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Encapsulation and Orchestration

Mike Cottmeyer Chief Executive Officer
Reading: Encapsulation and Orchestration

I spend a lot of time thinking about these two words.

When LeadingAgile talks about forming teams and building organizational structures, we rely on the notion of encapsulation to increase local autonomy, and therefore empower the people doing the work to make local decisions.

When we talk about orchestration, we understand that anything which cannot be encapsulated requires coordination, and therefore must be coordinated. Orchestration is the means of coordinating work between dependent agents.

Scrum assumes encapsulation and therefore has minimal orchestration.

SAFe assumes little encapsulation as therefore has more orchestration.

The only way to reduce orchestration is to increase encapsulation.

You increase encapsulation, and reduce orchestration, by breaking dependencies.

The whole story we are trying to tell at LeadingAgile goes something like this.

1. Organize for encapsulation
2. Respect dependencies and orchestrate as necessary while you break them
3. Reduce orchestration as dependencies are broken.

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