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Start Sooner Implement Better: Agile Principles Revisited

Principle #3: Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale. I can’t tell you how many times a day or in my career I have heard “Why are we not moving faster?” or the ever-popular “What has the team been doing since <insert_random_qualifier>”. Of course, those that are on the project know why things have not moved faster, because leadership has been engaged in bureaucratic administrative budgeting for six months, making sure the requirements are 100% accounted for which has taken another four months. Then final approval and sign off by a tribe of 30 or more people has taken another two months and of course a date was already committed to before the budgeting process began, so when the team can actually start work, provided other projects are not taking up their time, everyone is screaming “HURRY UP!”.  The time to hurry was months and months ago, not once the team can actually start solving the customer’s problem.    In this installment of “Agile Principles Revisited” we will take a look at how a team can deliver sooner. Deliver This should be self-explanatory right? I have coached teams that have argued about getting credit for a half-done story in a sprint because they got a few tasks associated to the story completed, but the story itself was not done.  If the story cannot be demonstrated or validated as a slice of the overall goal, then you did not deliver value, you just logged hours.  This is why we talk about vertical slices of functionality, INVEST criteria and splitting stories so that the focus can be on actually delivering within a time box rather than “working on” stuff for multiple sprints.  Working Software While we want to focus on delivering as frequently as our environment and processes allow, what we deliver should actually work and moreover, solve a problem thus adding value; however, this is where it can be a bit tricky depending on how the term “working” is defined given the context.  I will sometimes refer to MVP as a vertical slice of functionality that can be validated at a defined feedback moment, such as the sprint review and will refer to a batch that can be released to customers as the MMF (Minimal Marketable Feature).  I do this to help teams understand how much effort and complexity needs to go in each story depending on the given goal.  If we are attempting to validate a proof of concept idea, we can use a prototype, dummy data or mock details up and have a low fidelity design.  This meets the definition of “working” because we are attempting to validate a theory or conceptual functionality, not releasing to our actual customer base at this point. Before we open up the product to customers to generate incremental ROI, we would, of course, be more robust in the approach and reach a higher quality definition of “working” and “done”.  It is always best to set expectations upfront on what working means during the course of your product delivery approach. The Disciplined Agile Delivery site has a great breakdown of the different views you can take with product increments Frequently: Shorter timelines create urgency, urgency creates action.  Delivering small, independent features are much more efficient than large, tightly coupled bundles of features.  The reasons we want to deliver more frequently are to increase the feedback cycle times and reduce the opportunities for a requirement to change, or be able to accommodate a change with little impact.  The shorter the window of time between the time a Product Owner talked to a stakeholder, created the story for the team to develop and deliver, the lower the likelihood of that requirement changing and the higher the probability we can get feedback if we are building the right thing.  Preference to the Shorter Timescale: If you can deliver software in two weeks, then you don’t have to decide on what to do until 2-3 weeks before you deliver. If you deliver software every 12 months, then you have to take longer to decide on what to do, and that opens the opportunity for your customer to change their mind in that window of time. Shortening your delivery cycle allows you to decide as late as possible on which direction to take, which is a competitive advantage.  In 1983, Lenscrafters changed the eyewear market by having your glasses ready in an hour. This did not allow the customer the opportunity to go browsing at another company and cancel their order and it met the “need it now” emotional aspect. The timescale here needs to be understood and defined as well.  There is the sprint timescale (1-4 weeks) and there is the release time scale (3-4 months for new feature releases).  The team should set aggressive goals in improving the timescale cadence until you reach a more predictable pace.  