Scaled Agile Framework, commonly abbreviated as SAFe is the leading framework which helps companies in scaling agile. It is popular and widely used to increase productivity and quality of application development. It also promotes employee engagement. It allows teams who are already using agile to work across other teams in the organization by using scaling agile framework.
There are various reasons to opt for scaling agile at the enterprise level, such as:
It helps organizations in scaling agile by implementing agile across larger, multi-team programs and portfolios.
It helps various teams in organizing and running agile across multiple platforms. It works on agile implementation without any delays and failures.
It can be implemented independently across multiple teams.
SAFe is also used when it becomes challenging to align the business departments across the program and at team levels. Safe methodology in collaboration with bug tracking tool can improve software quality.
It is widely used to improve product development lead time and time to market.
What are the guidelines to implement a Scaled Agile Framework?
- Budget Constraints.
You have to consider various economic constraints like development cost, production cost, delivery time, value.
- Working towards common goals.
It helps in optimizing the entire system as one rather than working on its sections. It involves seeking business goals and mapping them to the team level.
- Preserve options.
It discovers the various decisions aggressively by delaying decisions until it becomes essential.
- Integrating them with learning cycles.
To understand and evaluate various other choices that we have based on cadence learning cycles.
- Setting milestones and evaluation of the current system.
It helps in measuring the progress through objectives rather than the phase-gate method, which is the conventional method.
- Visualize and manage the length of the flow of the process.
Here the work is done in small batches and a controlled work in progress. It helps in enhancing the fast flow of value and learning.
- Learn from the knowledge workers.
Knowledge workers can participate in the right environment, and knowledge workers have different impulse to work, which exhibits curiosity.
- Decentralized decision-making.
It helps in promoting decentralized decision making, which leads to ethical decision making.
There are five core competencies which are required to follow SAFe.
They are as follows:
- Team and Technical Ability
- Lean-Agile leadership
- DevOps and release on demand
- Providing business solutions and lean system engineering
- Lean portfolio management
The Lean-Agile Leadership
This competency focuses on organizational change and the right approach that Agile leaders can inculcate to start and sustain the change. The lean-agile empowers individuals and teams to achieve operational excellence.
They learn, exhibit, and train on Safe’s agile values and principles. It values mindset, principles, and practices to reach the maximum potential.
It heads the work performed, which helps the system in continuously improving the system.
The leaders drive the high performing agile teams, and the guidelines for Lean-Agile leadership are :
They are the people who are well-versed with lean at the deeper levels. They can coach about lean in daily activities.
Transformation: The leaders of lean-agile help in transforming into a Scaled Agile Framework. They outline the entire process step-by-step, which includes the present step, the future ones, and to consider the importance of transformation.
Technical Agility and Team: Agility in teams is defined as the skills which are required to test, build, and deploy the value in short iterations. The agile teams use both the methods called Scrum and Kanban. They form ART teams where people collaborate to define, test, and deploy a solution.
Technical Agility: It defines the technical agility in terms of principles and practices that are used in a team to deliver quick, reliable solutions. Technical agility comprises of Agile modeling, proven approaches, patterns for object-oriented software design, built-in quality.
DevOps and Release on Demand: The works on the principles and practices of DevOps which offer the capability to release a valuable project at less time to meet customer demands.
It also aligns operations, development, information security to improve efficiency by sharing responsibility and improving business results.
Lean Systems Engineering and solutions
The Scaled Agile Framework caters the need of complex and large cyber system by using various modules such as requirement analysis, business capability definition, functional analysis and allocation, verification and validation, design alternatives, modeling, simulation and trade studies. It also provides a flow-based process and roadmaps, which helps in guiding the continuous development. These iterations reduce time and the risk of discovering issues and delivery.
Lean Portfolio Management
It guides in implementing lean by outlining how the organization can approach agile portfolio operations, fund investments, and governance. They perform with the assistance of these collaborations.
The entire portfolio includes three collaborations which manage the set of
- Strategy and funding
These offer collaborations which enables you to execute commitments reliably and enable innovation by building four competencies.
Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) helps in overcoming the challenges an organization faces while scaling agile. SAFe’s Lean-Agile Principles gives a roadmap to implement the Scaled Agile Framework in an organization.