When it comes to implementing a scalable agile framework, each firm has its own set of requirements. Cultural and operational nuances are unique to each firm. While some issues faced by businesses may initially appear to be similar, a universal approach will not be successful. Adopting a scaled agile approach incorporating both people and technology requires tact and planning. This article outlines core values and principles of Scaled Agile Framework for dealing with the challenges of enterprise transformation.
Various challenges that businesses face while scaling agile
Implementing Scaled Agile Framework by transforming an organization’s thinking and execution of work is a major undertaking. Even the most seasoned Agile practitioners encounter difficulties when scaling agile. To reap the full benefits of a scaled agile framework, organizations must recognize and resolve critical challenges. The following are some difficulties agile teams must overcome while scaling agile.
Failure to plan for the long term
Long-term planning and iteration while scaling products can be difficult with large teams. Development and marketing teams must collaborate to consistently meet their clients’ expectations.
Create a long-term plan that specifies what teams are expected to deliver. Prioritize the team composition based on your strategy and roadmap. Identify and address problems and alter the roadmap to match changes.
Lack of collaboration between cross-disciplinary team
When many teams are involved in scaling projects, ensuring collaboration, coordination, and communication is a herculean task. Make sure everyone on the team knows exactly what they’re expected to do at the start of the project so that no one is left. Asking questions is an excellent way to elicit new insights and process improvements. Allow teams to discuss what went right and what went wrong in meetings and provide constructive comments as part of the discussion - that is a great leap towards Scaled Agile Framework.
Multi-delivery planning and execution
Agile teams have difficulty in scaling when they simultaneously plan and execute multiple outcomes. While sprint deliverables are ready for release, teams may be unclear on how to proceed. Streamlining the release process begins with breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. Start by identifying the sprint’s business context and critical features. Once assigned to sprints, they can deliver value in increments. This reduces the time and effort required to plan and manage several releases.
Teams operating under a traditional management style are constrained to operating within their own silos and adhering to the rules established by their higher-ups. Scaling Agile necessitates a paradigm shift in how people work. It eliminates top-down hierarchy, dismantles silos, and promotes teamwork and collaboration among teams and upper management.
Changing cultures takes time and effort. Many people dislike the idea of a more autonomous squad. It’s hard to get people to let go of their command-and-control mentality. To be part of a movement that will shape the future of management, you must give up the tedium of traditional work environments.
If you want to grow quickly, you need to know your technology stack. With Agile, everyone in the organization has better access to visibility, transparency, and real-time updates. An evaluation and improvement of technological solutions is necessary and should be a continuous process.
Teams need technology tools that can help align at the tactical level. Even if a team’s culture and workflow are in sync, scaling agile will be impossible without the right technological solutions. The ease of scaling depends on the organization’s ability to adapt quickly.
Understanding Core Values and Principles of Scaled Agile Framework
When organizations take the first move toward agile transformation, a lack of agile upstream capabilities frequently creates obstacles. The Agile Manifesto caters to the demands of a small team, but as the level of complexity and organizational size increases, so does the need for a comprehensive framework. This is where Scaled Agile Framework comes into picture. Just as its name suggests, this framework integrates the ideals of Agile, Lean, and System Thinking to increase speed to market, collaboration, quality, and overall productivity. Scaled Agile Framework facilitates coordination, transparency, cooperation, and product delivery across large agile teams. Scaled Agile Framework helps organizations deliver value & boost end-user experience, by creating high-performing teams.
Core Values of Scaled Agile Framework
Fundamentals of Scaled Agile Framework are built around its core values. Scaled Agile Framework core values influence an organization’s behavior and culture when working in a SAFe portfolio. Success of Scaled Agile Framework implementation requires aligning an organization’s core values. Achieving your business goals consistently requires adhering to these values and creating a positive culture among all stakeholders.
The following are the four core values of the Scaled Agile Framework:
Alignment is essential in a multi-tiered management structure. This focuses on an organization’s ability to adapt to changing business needs and coordinate the work of multiple teams on large projects, even if they are not co-located. It’s much more vital at the portfolio level, where different teams come up with a variety of strategic themes.