There are practices that support a team reaching shorter timescales such as; Continuous Integration: The ability to automate the building and testing of code every time a team member commits to provide immediate feedback on what should be addressed to eliminate downstream affects customer experience and spend less time tracking down issues.   Test Automation: This really goes hand in hand with CI practices and should be a part of any development team’s practices.  I will often get teams started with just Selenium and cucumber as means to start illustrating automation thoughts and practices. While this may not address the long-term enterprise needs, it does address the question- “How do we get started”.  Start simple with a few steps until they no longer meet the needs and grow from there. Those are only a few of the obvious practices that a team would perform to help shorten feedback loops and build in quality.  Researching DevOps would identify many more that a team should investigate into improving their environment. What does that mean to us? Don’t Make the Customer Wait: The fundamental measurement of a queue is cycle time.  The whole reason a work item enters a queue is to accomplish something and the longer it waits for resources to complete the work, the more time is spent waiting.  Waiting in a queue is wasted time, opportunity and revenue (Poppendieck, 2003). Customers expect rapid delivery today in all channels and if you are not meeting their expectations of that delivery cycle, there will be rapid communication of the bad experience through social channels. Communicate Quickly To Your Customer: When you can go online and search for any amount of information that tends to increase your expectations when making an inquiry with a company on a request or product.  Customers expect companies to have data available to answer their questions as quickly as they can send a tweet out.  Email and phone calls are falling lower in the channels of communication as customers require instant answers either through chat or social channels.  Your delivery cycle should be able to address these channels quickly.  Make Use of Gemba: The Japanese word for “the actual place” is perfect in the discovery and feedback processes of software usability as it means you are with the actual people using the product and collecting feedback. This also illustrates empathy so that customers begin to feel like they are being listened to and thus are more likely to provide feedback if they feel like they are a part of the solution.  Principles and sensemaking #agile #change #orgdesignhttps://t.co/Mt5Qwiih1x — John Cutler (@johncutlefish) June 26, 2017 Enemies of the (to be) State: Over-Engineering:  Keep it simple.  In our second installment we touched on “Gold Plating” or putting in extra features, you just “know” the customer wants. This takes time and time increases your queue, which causes wait time.  You should be sensing a theme by now.   Over Processing: Adding additional bureaucratic gates, processes or documents reduces trust, and increases the wait time for a product to reach the market and rarely adds value beyond someone wanting to check a box.  That is not to say all processes are bad, merely, we should be inspecting whether or not they add quantifiable value or add agility to our product development process. Point-Based Design: How many of you have attempted to schedule a meeting starting at 9 am only to get responses from people stating they can’t make it at that time, and then you start an endless cycle of emails and declines to finally arrive at an agreed upon time 3 days later.  This is point-based design.  You focus on one option and one option only which limits your choices and ability to deliver and react.  Whereas using a set-based design approach you allow options to be available and make decisions as late as possible to allow for more flexibility and to respond in a more efficient manner using real feedback.  Using the meeting example, you will get more positive feedback if you send a list of options with windows of times to schedule a meeting and you can quickly schedule a meeting based on these options rather than trying to herd folks down only one path. If you are not quick in today’s competitive environment, then you are playing catch up to the competition instead of leading the pack and making them play your game.  However, if you hurry, you run the risk of doing things poorly, which will detract from the positive experience we are trying to build for our customers. Finding the balance can be hard, but through small batch experimentation and validated learning you can find the balance that works for you. Being able to deliver small batch experiments quickly, allows you to start sooner and allows teams the ability to respond in a leaner more result-oriented fashion.  

