My Agile 2016 session – How to make SAFe implementation really SAFE

I’m excited to be heading to Agile 2016. I’ll be in Atlanta all week and will talk about SAFER SAFe implementations on Wednesday (See the full session description below)

This will be my first time attending/speaking at the Agile Alliance annual conference. In the past it was a tough time to travel to the US smack in the middle of the summer vacation in Israel. But now it is both an easier travel coming from Boston and I also get the opportunity to take the family along and visit friends and family in the area.

I’m looking forward to the big agile conference experience. Looking forward to meet long-time friends and make new ones as well as have some interesting bizdev discussions.

Are you coming to Atlanta? If you want to meet/catchup contact me on twitter or leave me a comment here or on the conference scheduling/social app where you can also see the sessions I’m thinking of attending.

Hope to see you there!

 

Wednesday, July 27 • 3:45pm – 5:00pm

 

Abstract:
The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe(tm)) is a powerful and popular framework for implementing agile at large scale across the enterprise.
In this talk we will examine some dangerous Agile at Scale implementation anti-patterns from real-world cases I’ve been involved in such as:

  • Planned/Mandate-based implementation across the enterprise – Pushing implementations onto people regardless of their interest/motivation to change.
  • Prescribed-based implementation – Either by the book or as designed by a central committee or an external consultant.
  • Total focus on practices starting from training all the way through assessment/metrics and lack of attention to spirit/principles.
  • Expecting every group in the organization to work the same way and implement change the same way.

We will then look at some healthier alternatives I used to drive more successful & sustainable change in several organizations. You will learn some concrete techniques that help live up to the Lean/Agile principles of respecting and engaging people.
Using SAFe as the specific backdrop for discussion, we will review field-proven ideas such as pull-based crossing the chasm approach to implementation, use of open space as part of the different SAFe ceremonies, and how Open Space Agility can combine with SAFe.
Note that the ideas and practices have also been tried with other Scaled Agile approaches such as Enterprise Kanban, LeSS.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Get familiar with some scaled agile implementation anti-patterns related to push/mandate.
  • Understand when to choose pull/invitation as a healthier more sustainable and successful alternative.
  • Get some concrete techniques to bring pull/invitation into a scaled agile implementation approach – focusing on SAFe 1-2-3 implementation approach specifically.
  • Have a high-level understanding of how to implement SAFe using “Open Space Technology”.
  • Understand how to apply these ideas to any Scaled Agile approach (not just SAFe)

Guest Post – 5 Guiding Principles To Using Agile In Research-Intensive Software Environments

Agile Meets Research / Data Scientists

As agile spreads wider and wider I often get to work with researchers (a.k.a Data Scientists) working closely with product development. When going agile these people struggle to figure out how it fits their unique style of work. One of those researchers I encountered on an Advanced Analytics group in Intel was Shahar. We had a chat recently and I asked him if he would be so kind to write a guest post describing his perspective. And he delivered! If you’re a researcher trying to make agile work or you’re implementing agile and you’re trying to help your researchers figure it out, this should be interesting!

Continue reading “Guest Post – 5 Guiding Principles To Using Agile In Research-Intensive Software Environments”

Scaled Agile Marketing

It’s Agile Marketing Time

One of my interesting engagements these days is with a corporate marketing group in one of the top global enterprise technology companies. They have a very serious agile initiative in product development and their CMO basically said “I think I need Corporate Marketing to become agile as well”. Continue reading “Scaled Agile Marketing”

Is your SAFe Agile Release Train flexible enough?

So you decided that you need some sort of scaled agile approach. (If you’re not sure yet maybe this can help).

Maybe you chose to implement the Scaled Agile Framework. Maybe Large Scale Scrum (LeSS). In any case you have a new construct of a “Team of Agile Teams”.

You also actually listened in training and understood that there’s a strong preference to Feature Teams over Component Teams in SAFe and that in LeSS Component Teams are not even allowed in the door. So out of the 8 teams on your “Team of Agile Teams”/“Program”/“Agile Release Train” 7 are actually almost-feature-teams while the last team is a component team they often depend on.

But you now something is troubling you…

Should all those Feature Teams be able to take on every Feature? Or does each team need to have some deeper specialization/focus on the train? Is it even possible/realistic to expect full flexibility? Is it a good idea from a “Respect People” perspective? Continue reading “Is your SAFe Agile Release Train flexible enough?”

Assessing your need and readiness for the Scaled Agile Framework

Two of the questions I’m frequently asked these days “Do we need the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)?” as well as “CAN we (safely) implement SAFe?”. I recently published a self-assessment based on the questions I typically help organizations answer when they’re looking at this.  Continue reading “Assessing your need and readiness for the Scaled Agile Framework”