Tag Archives: SAFe

Scaled Agile just released SAFe 4.5 (SAFe for Lean Enterprises)

SAFe 4.5 can be configured for four development environments (Essential SAFe (simplest), Portfolio SAFe, Large solution SAFe and Full SAFe (most advanced) and SAFe 4.5 is backwards compatible with SAFe 4.0 (available through June, 2018).

PRINT-4.5-BP-FULL-Configuration-8.5x11The big picture is a little bit more user friendly (some details / icons are taken out) and you can select the environment you want to use (and as a result the picture will only show the corresponding parts). I think some more icons on the big picture can be removed too if Scaled Agile creates a specific big picture on their homepage for their online knowledge wiki which contains hyperlinks to all topics. A big picture to explain SAFe can work without icons for SPC, Lean-Agile Leaders, the implementation Roadmap and topics like the Continuous Delivery Pipeline.

Most important changes:

  • Faster innovation with Lean Startup and Lean UX
  • Epic Value Statement and Light weighted Business Case are replaced by Epic Hypothesis Statement and Lean Business Case
  • Feature delivery with Scalable DevOps and Continuous Delivery Pipeline
  • SAFe implementation Roadmap
  • Value Stream has been changed to Solution (Value Stream Backlog > Solution Backlog, Value Stream Engineer > Solution Train Engineer, …) and a Solution Train has been added (several ARTs and Supplier forms one Solution Train)
  • Compliance has been added to the Solution Intent
  • Program Portfolio Management (PPM) has been replaced by Lean Portfolio Management
  • Increased alignment with the Scrum Guide

Impact on my book Scaling Agile in organisaties is minor. For the coming year, SAFe 4.0 is still valid. In the next print of my book I can make adjustments regarding the name changes (Value Stream, PPM). The SAFe Implementation Roadmap was already incorporated and topics like faster innovation with Lean Startup can be added.

More information on SAFe 4.5 can be found on www.scaledagileframework.com. At the homepage you can with to SAFe 4.0 too.

Boek launch: Scaling agile in organisaties – Wegwijzer voor projectmanagers en agile leads

Tijdens het 20ste BPUG seminar vond ook de launch van mijn nieuwe boek plaats. Altijd leuk zo’n mijlpaal en ondertussen al vele enthousiaste reacties ontvangen. Ook hebben wij, Bert Hedeman, Hajati Wieferink en ik van de gelegenheid gebruik gemaakt om de nieuwe naam van onze organisatie wereldkundig te maken. Het is geen Hedeman Consulting meer maar HWP Consulting om daarmee de complementaire kennis en ervaringen van ons drieën te benadrukken.

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Boek preview

Scaling agile in organisaties gaat over organisaties die stappen willen zetten om teams meer autonomie te geven door besluitvorming decentraal neer te leggen en managementlagen en managers weg te halen om de teams zelforganiserend te laten optreden.

OMS_SCALING_AGILE_v6Business agility (oftewel de vraag: hoe wendbaar is je organisatie) is meer en meer onlosmakelijk verbonden met het bestaansrecht van organisaties. Het snel en accuraat kunnen inspelen op consument- of klantbehoeftes is van levensbelang. Iteratief en incrementeel ontwikkelen biedt betere oplossingen en waarborgen om producten fit-for-purpose te laten aansluiten bij de eisen van klanten; beter dan een watervalaanpak waarbij alle eisen al aan de start gedefinieerd worden en gedurende het ontwikkelproces in principe bevroren blijven.

Vele organisaties hebben stappen gezet om teams meer autonomie te geven door besluitvorming te decentraliseren. Ze hebben managementlagen en managers weggehaald om de teams zelforganiserend te laten optreden. In dit eerste deel komen enkele agile aanpakken van het eerste uur aan bod. Dit betreft agile aanpakken op teamniveau. Daarnaast beschrijf ik wat het betekent als er meerdere teams met elkaar moeten samenwerken.