Start Sooner Implement Better: Agile Principles Revisited

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  • by Bruce Nix
  • 02nd May, 2018
  • Last updated on 09th Mar, 2020
Start Sooner Implement Better: Agile Principles Revisited

Principle #3: Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.

I can’t tell you how many times a day or in my career I have heard “Why are we not moving faster?” or the ever-popular “What has the team been doing since <insert_random_qualifier>”. Of course, those that are on the project know why things have not moved faster, because leadership has been engaged in bureaucratic administrative budgeting for six months, making sure the requirements are 100% accounted for which has taken another four months. Then final approval and sign off by a tribe of 30 or more people has taken another two months and of course a date was already committed to before the budgeting process began, so when the team can actually start work, provided other projects are not taking up their time, everyone is screaming “HURRY UP!”.  The time to hurry was months and months ago, not once the team can actually start solving the customer’s problem. 
 


In this installment of “Agile Principles Revisited” we will take a look at how a team can deliver sooner.

Deliver This should be self-explanatory right? I have coached teams that have argued about getting credit for a half-done story in a sprint because they got a few tasks associated to the story completed, but the story itself was not done.  If the story cannot be demonstrated or validated as a slice of the overall goal, then you did not deliver value, you just logged hours.  This is why we talk about vertical slices of functionality, INVEST criteria and splitting stories so that the focus can be on actually delivering within a time box rather than “working on” stuff for multiple sprints. 

Working Software While we want to focus on delivering as frequently as our environment and processes allow, what we deliver should actually work and moreover, solve a problem thus adding value; however, this is where it can be a bit tricky depending on how the term “working” is defined given the context.  I will sometimes refer to MVP as a vertical slice of functionality that can be validated at a defined feedback moment, such as the sprint review and will refer to a batch that can be released to customers as the MMF (Minimal Marketable Feature).  I do this to help teams understand how much effort and complexity needs to go in each story depending on the given goal.  If we are attempting to validate a proof of concept idea, we can use a prototype, dummy data or mock details up and have a low fidelity design.  This meets the definition of “working” because we are attempting to validate a theory or conceptual functionality, not releasing to our actual customer base at this point. Before we open up the product to customers to generate incremental ROI, we would, of course, be more robust in the approach and reach a higher quality definition of “working” and “done”.  It is always best to set expectations upfront on what working means during the course of your product delivery approach. The Disciplined Agile Delivery site has a great breakdown of the different views you can take with product increments


Frequently: Shorter timelines create urgency, urgency creates action.  Delivering small, independent features are much more efficient than large, tightly coupled bundles of features.  The reasons we want to deliver more frequently are to increase the feedback cycle times and reduce the opportunities for a requirement to change, or be able to accommodate a change with little impact.  The shorter the window of time between the time a Product Owner talked to a stakeholder, created the story for the team to develop and deliver, the lower the likelihood of that requirement changing and the higher the probability we can get feedback if we are building the right thing. 

Preference to the Shorter Timescale: If you can deliver software in two weeks, then you don’t have to decide on what to do until 2-3 weeks before you deliver. If you deliver software every 12 months, then you have to take longer to decide on what to do, and that opens the opportunity for your customer to change their mind in that window of time. Shortening your delivery cycle allows you to decide as late as possible on which direction to take, which is a competitive advantage.  In 1983, Lenscrafters changed the eyewear market by having your glasses ready in an hour. This did not allow the customer the opportunity to go browsing at another company and cancel their order and it met the “need it now” emotional aspect. The timescale here needs to be understood and defined as well.  There is the sprint timescale (1-4 weeks) and there is the release time scale (3-4 months for new feature releases).  The team should set aggressive goals in improving the timescale cadence until you reach a more predictable pace.  There are practices that support a team reaching shorter timescales such as;

  • Continuous Integration: The ability to automate the building and testing of code every time a team member commits to provide immediate feedback on what should be addressed to eliminate downstream affects customer experience and spend less time tracking down issues.  
  • Test Automation: This really goes hand in hand with CI practices and should be a part of any development team’s practices.  I will often get teams started with just Selenium and cucumber as means to start illustrating automation thoughts and practices. While this may not address the long-term enterprise needs, it does address the question- “How do we get started”.  Start simple with a few steps until they no longer meet the needs and grow from there.

Those are only a few of the obvious practices that a team would perform to help shorten feedback loops and build in quality.  Researching DevOps would identify many more that a team should investigate into improving their environment.


What does that mean to us?

Don’t Make the Customer Wait: The fundamental measurement of a queue is cycle time.  The whole reason a work item enters a queue is to accomplish something and the longer it waits for resources to complete the work, the more time is spent waiting.  Waiting in a queue is wasted time, opportunity and revenue (Poppendieck, 2003). Customers expect rapid delivery today in all channels and if you are not meeting their expectations of that delivery cycle, there will be rapid communication of the bad experience through social channels.

