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Business Agility - Scaled Agile Framework

What is Safe: The Leading Framework for Business Agility

Scaled Agile Framework

Do You Need to Use Scaled Agile Frameworks? Large organizations are more likely to be slow and cautious than their smaller counterparts. This can be attributed to the cultural barriers associated with being an incumbent larger and the policy-based obstacles. Enterprises don't ignore the benefits of agile-led growth and revenue that startups enjoy. This is why large organizations are eager to reap the benefits of agile development. Agile is the torchbearer of agile organizations. However, it doesn't always fit in an enterprise model.

The Scaled Agile SAFe principles framework is here to help. It's a solid agile enterprise framework that can be used to help large organizations overcome challenges that negatively impact the speed of their enterprise growth.

What is SAFe?

The SAFe methodology is an example of an agile framework. This knowledge base is used by development teams to implement agile practices in large-sized organizations. It adapts agile practices to work with large teams. SAFe only provides a basic understanding of how the framework works to scale agile enterprises. It is important to understand its purpose and when it should be used.

When should the framework be used?
  • If your team wants to create an agile enterprise framework that would combine multiple programs,
  • If teams have their agile implementations in place but face delays, failures, or obstacles.
  • If the teams are willing to work independently on projects
  • If you want to scale Agile across your business, but aren't sure which roles or how to change them,
  • You tried to scale Agile within your business but failed to align them for the company to have a consistent strategy across all business units.
  • If the company needs to reduce the time it takes to develop products and would like to see how other companies have scaled their product through Scaled Agile Framework, (SAFe).

What are the advantages of using a SAFe framework to manage your business?

Faster time-to-market

The greatest advantage of the Agile SAFe framework for reducing time to market is the improved speed of delivery. Leading businesses can meet customer needs faster by aligning cross-functional agile teams with their core business values. It will also allow them to make faster decisions, communicate more effectively, streamline operations, and stay focused on customers.

Quality improvements

One of the core SAFe values is rock-solid quality. This demonstrates the importance of integrating quality into every stage of development. Scaling agile is a way to benefit organizations by shifting quality control from the last minute to everyone's attention.

Productivity increases

SAFe provides measurable productivity improvements by empowering teams to eliminate unnecessary work, remove delays, and continuously improve while making sure that the best products get built.

Better employee engagement

Engaged, happier employees are the result of better ways to work. The Agile SAFe framework has another primary benefit: it helps workers achieve autonomy, purpose, and mastery. These are essential elements to unlocking intrinsic motivation. SAFe provides the tools for businesses to reduce burnout and improve employee satisfaction. Following are the strengths and weaknesses of SAFe

SAFe's strengths are:
  • Cross-functional collaboration is easier
  • Organizations can achieve greater transparency
  • All aspects of a project should be aligned with the larger business goals
SAFe's weak points include:
  • First, the framework may not be agile because it requires too much planning upfront and process definition.
  • It is also more top-down than team-based.

SAFe is a popular choice for enterprise organizations because many of its components focus on overcoming common problems teams face when scaling agile. SAFe could be a good option for companies that are just starting to move to agile. It is more prescriptive than Disciplined Agam(DA)and offers more flexibility and customization, but requires that the organization understands the agile philosophy.It is important to note, however, that SAFe top-down approach to project management and decision making can lead to some of the core agile principles (such as collective ownership and adaptiveness) that may have attracted your team towards agile.

What are the agile SAFe principles and what do they mean?

1. Consider an economic perspective

SAFe is a model that provides the highest quality of life for the people and society within a relatively short time. Everyday business decisions must be made in the context of economics. Scaling agile in the enterprise must include a strategy for each incremental value delivery.

2. System thinking is a way to think

It is crucial to fully understand the working systems of workers and users. These complex systems contain many interconnected components. Everyone must have a basic understanding of these systems to improve the business process.

The larger vision of the system.

