SAFe® (Scaled Agile Framework®) is a collection of organizational and workflow structures for applying agile methods at a large scale. The framework is a body of knowledge that provides systematic instruction on roles and duties, job planning and management, and upholding principles.
SAFe’s purpose is to bring together all of this information, as well as the lessons acquired through hundreds of deployments. This results in an integrated system of proven practices that has enhanced employee engagement, time-to-market, solution quality, and team productivity.
However, due to the intricacies, there is no off-the-shelf answer for the particular issues that each company encounters. Not every SAFe recommendation will be applicable in every situation. This is why we work so hard to make sure SAFe methods are based on fundamentally sound concepts.
As a result, we may be certain that the procedures will work in the majority of cases. And if such techniques fail, the underlying principles will ensure that the teams stay on track to achieve the House of Lean’s aim of “the lowest sustainable lead time, with the greatest quality and value to people and society.”
There’s something to be said about it. SAFe is built on 10 core ideas derived from Agile principles and practices, Lean product development, systems thinking, and studying successful businesses.
A thorough grasp of the economics of building systems is required to provide the “greatest value and quality for individuals and society in the shortest sustainable lead time.” Everyday choices must be made in the perspective of the economy.
This comprises the incremental value delivery strategy as well as the overall economic framework for each value stream. The trade-offs between risk, Cost of Delay (CoD), manufacturing, operating, and development expenses are highlighted in this framework.
Furthermore, every development value stream must work within the confines of a budget that has been authorized, as well as the guardrails that facilitate decentralized decision-making.
Addressing issues in the workplace and marketplace, according to Deming, requires a knowledge of the systems in which employees and users function. Such systems are complicated, with numerous interconnected components. However, improving a component does not imply optimizing the whole system. To improve, everyone must comprehend the system’s overall goal. Systems thinking is used in SAFe to create both the system under development and the organization that produces it.
Early in the development phase, traditional design and life cycle techniques advise adopting a single design-and-requirements alternative. Unfortunately, if that starting point turns out to be incorrect, further revisions will take too long, resulting in a poor design.
Maintaining numerous requirements and design possibilities for a longer length of time in the development cycle is a preferable technique. The emphasis is then narrowed using empirical data, resulting in a design that produces the best economic results.
Iteratively developing solutions in a series of brief iterations provides for quicker client input and risk mitigation. The increments after that build on the prior ones. Because the’system never stops running,’ certain increments may be used as prototypes for market testing and validation, while others can be used as minimal viable products (MVPs).
Others enhance the system by adding new and useful features. Furthermore, these early, rapid feedback points aid in determining whether to ‘pivot,’ or switch to a different course of action, if required.
Business owners, developers, and consumers all share responsibility for ensuring that new solution investments provide a profit. The sequential, phase-gate development paradigm was created to address this problem, however experience has shown that it does not effectively minimize risk.
Integration points are used in Lean-Agile development to give objective milestones for evaluating the solution throughout the development life cycle. This periodical assessment offers the financial, technical, and fit-for-purpose governance required to ensure that a continued investment will provide a reasonable return.
Lean companies seek for continuous flow, in which new system capabilities are developed swiftly and clearly from idea to cash. The following are the steps to establishing flow:
1. Visualize and restrict the quantity of work in progress (WIP). This improves throughput while also limiting demand to available capacity.
2. Work batch sizes should be reduced to allow for a faster and more consistent flow.
3. Reduce wait times for new features by managing queue lengths.
Cadence establishes predictability and gives a development rhythm. Multiple views are comprehended, reconciled, and integrated at the same moment thanks to synchronization.
The methods required to function efficiently in the face of intrinsic development uncertainty are provided by using development cadence and synchronization, as well as periodic cross-domain planning.
Individual incentive remuneration is not typically motivating for ideation, creativity, or staff engagement, as Lean-Agile leaders recognize. Individual incentives like this might breed internal rivalry and undermine the collaboration required to attain the system’s bigger goal.
Higher levels of employee engagement may be achieved through providing autonomy and purpose, decreasing limitations, developing a mutual influence environment, and better understanding the function of remuneration. Individuals, consumers, and the business all benefit from this approach.
Decentralized decision-making is required to achieve rapid value delivery. This cuts down on delays, improves product development flow, allows for quicker feedback, and results in more inventive solutions created by individuals with the most local expertise.
Some choices, on the other hand, are strategic, global, and benefit from economies of scale, therefore centralized decision-making is justified. Because both sorts of judgments must be made, establishing a dependable decision-making framework is essential for empowering people and guaranteeing a steady flow of value.
Many businesses today are structured on ideas created in the previous century. Most are arranged on functional competence in the sake of projected efficiency. However, in the digital era, the only permanent competitive edge is an organization’s ability to adapt quickly to consumer requirements with new and inventive solutions.
These solutions need collaboration across all functional domains, each with its own set of dependencies, handoffs, waste, and delays. Instead, Business Agility necessitates that businesses structure themselves around value in order to deliver more swiftly.
When market and consumer expectations change, the company must restructure rapidly and smoothly to accommodate the new value flow.
Leading organizations may address customer demands quicker by uniting cross-functional agile teams around value. They may make faster choices, communicate more effectively, simplify processes, and remain focused on the client by using the Scaled Agile Framework’s capability.
SAFekey ®’s value delivery architecture is the Agile Release Train (ART). The Agile Release Train is a long-running, self-organizing group of Agile Teams, a virtual organization (5 to 12 teams) that collaborates on planning, committing, and executing projects.
The SAFe House of Lean represents the objective of producing value via the pillars of respect for people and culture, flow, creativity, and persistent improvement, and was adapted to product development by Leffing well Poppendieck and others. Everything else is built on the basis of leadership.
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