principles guided scaling agile at the Dutch National Police

A case study how applying LeSS principles has been transforming a traditionally led organization to choose speed and agility over command and control.

In order to combat crime effectively, accurate and reliable information service is the primary weapon for the Dutch National Police. Due to an social environment that is changing quickly, their enthusiasm for working in an agile way took hold some time ago and evolved ever since. With their agile teams winning prizes like website of the year twice in a row, working in an agile way and delivery value at high pace definitely caught momentum and is now spreading across the organization. The need for a practical scaling approach soon became apparent. We show how applying the principles of LeSS helped us to reduce complexity, were highly applicable and highlighted the important challenges when scaling agile. In order to visualize the challenges that have to be solved we created a conceptual model that shows how to scale agile within the Police organisation. It visualizes the flow of value through the organization and the alignment needed throughout the organisation. It clarifies the role of the Product Owner in relation to subject matter experts. The model also gives the organization ways to guide teams to do their craft and build towards a vision shared by the Dutch National Police. It enables to embrace change, speed up, align teams with users, and motivates their workforce. This is certainly no small feat within a public sector organisation of a certain complexity and with many (ICT) challenges to overcome.

Marco de JongPrincipal consultant
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Jurjen de GrootConsultant
Ilpendam, Netherlands