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Agile methods were initially designed to work with small, single team projects – but the overwhelming success of this methodology made it an appealing alternative for the large-scale business as well. However, scaling agile processes to suit enterprise level projects presents unique challenges. Multi-disciplinary teams must collaborate and interface with other units, often across geographies. Large-scale agile also necessitates coordination between distant stakeholders and development teams.

An agile transformation across the enterprise necessitates better communication between agile teams, better planning, and better synchronization. There are a number of agile frameworks that focus on overcoming the challenges faced when scaling delivery. The more popular among these are the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®), Large Scale Scrum(LeSS), Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD), Leading Agile and others. Of all these frameworks, SAFe® is the most used and offers advanced capabilities for easing the path of an enterprise-wide agile transformation.

Taking agile from the team to the enterprise!

How does SAFe® work?

SAFe® developed by Dean Leffingwell(2011-14) is a proven and publicly available framework that is based on lean and agile principles including Scrum, Kanban and Extreme Programming. It develops and helps deliver solutions that enable organizations to scale agile rapidly and deliver to customer expectations. By addressing three key levels of scaling namely portfolio, program and team, SAFe® offers measureable improvements in productivity, quality, customer satisfaction, employee engagement and faster time to market.

SAFe

How can KnowledgeHut help in your scaled agile transformation process?

Change can be stressful, especially when it comes to adopting an entire mind-set and processes that are radically new. What organizations need to seamlessly adopt Agile, is a planned agenda that will help them become agile self-sufficient.

This is where KnowledgeHut, a silver partner of the Scaled Agile Academy, comes in. We take the same approach as suggested by the Scaled Agile Academy – Implementing SAFe 1-2-3.

SAFe

In our many years as agile strategists, we have helped numerous organizations train their staff and leverage SAFe® for enterprise benefit. Our team of experienced SAFe® Program Consultants (SPCs), SAFe® Agilists (SAs) and SAFe® Practitioners (SPs) lead Scale Agile Framework services through a set of complex processes that are well-defined and designed to ensure success in the program and portfolio levels.

Understanding you!

Any successful implementation of SAFe® is dependent upon an intimate understanding of the organization, its culture and set up. We make a conscious attempt to identify all key stakeholders, starting at the top including top level executives, IT architects, senior product managers, and engineering leaders. It is important to understand where an organization is in its maturity curve with respect to agile and agile processes. We do a quick assessment of how much and how well agile has been adopted within the organization and develop training tools and schedules to allow organizations to scale up the agile maturity curve to enable a successful implementation of SAFe® principles and practices.

Offering our services

Change agents are crucial to affecting this transformation. Our SAFe® Program Consultants with their years of experience will not only chart out a roadmap that defines the principles and practices of SAFe® and establish a Lean Agile centre of excellence, but also identify from within your organization leaders and agilists who can successfully carry forth the agile transformation process.

We train your staff and aid in your adoption of SAFe® by offering the following trainings:

  • SAFe® for Teams: A 2-day intensive program that teaches Scrum principles, and goes beyond fundamental learning to include Lean thinking tools, roles and processes. Ideal for new teams in an enterprise agile adoption program, or existing Scrum teams that need restructuring for scaling.
  • SAFe®5 Scrum Master with SSM Certification training: This 2 day program is aimed at helping your employees clear the SAFe® 4.0 Scrum Master exam

and get the practical expertise at being effective Scrum Masters. The workshop with its numerous hands on exercises and case studies helps you gain the knowledge needed to seamlessly adopt SAFe®.

  • SAFe® Product Manager/Product Owner training: This is again a 2-day intensive program aimed at helping participants aim for a first time pass of the online examination that will certify them as SAFe®Product Manager-Product Owner (SPMPO). The program aims at familiarising Agile practitioners on principles of SAFe®, Lean thinking tools, agile development practices at scale, and an overview of the Scaled Agile Framework®
  • Leading SAFe®5: Undertaking this training workshop is one of the pre-requisites for appearing for the SAFe® Agilist certification exam. The workshop helps participants gain the knowledge needed to lead agile transformation within the enterprise using the Scaled Agile Framework and its underlying principles of flexibility, lean thinking and product development flow.
  • SAFe® 5 Advanced Scrum Master course: This is a 2-day intensive preparatory help for the SAFe® Advanced Scrum Master (SASM) exam, by the end of which participants will have the knowledge needed to extend Scrum to the enterprise level.

 

Our experienced SAFe coaches, leadership coaches and technical coaches help your staff run the Agile Release Train (ART) successfully and provide necessary support as and when needed. As part of our coaching and consulting services, we offer the following services: 

  • Coaching the teams on the ART to enhance skills and provide support
  • Coaching and mentoring Scrum masters, Product Owners and DevOps Teams
  • Conducting Agile Engineering workshops such as Certified Scrum Developer (CSD)/ Professional Scrum Developer (PSD)
  • Facilitating release train readiness and backlog grooming
  • Assessing current metrics and implementing relevant metrics

Assisting with Continuous Delivery practices through continuous DevOps training and coaching

One of the biggest challenges in an Agile transformation is sustaining lasting change so that you can extend the strategy across the organization. For this, every team member must thoroughly understand Agile and must closely follow the principles. KnowledgeHut's comprehensive suite of Agile Training Services offers bespoke Agile training workshops and implementation support across the various organizational levels.

