Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a set of organizational and workflow patterns, used by software development teams to implement Agile principles into large organizations. SAFe promotes alignment, collaboration, and delivery across large numbers of agile teams, which ensures a simplified experience for the entire software development team.
SAFe combines Agile software development, systems thinking and lean product development to help build large and complex software. Scaled Agile Framework is a readily available stream of knowledge that includes; structured guidance on roles and responsibilities, how to plan and manage the work plus the values to uphold.
When Agile became popular, many software development teams jumped at the opportunity to implement Agile principles. As a result, different development teams applied different Agile practices whereas departments like Human Resources and marketing followed traditional management practices. With each team working independently, it proved difficult for development teams to collaborate and work together on large projects.
As a solution, Dean Leffingwell and Drew Jemilo released SAFe in 2011 to help development organizations design better software systems to meet the clients’ changing needs.
Scaling Agile is essential in uniting development teams through laying down a framework for organizations to scale up their operations, therefore providing ideal solutions to their clients.
The core values of SAFe
The SAFe core values ensure that everyone involved in the project understands how to behave in order to effectively use the framework to facilitate timely delivery.
The Scaled Agile Framework is based on four core values described below:
When companies implement SAFe, teams must be aligned across the organization and working towards the same goal. SAFe requires that organizations have proper planning and flow of information in place at all levels. This ensures that everyone understands the current state of the business, the goals and how to work together to achieve these goals. Alignment is especially vital for teams that are geographically dispersed, where misalignment can hinder the organization’s ability to react and act on change.
SAFe supports alignment by clearly outlining team roles and synchronizing activities, enabling organizations to maintain a competitive edge. This value of SAFe encourages the collaboration between management and the different teams, so that all efforts are driven towards customer satisfaction.
In the Scale Agile Framework, quality holds priority over agility. SAFe entails built-in-quality practices to ensure that the overall finished product adheres to quality standards.
Embedding these quality standards into every stage of the software development life cycle is important especially in large-scale systems where untested batches can pile up. SAFe organizes built-in quality under five categories: flow, architecture and design quality, code quality, system quality and release quality.
SAFe encourages the transparency necessary to build trust among team members, hence creating a conducive working environment in the organization. Lack of transparency leads to miscommunication among team members, which in turn results in delays, wastage of resources and mismanaged priorities. When teams communicate openly and regularly maintain clarity of facts, individuals can confidently rely on one another which proves to be productive.
Program execution is the fuel that powers everything in the SAFe. Producing high quality, working software is the main purpose of implementing SAFe. Development teams must be able to execute programs successfully to provide business value on a regular basis.
The four core values ought to be supported by a strong leader with an active lean-agile mindset. Such leaders must also possess a desire for lifelong learning, doubled by the ability to embrace new methods and encourage the teams to implement them in the software development lifecycle. Without strong leadership, your organization’s SAFe agile initiative will fail to embrace all core values and fail as a result.
In order to compete in the current market, teams in your development organization ought to work with SAFe to change for the better, respond faster to customers and be more resilient to setbacks.
Does your organization struggle with workflow and collaboration challenges?
Let the experts at ASB Resources provide you with the ideal solution by guiding you through the process of implementing essential SAFe. Schedule a call with one of our experts today!