Alignment brings visibility and transparency to the vision and program backlogs that define these strategic themes. The Program Increment’s objectives define what must be accomplished. An effective cadence ensures that all team members and business stakeholders are on the same page. Using lean prioritization, stakeholders can remain engaged in re-evaluating requirements considering ever-changing circumstances. The program architecture ensures the solution’s technological viability.
Built-In-Quality is a critical element of Lean Development and should be assured in each increment. With no quality assurance throughout the development process, the final product has no value. Continuous delivery and test-first methodologies are effective ways for organizations to achieve good Quality. Code quality contributes to the overall quality of the system. Maintaining an effective CI/CD pipeline is critical to ensuring the pre-defined objectives are met throughout the project lifespan. SAFe outlines five aspects of built-in quality:
- Architecture and Design Quality
- Code Quality
- System Quality
- Release Quality
It is impossible to overstate the importance of trust in the development of large and complex solutions involving tens if not hundreds of individuals. It radiates trust, honesty, and integrity. This key value ensures both alignment and built-in quality by bringing the developers and the business stakeholders on the same page. By providing openness and transparency to the organization’s strategy and architecture for all portfolio members, the company may foster a culture of innovation.
This is the final value of Scaled Agile Framework. It states that working with software is more important than thorough documentation. SAFe prioritizes system consistency and business goals. It doesn’t matter how open and aligned the company is if it can’t consistently develop value streams. The other three variables, with built-in quality being the most important, determine reliable program execution. Using reliable quality processes makes it easier to identify, diagnose, and resolve issues before they become critical. They also ensure the system functions smoothly.
Lean-Agile Principles of Scaled Agile Framework
The scaled agile framework is based on fundamental ideas drawn from established agile and lean practices.
- Take an economic view
- Apply system 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, synchronize with cross-domain planning
- Unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers
- Decentralize decision-making
- Organize around value
Benefits of implementing a Scaled Agile Framework in an organization
Transforming an organization’s workflow to a scaled agile framework results in a plethora of tangible and intangible benefits. Agile-scaled businesses typically achieve a faster time to market while enhancing customer satisfaction and improving ROI. Successful Agile businesses report being able to attract more top talent than their less agile peers. The following are some advantages of implementing a Scaled Agile framework.
Shorter time to Market
The Scaled Agile Framework enables organizations to deliver high-value impact to their customers more quickly. With the Scaled Agile Framework, you can make quick decisions on how to drive cohesion amongst your various teams.
Enhanced customer engagement
The Scaled Agile framework enhances customer satisfaction. Organizational development is aided by customer feedback and suggestions, which are incorporated into the planning process. Customers’ feedback will help the company identify areas for improvement.
Increased productivity means that the same amount of effort will yield a greater output. Scaled Agile Framework is beneficial to organizations because it facilitates team collaboration and cooperation. To increase production, they need to have a better understanding of the product plan and how to implement it. Working within the Scaled Agile Framework allows the team to eliminate unnecessary work and delays.
Scaled Agile frameworks have been used by organizations to keep up with rapid change and improve the quality of their products and services in an ever-changing world. SAFe combines quality practices that help businesses stay relevant. Scaled Agile Framework enables enterprises to improve value delivery to all stakeholders. Improved quality extends the life of products and services. In today’s fast-paced and competitive market, organizations need to focus on quality to achieve excellence and perfection.
Cross-functional and self-organizing agile teams plan, manage, and deliver results in accordance with the company’s overall strategy. Through active involvement in the project, SAFe teams get a clear understanding of their goals. Communication and transparency foster healthy relationships, resulting in increased collaboration and a better working environment for teams.
To keep up with the rapid pace of innovation, companies must constantly improve their quality, performance, and scalability. Even though Scaled Agile Framework has its challenges, the benefits far outweigh the difficulties in large organizations. With Qentelli's Scaled Agile Framework, even the most complicated large-scale software projects may benefit from fundamental Agile concepts. Deployment of Scaled Agile Framework enables you to manage your agile portfolio to give value to customers and streamline work for teams to deliver products and services more rapidly. To learn more about how we can help you with incorporating Scaled Agile Framework into your business model, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org