Communicate Quickly To Your Customer: When you can go online and search for any amount of information that tends to increase your expectations when making an inquiry with a company on a request or product.  Customers expect companies to have data available to answer their questions as quickly as they can send a tweet out.  Email and phone calls are falling lower in the channels of communication as customers require instant answers either through chat or social channels.  Your delivery cycle should be able to address these channels quickly. 

Make Use of Gemba: The Japanese word for “the actual place” is perfect in the discovery and feedback processes of software usability as it means you are with the actual people using the product and collecting feedback. This also illustrates empathy so that customers begin to feel like they are being listened to and thus are more likely to provide feedback if they feel like they are a part of the solution. 


Enemies of the (to be) State:

Over-Engineering:  Keep it simple.  In our second installment we touched on “Gold Plating” or putting in extra features, you just “know” the customer wants. This takes time and time increases your queue, which causes wait time.  You should be sensing a theme by now.  

Over Processing: Adding additional bureaucratic gates, processes or documents reduces trust, and increases the wait time for a product to reach the market and rarely adds value beyond someone wanting to check a box.  That is not to say all processes are bad, merely, we should be inspecting whether or not they add quantifiable value or add agility to our product development process.

Point-Based Design: How many of you have attempted to schedule a meeting starting at 9 am only to get responses from people stating they can’t make it at that time, and then you start an endless cycle of emails and declines to finally arrive at an agreed upon time 3 days later.  This is point-based design.  You focus on one option and one option only which limits your choices and ability to deliver and react.  Whereas using a set-based design approach you allow options to be available and make decisions as late as possible to allow for more flexibility and to respond in a more efficient manner using real feedback.  Using the meeting example, you will get more positive feedback if you send a list of options with windows of times to schedule a meeting and you can quickly schedule a meeting based on these options rather than trying to herd folks down only one path.

If you are not quick in today’s competitive environment, then you are playing catch up to the competition instead of leading the pack and making them play your game.  However, if you hurry, you run the risk of doing things poorly, which will detract from the positive experience we are trying to build for our customers. Finding the balance can be hard, but through small batch experimentation and validated learning you can find the balance that works for you. Being able to deliver small batch experiments quickly, allows you to start sooner and allows teams the ability to respond in a leaner more result-oriented fashion.  

Bruce

Bruce Nix

Blog Author

Bruce Nix, one of the highly experienced Agile coaches at Lokion, applies two decades of experience in information technology and innovation management to his projects. He trains and leads cross-functional teams in innovation practices, ensuring the best possible outcomes for teams. An avid researcher of leadership and innovation principles, he continually strives to make processes leaner and more efficient.
As a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) 4.0 Program Consultant, Certified Scrum Professional, and Scrum Master, Bruce provides improvements in processes and project delivery for clients. He has years of daily experience in Agile project management methodologies and helped found the Memphis Agile Practitioners Group.His deep experience in technical operations management and business analysis has allowed him to manage multiple projects involving enterprise scale ecommerce  initiatives, user experience, web and mobile design, and process improvement.

 

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Teams can organise, review, plan and discuss everyday tasks, meetings, impediments and more.How to Pick the Best Tool for Your Team?With so many options available, choosing the right Scrum tool for your team can be a tricky task. What you need to do is go through the features of the best tools and see which one best fits your requirements. While the number of features you get will be directly proportional to the money you are ready to pay for the tool, there are some basic requirements your tool must satisfy.Backlog creation:  The very basic format of a Scrum project lies in the creation of a product backlog which sets the pace for the entire project. The backlog is primarily created by the Product Owner with assistance from the Scrum Master and the development team. The tool you choose should help you create the product backlog so that you can prioritise items, define the sprints and identify sprint goals.Implement feedback:  Scrum projects are based on the Agile values of continuous feedback. Your scrum tool should have features which will make your customer’s feedback and requirements easily accessible to you. This will help you implement these changes at the earliest. This continuous feedback loop will help keep customers happy.Sprint creation:  Scrum is iterative and adaptive and works by breaking down projects into small sized sprints. Your tool must aid you in the creation of sprints and burndown charts. These help you keep track of your progress on the project and are essential components of a Scrum project.The other things your tool should be able to do include:Plan and trackCustomise process templatesCustomise dashboards and reportsHelp in time managementHelp create epics and storiesProvide collab and reporting toolsProvide review toolsAnd just like you will create a product that is user friendly, the tool you use also needs to be user friendly for the team. If your team is happy using it, and it makes your life easier and your projects better, then you have the right tool!
Scrum Software for the Ultimate Project Management

