Scaling Agile through Enterprise Flow with Upstream and Portfolio Kanban

[ Teaching and Coaching Business Agility with Okaloa simulations ]


Business Agility requires more than the flow of work in a team, it requires the flow of value at all levels in the organization. It requires that we deliver value to the customer quickly and continuously. It requires a short time for going from identified to satisfied need. And as if that is not difficult enough in itself, volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity – in short VUCA – imposes its own challenges. VUCA implies that organizations need to deal with an ever changing and fluctuating demand coming from diverse customers with conflicting and ambiguous priorities that cannot be judged by the same standards, and that need to be served through constrained and often heterogeneous capabilities. In short, Business Agility requires enterprise flow that includes the team as well as the release and portfolio level.

This workshop will teach you the foundations of enterprise flow through its constituent elements. It will help you to understand and recognize the challenges that are faced in the upstream and the portfolio level. It will prepare you to develop your own Agile portfolio management or work with your customers to help them to develop an Agile portfolio management that suits their needs. Rather than thinking of the VUCA challenges as, well …, challenges, we see in them an exciting opportunity to shed a new light on business agility and explore radically new ways of dealing with both upstream and the Agile portfolio.

What you learn in this workshop will make you more effective at scaling Agile in your, or your customer’s, organization. It will also make you more effective as a coach and a trainer. The workshop exposes the participants to a unique teaching style where experience precedes theory. Rather than imposing a method or practices on the participants, it allows the participants to experience – in a safe to fail environment – and develop their own thinking models that fit with their practices and frameworks. As a result, the workshop reinforces, rather than replaces, any scaling or other Agile frameworks or methods that the participants are already familiar with. It also introduces the participants to a set of Okaloa simulations that they can use in their own work or coaching.


  • Introduction to the workshop
    • Using simulation to create a safe team practise environment (the team gym)
    • Initial simulation – experience “doing Agile”
    • From blaming to understanding – developing an understanding of the system of work
    • Experiment (simulation) – experience “being Agile” with flow, collaboration and learning
  • Towards enterprise flow
    • Simulating a workflow
    • Simulating a Kanban system
    • Separating upstream from downstream while introducing a planning cadence
    • Experiencing oscillation
  • Fluctuating and incommensurable demand
    • The knowledge discovery process – Discover, Design, Develop, Deliver
    • Experiencing and understanding the sources of fluctuation - Delay
    • Simulating order points
    • Understanding demand that cannot be judged by the same standards
    • Triage
  • Towards a market place
    • Simulating flow across interdependent teams
    • Bottlenecks and the naivety of “limiting WIP” at the portfolio level
    • Representing capacity with CAP tokens
    • Simulation with CAP tokens
    • Organizing an (internal) market place
  • Putting it all together
    • Upstream and portfolio Kanban
    • Agile portfolio management
    • What with existing scaling Agile frameworks?
    • Practical applications

Learning Objectives

  • Extend your Agile teaching and coaching to the enterprise level
  • Get started with upstream and portfolio Kanban
  • Learn powerful simulations that you can use to teach basic and advanced Agile concepts
  • Learn how to develop and evolve Agile portfolio management solutions
  • Learn how to evolve an upstream process
  • Get an understanding of the foundations of business agility


  • Product owners, Product managers
  • Agile coaches, Agile transformation coaches, scaled Agile trainers and coaches
  • PMO staff, Change managers
  • Management and executives

Course Deliverables

  • Attendees will receive the Certificate of Participation on ‘Scaling Agile through Enterprise Flow With Upstream and Portfolio Kanban’
  • In person 2-day training full of learning and fun
  • Takeaway guide.


January 23 - 24, 2019

Participant Profile

Beginner and Intermediate


Mix of theory & workshop sessions (Classroom Training)


Patrick Steyaert



Registration Fee

INR 45,000 + 18% GST (Inclusive of Agile Mumbai 2019 Conference pass).