We would like to share with you a few tips on the journey of implementing Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). Based on our experience there are a few things to watch out for when starting up your first scaled teams’ setup, your first Agile Release Train and then when it is already running full steam ahead. There are many things that can go wrong and the only thing you could be sure of is that some of them will absolutely arise sooner or later. The main thing is for you to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. If you won’t have it – lucky you! If you will face it, you can immediately react.
DevOps is the new buzzword in many companies. Although the concept has been there for a while it is still something new, something that we feel we need, something that we try to implement. And the sooner the better! Yet we still fail to recognize what DevOps has actually become and that the implementation is not only technical but rather cultural.
What is DevOps?
Let’s start with Wikipedia: “DevOps is a set of practices that combines software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). It aims to shorten the systems development life cycle and provide continuous delivery with high software quality. DevOps is complementary with Agile software development; several DevOps aspects came from the Agile methodology.”
SAFe is increasing in popularity and more and more companies decide to go through an Agile transformation and decide they want to invest in the SAFe framework. We might consider various reasons for this. First of all the visuals of SAFe appeal to organisation structure with various levels of understanding scope and responsibilities, although it’s not – it’s not a hierarchy of organisation, but rather a set of tools. Second of all, SAFe with it’s Implementation Roadmap gives a recipe for Agile transformation – a set of steps to undergo, a path at the end of which you are suddenly Agile. Again this is not the right approach as it’s a journey and you need to prepare yourself for the troubles of it. Third of all, SAFe created a training capability like few others – a number of trainings, and once more – you do a training and suddenly you are Agile, or you are no longer a command and control manager, but rather a servant leader. After a three day learning? Really?
There are a lot of strong believers that Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is not. Based on our experience, we would like to give a few examples what to watch out for, while using SAFe, and how not to fall into a Waterfall trap.