Does your picture get bigger and bigger?
Do your projects involve more and more teams?
Do you ever feel that things are moving slower than they should?
It is Scaled Agile Framework time!
We decided to add one more conversation to the intense debate on SAFe. Why stay silent when SAFe enables more control and improved quality for huge IT outsourcing projects?
While some companies still organize the tasks in projects using the traditional approach, others decided to be one step ahead and implemented the Scaled Agile Framework methodology.
In AROBS, we are experiencing the success with our main business pillars, from Automotive, Travel & Hospitality, Enterprise solutions, IoT & Life Sciences.
But first things first. What is Scaled Agile Framework?
Scaled Agile Framework is a methodology that combines the three principles, Lean, Agile and DevOps, within a templated framework. The Lean principle is based on using fewer resources to get to the expected result while Agile was created to enable improved liaison between developers and the business. DevOps enabled us to understand and improve our development practices. These three combined, gave rise to a methodology that we now cannot understand how we managed without it.
The characteristics of SAFe are based on its best practice principles.
#1-Take an economic view
#2-Apply systems thinking
#3-Assume variability; preserve options
#4-Build incrementally with fast, integrated learning cycles
#5-Base milestones on the objective evaluation of working systems
#6-Visualize and limit WIP, reduce batch sizes and manage queue lengths
#7-Apply cadence, synchronize with cross-domain planning
#8-Unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers
Where is it more than safe to use SAFe
SAFe applies to three organizational levels.
1. Team level — empowers the team, turning it into a self-organizing and self-managing team. All the teams are responsible for planning and executing two-week-time-boxed iterations.
2. Program level — at this level, iteration is for team and train is for the program. The Program Increments duration is of 8 to 12 weeks and is made up of 5–12 Agile Teams who can deliver something of significance.
3. Portfolio Level — provides the basic blocks for organizing the Lean-Agile Enterprise flow and it helps to develop systems and solutions support the strategic themes. Also, the portfolio enables lean budgeting and other governance mechanisms. The SAFe Portfolio Level has the highest level of interest from senior management across the organization because it involves people, processes and necessary building blocks of systems and solutions that a company needs to meet its strategic objectives.
Introducing new working practices has advantages and disadvantages for any company’s business. Below, you can find a few of them related to the Scaled Agile Framework methodology.
As always, the best people who can give you a feedback regarding one working method over another, are the employees. Many companies have already implemented the SAFe methodology, and they have experienced numerous benefits, such as greater confidence in the estimates and the improved predictability of the delivery, increased efficiency and effectiveness and they simply felt more empowered to accomplish their work.
How efficient is SAFe?
Empirical case studies have stated: the productivity increases by 20–50%, the quality of the delivered products by 25–75%, the improved employee engagement by 10–50% and the product gets 30–75% faster to the market or to the client.
But we should punctuate the advantages and the disadvantages strongly debated in our software development universe, so we made a chart.
The debate must and will go on, please feel free to comment on our article. Stay close to our blog for future developments on SAFe.
The author is Claudiu Mailat, Travel &Hospitality Software Business Line Manager