SAFe, Kantar Retail, and Three Times Faster Time to Market: How Did It Work?

Developing Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Dean Leffingwell had a very simple belief: better systems and software make our world a better place to live. Unlike many other team-based Agile approaches, which have little to say about how to manage concerns beyond the immediate product development team, SAFe attempts to transfer the whole organization Agile and Lean in a structured way. It can help product teams in four major ways: in time to market, talent retention, competitiveness, and thriftiness.

Specifically, SAFe has many benefits for the companies that employ it:

Does it sound too good to be true? To find it out, let’s consider Ciklum’s and Kantar Retail’s SAFe-powered Virtual Reality solution.

What is SAFe?

SAFe gives companies the tools, case studies, and patterns used by other teams to implement Lean-Agile software and systems development.

SAFe solutions include a release train, or a design of objectives for a software release, and coding plans that allow Agile to be fully scalable.

Have a look at a “big picture” of SAFe:

Resource: scaledagileframework.com

Who is SAFe designed for?

SAFe was designed with very large organizations in mind — organizations with more than a thousand people in IT and 250 in software development. However, that doesn’t mean that only very large organizations can benefit. Even smaller teams of 50 to 100 can learn important lessons using SAFe.

Kantar Retail Virtual Reality

Kantar Retail’s goal was to create a Virtual Reality solution that let users navigate retail and consumer goods stores online. The online shop Kantar Retail envisioned let users see realistic versions of goods in the virtual store.

Ciklum’s Solution

The Kantar project used Scale Agile Framework 3.0 so team members in the UK, the United States, and Ukraine could all function as part of a single team. Ciklum’s Extended Team + Managed Services helped facilitate, according to Kantar, “ownership and stewardship in the product.” The collaboration let the team hire the right candidates for the Kantar team, ensure security and loading performance testing, and focus on quality control, among other successes.

Kantar integrated SAFe solutions in six months. During that time, the team grew from 15 to 50 people working in these three international locations, stabilized team retention at 85%, and built a DevOps Continuous Integration environment that deployed software and managed platforms

Ultimately, Kantar’s SAFe helped make improvements in delivery, finance, and human resources:

“Our time to market is impressive for an enterprise solution. It`s competitive advantage in the market that we can make major product changes every two months.” — Cédric Guyot, CEO, Kantar Retail Virtual Reality

SAFe gives companies like Kantar new ways of building teams, implementing releases, and improving productivity and satisfaction. Ciklum’s experience with SAFe and its unique Managed Team engagement model can help you move as efficiently and effectively on your projects as Kantar Retail did.

Thanks for reading! Any questions about SAFe and Agile in general? We’d be happy to help on Twiter @Ciklum or email us directly.

Originally published on Ciklum Blog on March 9, 2017.