Our training helps you to implement agile in such a way that all employees understand the rationale and purpose behind the adoption of this framework.We will help you overcome challenges and maximize the value you gain from adopting new, lean and agile ways of working. Our trainers will ensure that your teams realize their true potential, speed, and control any productivity dips as they move along.

KnowledgeHut partners with you to outline a strategy to establish clear, defined and measurable parameters for your Agile implementation. While there are many Agile related frameworks and methodologies available in the market place, success in implementation cannot be guaranteed.There are many instances of organisations which tried to implement Agile and are struggling without knowing why, as they did not put in enough thought and have proper guidance during the process.

We have our own proprietary enterprise change management framework that enables the organization to implement change faster. Though this model can be implemented irrespective of the domain; however, we will consider all cases respective to Agile implementation.

The biggest advantage of this framework is that it can be implemented with any agile framework and methodology for non-scaling as well as scaling frameworks.

High level structure of Agile implementation through Enterprise change management framework:

As shown in the graphic alongside, Enterprise change management framework implementation can be considered to be a change involving three parameters:

process, people and structure

How to read this triangle

This triangle represents the iterative and incremental Agile change management framework. We start with Process and Rules which are easy to set in place. Next are Structural changes which are difficult to carry out. The last part of an agile transformation comprises the changes in People, and this is the most difficult to implement.

This framework enables you to start in small increments (1)->(2)->(3) and then repeat the cycle. One important thing to remember is that these three legs of change feed into each other.

At each angle for making a change, in Process/Policy/methods, or in Structure or in People's mindset, we suggest using an upside-down model which incurs minimum change with height leverage.

Rules and processes

When we start with an Agile implementation, we are often not sure where to begin. The easiest and logical place to start, to enable you to fuel the change management for Agile, is by identifying methods/processes/policies that could be tweaked for an individual project or department, which do not necessitate changes at the organizational level (with some exceptions). For instance, there are many policies, processes and methods within an organization which are in conflict with total Agile implementation e.g. personal cubicles, specialization, flexible work timings and so on.

Structure

A bad system will beat down good people; we use systems thinking to understand the underlying behaviour of the organization and find the reason why it has resulted in the current state of affairs. To enable optimization of the whole instead of localization, the existing functional structure in an organization must be changed. Some organisations have a mental model (culturally accepted within the organization) where heroism and firefighting is encouraged, whereas asking for help or escalation are considered incompetencies. An agile model serves to dispel such a rigid approach and inculcate flexibility and approachability.

People mindset

Small incremental changes in process and structure will fuel change in the organization; however, the real change comes when people in your organization believe in the change. Through careful analysis we must see what needs to be changed for people to feel motivated enough to persevere with the changes. This necessitates a fresh look at re-generative learning of the organization.

In short...

Through a careful study of your business based on these three parameters, we define and detail a workable strategy for your agile adaptation. We outline metrics that can measure short term and long term goals for success. By undertaking customized training and mentoring, we ensure that the agile transformation is on track - using underlying proven values that support every aspect of the change. The style in which we work is not to create dependencies on us but to mentor your core team to start thinking in a way that is appropriate for the organization as a whole.

Your engagement with us is envisioned for a short term only, providing maximum value for your investment, as we strive to imbibe capabilities in your core team to carry on the change. However, we will continue to be available through other means to remain engaged and provide governance in your change management journey.

All over the world, we have best-in-class experienced coaches certified in Scrum, XP, Kanban, Lean-Kanban, DSDM, SAFe, DAD, Less framework and other Agile methodologies.

If you have decided to implement Agile in your organisation, we will assist you with the way forward. We help you to enable the agile transformation very quickly in the following manner:

  • Impart training to help you understand the agile model: Every team member must understand the agile framework and gain the agile mindset in order for the implementation to move forward.
  • Coaching the teams: Our experienced Agile coaches will work closely with the teams to coach and mentor them on a day-to-day basis.

There are many Agile tools available in the market that can aid in your Agile implementation. These versatile tools help teams to manage agile processes- for example, users can easily develop user stories, prioritise tasks, organise issues, follow team activities and so on. But it is not always easy to make the right choice of tool for your specific needs. This is where our expert team can help. They will analyze your requirements and guide you to invest in the right tools at the right time that can enhance your agile journey.

Here are some questions that we commonly use to guide you in this regard:

  • Where do you stand in your Agile journey?
  • Do you know when to use a tool and when to avoid Agile tooling?
  • Do you know which projects are suitable for Agile tooling?
  • How much to invest- too much- or too less?
  • Do you know the criteria for selection of the right tooling?
  • Do you know what process or cultural change is required at your end before you start with tooling implementation?
  • Do you know what to measure, why to measure and how to measure using tools?

Besides helping you make the right choice of tooling, we will also train you on the optimal use of the tool. We have end-to-end expertise in the use of popular tools such as Version one, Rally, Jira and Swift ALM by Digite, among others.