Kijkend naar zo’n agile team, werkend met Scrum (met voorgeschreven rollen) of Kanban (zonder voorgeschreven rollen), komen de vragen op of er in zo’n constructie met een ontwikkelteam en Product Owner (typische Scrum-rol) nog wel sprake is van een project en of er dus nog wel plaats is voor een projectmanager. Een project is een tijdelijke multifunctionele organisatie, werkend met een start- en einddatum, opgezet om een uniek product of unieke dienst of release van een product of dienst op te leveren, rekening houdend met onzekerheid en onderbouwd door een businesscase, waarbij de juiste mensen voor het projectteam worden gezocht. Er zijn ondertussen verschillende cases bekend van organisaties die alle project- en programmamanagers hebben laten afvloeien en hiervoor in de plaats zijn gaan werken met Product Owners en Scrum Masters.

Zelf ben ik van mening dat het compleet afbouwen van alle project- en programmamanagers een brug te ver is. Wel geloof ik dat het aantal project- en programmamanagers bij veel organisaties sterk kan afnemen, maar er zullen situaties zijn waar toch een beroep op project- en/of programmamanagers gedaan moet worden. Wellicht worden ze dan anders genoemd, maar de rolinvulling zal veel gelijkenis vertonen met die van de project- of programmamanager. Ondertussen word ik gesterkt in dit idee door het feit dat ik organisaties in Nederland toch weer project- en/of programmamanagers zie aantrekken. Hierbij moet ik wel de kanttekening maken dat de opnieuw aangetrokken of overgebleven project- en programmamanagers veel vaker op de relatie zitten (stakeholdermanagement) en dat ze om zaken voor elkaar te krijgen invloed moeten uitoefenen zonder macht te kunnen hanteren.

Dit boek kan dus ook gebruikt worden door meer traditionele projectmanagers die zich een beeld willen vormen wat business agility gaat betekenen voor hun eigen rol. Blijven er traditionele of hybride projecten bestaan (projecten waarbij gebruikgemaakt wordt van zowel tijdelijke als permanente ontwikkelteams en waarbinnen gebruikgemaakt wordt van zowel agile als meer traditionele aanpakken) waarbinnen zij een projectmanagerrol kunnen blijven vervullen? Of is het zinvol dat zij zich binnen de lijnorganisatie meer gaan ontwikkelen in de richting van portfoliomanager, Agile Leader, Integration Manager, Roadmap Manager of Roadmanager, Release Train Engineer, Scrum Master, Agile Coach of Product Owner?

Ik ga in op verschillende agile frameworks die het op organisatiebrede schaal agile gaan werken ondersteunen. Ik schets eerst een handvat om de verschillende agile aanpakken mee te positioneren en vervolgens ga ik in detail in op een aantal van de meest gebruikte frameworks en geef ik een korte introductie van enkele minder gebruikte en minder bekende frameworks.

Ten slotte vergelijk ik verschillende frameworks en sluit ik af met een aantal, soms aan een specifiek framework gerelateerde, aanpakken om een agile framework te implementeren. Verder krijgt u mogelijke valkuilen waar u bij het implementeren van een agile aanpak rekening mee moet houden en antipatronen waar u tegenaan kunt lopen bij het gebruik van een agile framework.

BestellenScaling agile in organisaties

Book review: The Principles of Product Development Flow

51PdVCFcp3L._AC_US436_QL65_Don Reinertsen wrote the book The Principles of Product Development Flow – Second Generation Lean Product Development.

A very complete book that describes the underlying principles that create flow in product development processes. After reading this book I now understand why in the SAFe methodology and corresponding training material there are so many references to this book. The eight major areas focus on practical methods to:

  • improve economic decisions
  • Manage queues
  • Reduce Batch size
  • Apply WIP constraints
  • Accelerate feedback
  • Manage flows in the presence of variability
  • Decentralize control.

I find many concepts and methods that are present in the SAFe framework too. E.g. economic objectives, cost of delay, economic batch size based on transaction and holding costs, queues, CFD, little’s law, variability, batch size, synchronization, Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF) and many, many more.

