Escaping the Feature Factory

Stefan Wolpers
9 min readNov 20, 2023

TL; DR: Escaping the Feature Factory — Refocussing From Output to Outcome

The feature factory fate is not inevitable; there is hope to avoid becoming a mere cog in the machinery. Learn how!

In many large organizations, Scrum teams fall into the ‘feature factory’ trap, focusing more on churning out features than creating real value. It’s too bad that this shift undermines Agile principles and hampers long-term success and innovation. Let’s discuss how and why this happens and what we can do to break the chains of the feature factory.

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The Organizational Reasons Behind the Feature Factory

There are multiple reasons why organizations start as or drift into the feature factory anti-pattern, from focusing on short-term results to functional, non-cooperative silos to neglecting technical excellence to the illusion of controlling uncertainty with planning:

  1. Lack of Clear Vision or Strategy: Scrum teams may lack direction without a clear product vision or strategy, resulting in a scattered approach to development where the emphasis is on shipping features rather than solving specific problems or achieving strategic goals.
  2. Short-Term Focus: Driven by quarterly results or immediate…

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Stefan Wolpers

I have worked for 17-plus years as a Scrum Master, Product Owner, and agile coach. Professional Scrum Trainer (PST) with Scrum.org.