3. Accept the variability and keep options

The SAFe framework agile principle recommends that you keep a wide range of design options and requirements throughout the development process. The empirical data can be used to narrow the focus and create a design system that produces efficient economic outcomes.

4. You can build incrementally using fast learning cycles

By making small adjustments, you can quickly get feedback from customers and mitigate risks. The system runs continuously so the increments can be used as prototypes for market validation or testing. A fast feedback cycle helps determine when to "pivot".

5. Evaluation of work systems based on base milestones

Developers, customers, and business owners share a responsibility to ensure that every investment in a new solution creates economic benefits. This evaluation must be done from the perspective of financial and technical governance to ensure that continuous investment produces a steady return.

Lean enterprises strive to achieve continuous flow, where new system capabilities can move quickly from concept to cash. These flows are possible by using the following keys:

Limiting the work involved in a process can be done by visualizing it and setting a limit. This increases the limit demand and throughput and limits their true capacity.

To facilitate faster and more reliable flow, reduce the batch size of the work.

Management of the queue lengths to reduce wait times for new functionalities

6. Use cadence and synchronize cross-domain planning

Cadence is a way to predict and develop a rhythm, while synchronization allows for multiple perspectives to be connected at once.

Development cadence and synchronization combined with frequent cross-domain planning offer the necessary mechanisms to function efficiently in times when there is uncertainty.

7. Find the inner motivation of knowledge workers

Lean-agile leaders understand that innovation, ideation, and employee engagement require effort. To achieve higher levels of employee engagement, requires purpose, autonomy, lowering constraints, and creating an environment of mutual influence.

8. Decentralize decision-making

Decentralizing decision-making is key to achieving quick value delivery. This reduces delays improves product development and provides quicker feedback. It also creates innovative solutions that were designed by people who are most familiar with the business. Certain decisions are strategic and global, which requires centralized decision-making.

Both types of decisions are possible in an organization. It is important to build a solid decision framework that empowers employees and allows for fast value flow.

9. Organize around value

Companies are still built on the principles of the past century.

The only competitive advantage that businesses have in the digital age is the speed at which they respond to customers' needs using innovative solutions. These solutions require collaboration between functional areas as well as their dependencies, wastes, and delays.

According to the SAFe framework agile principle, when market and customer demands change, the enterprise software development service should quickly and seamlessly reorganize itself around those changes.

Only the best SAFe team can achieve the benefits and principles of the SAFe agile framework we have covered. Let's take a deep look at them.

What are the roles of SAFe?

SAFe Scrum Master (SSM)

The traditional Scrum Master focuses on the basics and the team-level Scrum. Instead, the SAFe Scrum Master considers the whole enterprise and plans and executes around Program Increment (PI).

SAFe Product Owner (POPM)

Product Owners are multi-taskers. They set priorities and budgets and decide which items should be completed.

SAFe Advanced Scrum Master

Advanced Scrum Master is the next level above the SAFe Scrum Master. They are responsible for assisting interactions with architects and product management teams, as well as other stakeholders at the enterprise level.

SAFe Agilist (SA)

A SAFe Agilist, a manager who uses the principles and values from Lean-Agile Mindset, is a lean-thinking manager. They lead the SAFe agile framework implementation journey and create effective teams.

Release Train Engineer (RTE)

The Release Train Engineer uses their Lean-Agile knowledge and execution skills to release the value. As a coach, they are responsible for building high-performing ART.

Conclusion

SAFe is a framework that allows large-sized companies to adopt agile and lean practices. Teams must scale within the framework because of the rapid pace and innovation.

The Agile principles have been in use for many years by startups. However, the SAFe agile framework allows for larger teams to follow the same principles. The benefits of the framework are numerous, but it's not easy to integrate into an existing legacy system.

Contact PerfectionGeeks offers software development services. Our experts have extensive experience in making agile work within organizations using the SAFe agile framework. We can help you if you're a business owner struggling to incorporate the framework into your business model.

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