The book follows the already mentioned eight major areas and you get for each area a set of principles explaining that specific area. Each principle is explained in detail including examples. In total, you get 175 principles explained.

Conclusion: this book is definitely a must read. If you want to improve or create the flow in your product development process start with this book. If you are using SAFe this book gives you a lot of background and explanation behind specific methods and principles that are included in SAFe.

An introduction to Lean Product Development Flow given by Don Reinertsen at Adventures with Agile in London, September 2015.

To order: The Principles of Product Development Flow

SAFe 4.0 Advanced Scrum Master

sasm_cover_lrg_logo_course_pg_270To prepare myself to give SAFe 4.0 Advanced Scrum Master training classes with ASM certification I used the Scaled Agile offered material (downloads, video’s and ASM examination) to prepare myself as a trainer.

This Advanced training offers, like the Scrum Master training much more than many of the Scrum Master training classes I have seen.

Of course the training will explore the Scrum Master role in the SAFe enterprise and what it really means to facilitate Program Execution. Key parts of the training are focussing on internal, external, structural or behavioural anti-patterns* associated with the Product Owner role, user stories and your environment, and how can you improve the flow in your team by using Kanban and/or XP, and what is the impact of batch or User Story sizes on the throughput of the team.

A next topic will help you to understand what it takes to build a high performing team (team and cross-team collaboration, stakeholder management, team skill set development, improvement roadmap). The training class ends with the inspect and adapt process to improve program performance by applying the problem-solving workshop.

The two-day training will help you to achieve the following learning objectives:

  • Apply SAFe principles to facilitation, enablement, and coaching in the multi-team environment
  • Build a high-performing team and foster relentless improvement at the team and program levels
  • Address Agile and Scrum anti-patterns
  • Support the adoption of engineering practices, DevOps, and Agile architecture
  • Apply Kanban and flow to optimize the team’s work
  • Facilitate program planning, execution, and delivery of end-to-end systems value
  • Support learning through participation in Communities of Practice and innovation cycles

The exam is an on-line time-bound exam with fact-based but also scenario driven questions to ask for your advice how to proceed in that specific situation.

As you can see this is definitely much more than you will find in the Scrum guide but really important if you want to play a role as Scrum Master (in a SAFe enterprise).

*An anti-patern is something that looks like a good idea but which backfires badly when applied (referencing Shane Hastie and James Coplien). See also a previous blog post: Agile anti-patern card deck

Review: Agile Software Requirements

9780321635846-480x600In the Scaled Agile (SAfe) material you can find many references to “Agile Software Requirements. Lean Requirements Practices for Teams, Programs, and the Enterprise” by Dean Leffingwell. The book was written in 2011 and uses/describes the Agile Enterprise Big Picture: Scaled Agile Delivery Model which can be seen as the predecessor or one of the first versions of SAFe. So you can ask yourself does it still makes sense to read this book, or is it outdated?

The book is divided in four parts. In part I you get the big picture showing the organization, process, and artefact that the teams could use. You could say that the used Big Picture is outdated in comparison with SAFe 4.0, but what is written about this picture still makes sense.

In part II the focus is on the team level. What are User Stories and Spikes (both inventions of XP), and how to split them? Who are their stakeholders, how can we use personas and user experience? What does it mean to estimate and what’s the velocity? The importance of the iteration, the heartbeat of agility, the usage of a backlog and Kanban to create a cadence. The lasts chapters explain the role of the Product Owner, testing and a requirements discovery toolkit with many techniques.

Part III puts the practices and techniques that teams of teams can use to manage the requirements at the program level in the spotlights. Specific roles are explained as well as the vision, features, and the roadmap. The Agile Release Train is introduced as well as release planning, the usage of non-functional requirements, use cases and a requirements analysis toolkit.

The last part discusses the highest level with their management and the change of a traditional portfolio management towards a more agile portfolio management view. How to cope with investment themes, epics and portfolio planning and what’s the role of architecture?9780134510545-480x600

Conclusion: As a SAFe trainer it’s good to have a view how SAFe developed in the last 5-6 years. The book will not bring you new insights, it’s the starting point for SAFe. The ScaledAgile website or the SAFe Reference Guide will now give you all the details and even more, too.

