Accelerating with SAFe: Preparing for DevOps Delivery World With Scaled Agile Framework

Agile delivery is not a new concept. Many companies are using the model of breaking down large, complex projects into small, two-week time blocks. The challenge for Agile comes when you want to run a large number of teams. To meet this demand, you can use the Scaled Agile Framework, also known as SAFe

Let us extend our learning about the scaled agile framework by understanding what is SAFe.

What is SAFe?

SAFe is a proven, integrated set of principles, practices, and competencies for achieving business agility using Lean, Agile, and DevOps. The latest version, SAFe 5.0, is built around the following Seven Core Competencies of the Lean Enterprise that are essential to meeting and sustaining a competitive advantage in an increasingly digital age: 

Lean-Agile Leadership

Advancing and applying Lean-Agile leadership skills to drive and sustain organizational change by empowering individuals and teams to reach their highest potential

Team and Technical Agility

Driving team Agile behaviors and sound technical practices including Built-in Quality, Behavior-Driven Development (BDD), Agile testing, Test-Driven Development (TDD), and more 

Agile Product Delivery

Building high-performing teams-of-teams that use design thinking and customer-centricity to provide a continuous flow of valuable products using DevOps, the Continuous Delivery Pipeline, and Release on Demand

Enterprise Solution Delivery

Building and sustaining the world's most significant software applications, networks, and cyber-physical solutions 

Lean Portfolio Management

Executing portfolio vision and strategy formulation, chartering portfolios, creating the Vision, Lean budgets and Guardrails, along with portfolio prioritization and road mapping

Organizational Agility

Aligning strategy and execution by applying Lean and systems thinking approaches to strategy and investment funding, Agile portfolio operations, and governance

Continuous Learning Culture

Continually increasing knowledge, competence, and performance by becoming a learning organization committed to relentless improvement and innovation 

The following illustration outlines the seven competencies working with each other:

safe-lean

Mastery of these seven core competencies enables enterprises to achieve the agility needed to successfully respond to volatile market conditions, changing customer needs, and emerging technologies.

Next, let's continue our learning about the Scaled agile framework by understanding to leverage scaled agile delivery.

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Why You Should Leverage Scaled Agile Delivery

Scaled Agile delivery focuses on achieving on-time delivery of software and services at an affordable price. Scaled Agile delivery takes care of over one-third of all software products. The software is launched in short bursts and can be deployed using software such as deployment automation tools like Bamboo, Docker, or Chef.

During the product development and production, the software is deployed, tested, and re-tested as much as several times a day. Once the software is delivered, customers can make changes in the software on a whim. The time from when it is deployed until it's used by the customer or in production is called the 'scheduled delivery time' by Scaled Agile delivery.

Scaled Agile delivery ensures that all team members can be involved in defining and delivering software tasks during the planning and development phases. This involvement increases the credibility of the entire team.

The foundation for Scaled Agile is the Lean methodology. This methodology is about combining a clear vision with a detailed strategy to continuously deliver the highest quality software. Lean's other benefits are that it is technically sustainable, time-saving, and does not require hiring new employees, buying new infrastructure, computers, printers, upkeep, customer support, and other associated costs.

Next, let us understand the version of the Scaled Agile Framework is right for your company.

Learn all about the Scaled Agile Framework, its application, configuration, and more with the Leading SAFe 5 Agilist Certification Training. Enroll now

Which Version of SAFe Is Right for Your Company?

No one size fits all. To this end, there are four variants for Scaled Agile that meet different enterprise needs:

  • Essential SAFe
  • Large Solution SAFe
  • Portfolio SAFe
  • Full SAFe

As you can imagine, each level of SAFe builds on top of the other. The following illustration, however, shows the foundation for all four levels:

safe-lean2

As can be seen in the illustration above, the following workstreams form the foundation for SAFe:

  • Agile Product Delivery
  • Team and Technical Agility 
  • Agile Teams
  • Customer Centricity
  • Continuous Delivery
  • DevOps
  • Lean-Agile Leadership

The goal is to build an entire organization that is lean and can move at speed to meet today's customers' demands.

It can be hard to jump to SAFe. Organizations that are successful in implementing SAFe have a history of running DevOps teams or Agile product groups. That does not mean you cannot adapt your company to SAFe without that history. The methods and models in SAFe have been pressure tested by many companies. Implementing Agile, DevOps, Design Thinking, and continuous learning are not new concepts. The novelty to have a framework that pulls all of these activities together under one umbrella.

The reality is that we are moving ever more into a digital world. It does not matter what type of business you have; you will be deploying technology and increasingly at scale. Applying a proven methodology that supports the direction you want to take your company will give you the foundation for success. That is at the heart of the Scaled Agile Framework. Simplilearn's Leading SAFe 5 Agilist certification training helps you learn the Lean-Agile principles and practices of SAFe.

About the Author

Matthew DavidMatthew David

Matt is a Digital Leader at Accenture. His passion is a combination of solving today's problems to run more efficiently, adjusting focus to take advantage of digital tools to improve tomorrow and move organizations to new ways of working that impact the future.

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