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Safe Agile Ceremonies - Expert Guide

“Winners take time to relish their work, knowing that scaling the mountain is what makes the view from the top so exhilarating.” ― Denis WaitleyWhat are SAFe agile events (or) ceremonies? – a brief overview:Before we jump into the topic, could I just take you a step back and remind you what SAFe is all about? SAFe is a way of taking any iterative Agile way of working (normally restricted to a team or few teams) and scaling it up at various levels of the organization, whilst applying a mindset of Lean manufacturing. It also deals with scalability at various levels. Beginning from Essential SAFe right up to Full SAFe, the framework caters to all organizational levels of scaling agility. As part of this, it broadens the core idea of agility mindset beyond just projects/development teams right up to executives/CXOs, who must prepare for enterprise level uncertainties. In a sense, it provides valuable enterprise level scaling insights helpful for the executives to tackle any uncertainties/risks associated with a project.As you start applying SAFe in your organisation, it is important for you to understand how each level works in conjunction with the other, depending on how mature your SAFe enterprise is. The key link between these levels is the SAFe specific events which help with smooth value delivery facilitation. The events help with alignment across teams, ARTs etc thus helping in managing risk by providing a level based cadence and synchronization.Essential SAFe - Your First Level of Scaling Using an Agile Release Train (ART). Courtesy © Scaled Agile, Inc. Source: Scaled AgileWhy do we need level-based ceremonies?While it is important to go through your team level events (like the 4 sprint events if you are doing scrum etc.) it is important to have the scaling events that help with bridging gaps and unblocking dependency between teams. The most important part of these SAFe specific events is for ‘Business Stakeholders’ to get a look (demo) at a proper incremental product and thus the value arising out of it. Makes sense? It did for me and let me tell you why.I was once associated with 3 feature teams, who were working towards a common product goal. They all had the same business stakeholders but were working on individual features. Team A was working on developing a Login page, Team B was working on a landing dashboard while Team C was hopping along, trying to provide a search functionality for the user. All of them were applying the Scrum framework and were running their own events. Sprint demos were happening individually and were being represented by the Product owner separately along with his business analysts. All seemed fine but there was a nagging problem. The product owner was worried, because he couldn’t bring any business stakeholder to view the demos, as they were being run in silos and there was no visibility on the incremental product. Well technically there was, but they would have to sit through three or four-hour events individually to get bits and pieces of the product demo. In the real world, it's not a possibility simply because your business stakeholders will not have that much time to spend on multiple demos. It is not a good use of their time either. So, what’s the solution? Simple, it’s SAFe to the rescue! Let’s try and understand how the SAFe specific events help with this.Prescribed PI Cadence for Various Levels of Scaling. Courtesy © Scaled Agile, Inc. Source: Scaled AgileHow do the events (or) ceremonies help to scale up according to the levels in SAFe:SAFe is very relevant and designed to thrive in situations where there are significant cross functional dependencies between agile teams and support / functional teams (infrastructure teams, architect community etc).  Essential Level:   As you start to scale up one level up, you will be working with anywhere between 5-12 agile teams who will all be collectively working towards a common goal which is the program increment or PI. The anchoring catalyst that brings them all together is your ART (Agile release train). Before getting into the events, lets understand the various roles involved at this level because this is the common denominator across all levels of SAFe and across organizations. This is where you need to get it right without which there is not much use in scaling higher. Key Roles involved: Release Train Engineer (RTE) System Architect/Engineer Product Management   Business OwnersPrescribed events on a typical Agile release train (ART). Courtesy © Scaled Agile, Inc. Source: Scaled AgilePI PlanningAccording to me, PI planning (hands down) is THE most significant aspect of executing this framework. This is where all the magic happens. It is sometimes referred to as the heart of the framework as it offers a clear vision of what the program increment needs to be, what the cross-team dependencies are and how they bring together the cultural sustainability much needed within the release trains. It is so important, that if carried out incorrectly it could lead to several ambiguities, development challenges and mostly a disastrous product increment. However, when it works well, the iterative cycle serves to flesh out the crucial elements of the plan and the processes ensure buy in from the stakeholders.Duration: A normal PI planning is a 2-day activity, which is a face to face cultural get together of the various ART teams. However, a new 3-day distributed PI planning has been introduced to help with geographically distributed teams (across various time zones), very apt for the current pandemic situation.