To order: Agile Software Requirements

 

SAFe 4.0 Product Manager / Product Owner

course_cover_pmpoTo prepare myself for the SAFe 4.0 Product Manager / Product Owner training classes with  PMPO certification, I used the Scaled Agile offered material for SAFe SPC4 certified consultants (downloads, videos and PMPO examination). Fully comparable with the SAFe Scrum Master material and also here a lot of valuable material.

The two-day training will help you to achieve the following learning objectives:

  • Identify the major components of the Scaled Agile Framework
  • Connect the Scaled Agile Framework to core Lean-Agile principles and values
  • Identify key roles and responsibilities within a SAFe implementation
  • Contribute to Portfolio content using epics and the Portfolio Kanban
  • Apply Value Stream strategies to define and manage solution value
  • Engage in Product Manager strategies
  • Operate as a SAFe Product Owner
  • Develop a stakeholder engagement plan
  • Build and grow communities of practice

In this course you will:

  • Embrace the Lean-Agile mindset
  • Explore Product Manager and Product Owner roles and the differences between them
  • Explore Epic Owner role
  • Explore the Business Owner role
  • Contribute to Portfolio content
  • Define and manage solution value
  • Understand patterns for splitting work: Capabilities into Features, Features into User Stories
  • Be an effective SAFe Product Manager
  • Be an effective SAFe Product Owner
  • Develop the vision, roadmap, features and user stories
  • Estimate Features and User Stories in story points
  • Engage stakeholders (using a stakeholder map, develop a communication/engagement plan
  • Build your Communities of Practice (role- or topic-based, CoP lifecycle)

As you can see this is much more than you will find in the scrum guide but the training will definitely help you to understand the role of Product Manager or Product Owner (in a Safe enterprise).

Book review: The rollout

rolloutAlex Yakyma wrote a great book “The Rollout: A Novel about Leadership and Building a Lean-Agile Enterprise with SAFe”. It’s a business novel in the style of The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt or The Phoenix Project by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford.

This book gives you a good understanding what it means to implement SAFe in an organization. It’s a fictional story but on the other hand it is based on a broad range of real-life implementations and the pitfalls you can make or have to overcome.

In this novel we will follow Ethan, the newly appointed Transformation Team Leader at VeraComm System, a large product development organization. He is facing an organization who can’t deliver anymore what they are promising. They are rapidly losing market share due to increasing complexity of their communications solutions, they are over promising and underperforming. The organization has implemented half-baked agile methods at the team level but failed to scale up to the program and portfolio level.

Ethan desperately searches for a solution to help his organization find a way out. At a conference he attends a session by Adi, a SAFe consultant explaining what it means to really build large systems. Ethan was very impressed by the presentation and thought that this approach could be the solution to the problems he was facing.

In the story we see Nathan implementing SAFe. He wants to start as soon as possible with the implementation of a release train and here we see why, in SAFe, we say that management must be in the lead in the rollout. Reading the novel, we understand what it means if we think we can do without this involvement. It’s the company’s culture and the mindset which are the key to success or disaster.

With help of Adi, Ethan is capable to implement the first release train. We see what it costs to prepare and run a Program Increment Planning event and the value of real alignment between the teams. We follow him with his struggle to make this a success and we see what problems he is facing with the first program iteration and what the success is of real integration and management commitment.

To survive, the organization wants to copy the success of the first Agile Release Train, but they understand at a certain moment that this is not that simple. After a lot of brainstorming the concept of value streams and their ARTs becomes clear. Problem solved?

Not really. The new trains are not delivering. They are overloaded. What is lacking is the mechanisms of epics, their owners and a portfolio Kanban system including WIP limits for each process step. The story ends when Ethan presents his own SAFe success story during a conference.

Conclusion. A great book for senior management to understand the concept of SAFe. A little jigsaw piece, a give-away, in your road to convince senior management to lead the change towards enterprise agility.dia1