Agile is a very popular project management methodology that is being used by companies all over the world. The general method of implementing Agile methodology was to create small teams and let them divided the large task into smaller components and start working on it. This approach works well at the enterprise level. Over the years, many experts were closely watching and analyzing these techniques. They made a list of what are the practices that worked and what didn’t. The experts developed various frameworks to suit the various needs of organisations. This is what led to the invention of the scaled Agile framework.
This framework is slowly gaining popularity and companies are taking notice of its pros and cons. It is the management team’s responsibility to choose the best practice in order to have a clear idea about the ROI (Return on Investment) and how improvements can be made in the processes. Therefore, once a company decides to adopt Agile techniques, a general option is not available. There are various methodologies and frameworks. The company needs to identify the one that suits their work culture and mode of business the best and adopts it. The framework should be selected after thoroughly weighing the pros and cons.
The Scaled Agile Framework was invented by Dean Leffinwell and has the following main features:
1) Easy to implement –
Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) has a complex structure and is basically used by large companies when they want to adopt the Agile framework. It is basically the go-to option for large software teams that are inter-dependent. An organization can easily switch to SAFe® by following the tons of articles, videos, and tutorials online. The only problem a few senior management officials tend to face is that they implement all the components of SAFe® without truly understanding its actual usage. This tends to add more complexity to the processes.
2) Different levels of SAFe®–
VersionOne helps you implement SAFe® in the following ways
• Team Level: It is necessary to keep each member of the team motivated and allow them to work with ease. The most important component of an Agile system is the team members following it. VersionOne provides a particular system through which multiple teams can work together with ease. This approach can be applied to the teams working on ScrumXP or Kanban. Through VersionOne, the teams can collaborate smoothly and deliver the software with ease.
• Value Stream Level: This is one of the optional levels and adopted by companies only when they have huge, complex systems that contains multiple Agile release trains. Using SAFe®’s Value Stream level, the teams can plan, track, and deliver the most complex systems with ease.
• Portfolio Level: This is considered as the basic level where all the planning and strategies are discussed. In this level, the decisions for value stream level funding are made.
• Program Level: At this level, SAFe® focusses on how the Agile teams are integrated in order to create better customer value. To do this, VersionOne enables you to track your program increments and also coordinate all the activities of your release train.
3) Concept of release trains –
A release team is a team consisting of a large group of employees usually consisting of 50-125 of them. It can be compared to an actual train as it runs on a pre-fixed schedule. This schedule can be flexible though and the timings can be decided by the members of the team. It is advised that the team members working on a particular release train should be completely focused on that particular train and not worry about the reporting structure. A release train usually consists of a long-term which will have many teams and projects within it.
4) Various certifications – There are six scaled Agile framework certifications available based on your role in the SAFe® team. They are:
1) SAFe® Program Consultant Certification (SPC4) – This certification is meant for Agile change agents and external consultants in order to help them adopt SAFe® and launch Agile release trains.
2) SAFe® Agilist (SA) – This is meant for executives, managers and Agile change agents so that they can easily adopt SAFe® methodology.
3) SAFe® Practitioner (SP) – It is meant for project managers, product managers, software developers and testers. It will help them easily adopt the framework on a team and program levels.
4) SAFe® Program Consultant Trainer 4.0 (SPCT4) – This certification is suitable for Scaled Agile Gold Partners so as to enable them to train and certify SAFe® program consultants and grow their community.
5) SAFe® Product Manager/Product Owner (SPMPO) – It is meant for business owners, product owners, product managers, program managers, and business analysts. This certification will enable them to carry out better product development flow and scrum team delivery.