Is your SAFe Agile Release Train flexible enough?

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

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 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 specialisation/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

Estimated Reading Time: 1 minute

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”

Pull-based SAFe Invitations – Now in presentation form

Estimated Reading Time: 1 minute

This week I’m in Boulder, CO participating in the SAFe SPCT program as an SPCT candidate. One thing we do here is present a personal showcase. Naturally I chose to talk about combining SAFe and the pull-based change and invitations language. Here it is… Continue reading “Pull-based SAFe Invitations – Now in presentation form”

Just because you hate guided tours doesn’t mean you need to hate SAFe!

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

(This post is based on content which originally appeared in an interview I gave InfoQ for Lean Kanban France 2014)

A pattern I recognized on enterprise agile transformations is the difference between the guided tour and guide book approaches to change management.

This pattern basically talks about this choice that people have to make between following big, organized, prescriptive framework or basing their decisions on principles and then choosing the different practices that make sense along the way. Continue reading “Just because you hate guided tours doesn’t mean you need to hate SAFe!”

SAFe Invitations – Part 3/3 – Combining Open Space Agility and SAFe

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

In parts 1 and 2 of this series about bringing Invitations into the Scaled Agile Framework implementation approach I talked about various ways to switch from Mandates to Invitations when choosing the timing and the how-to. In this post I describe an even more Invitational style using an approach called Open Space Agility. Consider this an experimental suggestion that combines two field-proven practices into one mashup that is just looking for the first opportunity to get its field test (If you’re interested to go for it, let me know…)

In this approach the leader would say something like “We decided to use SAFe in order to XXX insert Commander’s intent here XXX. We know this is the direction we want to take but we need your help figuring out how this would work here in our group. Scaling Agile is a complex thing and while we the leadership team believe SAFe is a good starting point we also believe there are many open questions and risks and we want your help figuring this out. We also want to do Continue reading “SAFe Invitations – Part 3/3 – Combining Open Space Agility and SAFe”