4 Things You Need to Know About Scaled Agile Framework
Agile methodology works across industries in IT departments and elsewhere to create products quickly and efficiently. However, the problem with agile is scaling. As such, it’s been a challenge to scale agile teams to the enterprise level because agile teams don’t necessarily share the same vision. Enter the Scaled Agile Framework or SAFe.
Scaled Agile, Inc. created SAFe for enterprise scale of lean agile development that focuses agile teams’ efforts towards a common goal called a Program. From there, it goes one step further and focuses on a shared vision called a Portfolio. Because it’s both modular and scalable, it can be molded to fit any organization’s needs. Ultimately, SAFe helps enterprises deliver on large scale projects using agile methodology.
For your edification, here are the top 4 things you need to know about SAFe.
#1—How SAFe helps
SAFe lets vast numbers of agile teams deliver, collaborate, and align their strategies at the enterprise level. In addition, it supports both systems and software development for teams starting around 100 staff members to those with tens of thousands of people in exponentially larger, more complicated systems working on massive software solutions.
Consequently, using systems thinking, agile development, and lean product development, SAFe helps enterprises scale even the most complex projects.
#2—How it works
Under agile software development framework, teams collaborate on solutions and requirements through cross-functional, self-organizing units. Furthermore, agile development encourages flexible, fast, continuous improvement through iterative planning and evolutionary development.
SAFe on the agile framework allows teams to continually evolve various software development methods and, in effect, crank out new software every two weeks.
#3—What it’s based on
SAFe is based on a set of 9 principles which cannot be modified. Furthermore, they’re fundamental truths and foundations on which SAFe is effective. Taken directly from SAFe’s website, these 9 principles are:
- Take an economic view
- Apply systems thinking
- Assume variability; preserve options
- Build incrementally with fast, integrated learning cycles
- Base milestones on objective evaluation of working systems
- Visualize and limit WIP, reduce batch sizes, and manage queue lengths
- Apply cadence (timing), synchronize with cross-domain planning
- Unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers
- Decentralize decision-making
#4—You’re already practicing some of these principles
Surprise! You’ve probably taken the first steps towards implementing SAFe. Consequently, maybe you’ve dreamed about how your entire organization can embrace agile methods, and you’re seeing some of the methodology catching on. In addition, if you start working now, you may be able to align your teams around the Program level with an eye towards achieving the Portfolio level in the future.
It’s still too early to tell if SAF is the wave of the future. But knowing and understanding these 4 things about Scaled Agile Framework can help your company capture and grow the value from implementing agile methodology.
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