Scaling and scalability - what's the difference?

Scaling goes back to the Latin word "scalae" for stairs or ladder. Basically, the term means an adaptation to changed scales, i.e. a change in size.

Accordingly, scalability is understood as the ability to grow or shrink, depending on requirements.

How do you scale?

Depending on the context, scaling requires different procedures.

For example, if you want to scale a pixel graphic, artificially created pixels are added, which often leads to quality loss and blurring. Vector graphics, on the other hand, can be scaled as desired by adjusting the algorithm.

In IT, one scales either by creating more resources (scale in) or by adding more instances (scale out). For example, a database can be scaled to the amount of queries it receives to make it consistently effective and fast.

What does it mean to scale a company?

In business management terms, scaling means that a company grows without the need for major investments or higher fixed costs. This increases both the company's sales and its profits.

In this context, scalability means the ability of a business model to expand.

When is a company scalable?

To be able to scale a company successfully, the business model ideally has the following characteristics:

  • low fixed assets ("asset light").
  • no or few physical capacity limits due to production facilities or limited resources
  • low fixed costs
  • high proportion of variable costs
  • extensive automation of processes and workflows
  • expansion into other countries and markets
  • strong marketing and sales strategies

How do you scale a company?

In order to successfully scale a company, the procedures, work methods and processes used to date are examined, analyzed and optimized. This includes both classic and agile working methods. Thus, one speaks of "agile scaling" when the agile work of individual teams is scaled to the entire organization of the company. Appropriate modifications create a learning organization that can constantly evolve and become more efficient. As individual as each company is, so is the respective agile scaling.

Successful scaling with cplace

In scaling phases, companies need the right technical support. Flexible software platforms, such as cplace, can be adapted to changing requirements as needed, e.g. by

  • expanding the fields of application with the help of a modular building block system
  • adjusting the number of users while maintaining stable performance
  • adjustment to changing project scopes or project requirements with the help of No-Code, Low-Code and Pro-Code

In addition, cplace supports companies in agile scaling (expansion of agile process models beyond the individual team level).

Learn more about scaling with cplace

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