Losing your way with scaling

I was working with a very Agile experienced business unit recently, they were having some issues with “momentum” in building a new product offering.

Within the business unit, there were 5 teams working on the minimum viable product offering, and 2 teams working on other products. The teams had all participated in incepting the work, and by all accounts it was a successful inception. Each team consisted of established team members, who together were high-performing and agile knowledgeable. There was one product backlog where features were defined. Each team was capable of delivering all the way to production. All the elements for success, it seemed was there.

They were tackling a brand new build, new technology and 5 teams all working on the same product. They launched into their sprints full of energy and enthusiasm. However, after several sprints, no business value was delivered, and their enthusiasm was replaced by stress.

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Delivering Goal Orientated Scope

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Abstract

My last blog was focused on what I learnt about the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). The theme quote for that blog was:

“If you’ve lost the ability to do small things then you’ve not scaled, you’ve just gotten big and slow!!!”

So what are the small things we should do well at the team level or at scale? Breaking the work up, avoiding big batches, and letting the work flow was one of the recommendations.

This blog will focus on the integration of techniques to deliver goal-orientated scope (that breaks up the work) and take a look at how you might start to visualise and manage the flow at the portfolio level.

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Scaling Agile using the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Agile Release Train (ART)

“If you’ve lost the ability to do small things then you’ve not scaled, you’ve just gotten big and slow!!!”

Abstract

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) has become a hot discussion topic in the agile community as a solution to scaling agile in the enterprise. Amongst the options available to scale agile, SAFe appears to be leading the pack as the popular choice for consideration and implementation. The framework has got its critics and some prominent respected people in the agile community have spoken out against it. With everything you read you have to consider motivations beyond the narrative to evaluate how impartial a critique actually might be. I decided I needed an education in SAFe to develop an informed opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of the framework and when it might make sense to use it. Last week I flew to Melbourne to undergo the SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) certification training. This blog gives an account of what I learned (the good, the bad and the ugly), the opinions I have formed and what recommendations I would make.

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