“There is no magic in SAFe® except maybe for PI Planning”. – The authors of the SAFe framework.In big organizations with multiple distributed teams across multiple vendors, work streams etc. it is almost impossible to run these teams independently, whilst still having to deliver an incremental program. SAFe via the PI planning exercise mentioned above, helps with sorting out these issues by recognising cross team dependencies upfront, constantly negotiating & visualising them. This doesn’t just stop with the PI planning but the framework also proposes a cadenced way of continuing this via the scrum of scrums. The Program Board is an ideal way to showcase the cross-team dependencies.A sample SAFe Program board. Courtesy © Scaled Agile, Inc. Source: Scaled Agile1. Inspect and Adapt (I&A)An inspect and adapt event is scheduled after every PI. This event is dedicated to aligning to the principles of Kaizen, which simply means to change for the better. The events contain self induced thought processes to revalidate your assumptions that everything is working OK. The I&A event consists of three sub-parts as below:  PI System DemoQuantitative and qualitative measurementRetrospective and problem-solving workshop2. ART Sync Agile release trains tend to apply a cadenced synchronization process to help manage the ability to focus on continuous value delivery. An ART sync will typically comprise of the below sub-events.  Scrum of Scrums: This event is for representatives from all the teams on a release train to come together in a regular cadenced manner, especially on large ARTs. This is normally facilitated by the release train engineer (RTE) and will involve scrum masters of the individual teams and a few selected team members (authorised by the team). The sole purpose of the SoS calls are to understand progress towards the common goal, validate cross team dependencies and unblock impediments that may arise out of them. Duration: The length and frequency of the meeting will depend on a few factors like the size of the ART, the release frequency, type of features being worked on, ability to decouple releases etc. For e.g an ART which releases features into production every 4 weeks might want to have an SoS call every 2 weeks for about an hour. Again, if this doesn’t work for you, just inspect and adapt to what works well for your organizational needs. Just make sure that the SoS is utilised for its sole purpose and not just status updates as depicted in the below comic representation.Scrum of Scrums PO SyncThis event is represented by the Product Owner, business analysts and the product management group. This is used mainly to level up the product backlog refinement and for clarifying PI (Program Increment) scope, reviewing roadmaps and grooming for the upcoming PIs.Duration: Very similar in concept to the SoS, so just follow what works for the group. 3. System DemoAs part of a common understanding towards delivering incremental software, shortly after each iteration in the PI, there is a system demo scheduled. Work completed across all teams from the release train are compiled in a stable environment before it is reviewed by the business stakeholders and other important sponsors who may have a keen interest in the product. This is on top of the individual team level demos that happen after each iteration.Duration: Anywhere between 2-3 hours that will allow time for a demonstration of the program increment in a collative manner, on top of what has been delivered from the previous PIs as well.In case your ART is pretty small, then you may want to have just have some of the events combined into a more generic ART sync, where all roles come together to collaborate towards the program increment. This can sometimes occur if the ART is focusing on a particular value stream, confined to limited business functionality, rather than elaborate features.Solution/Portfolio LevelsAs you scale higher, the processes and events become much less prescriptive. There is a good reason for this because the focus at this level is not just on having repetitive demos that have already happened before but on building thought leadership around business outcomes and enhancing business agility. Which is why we will not be diving deep into that in this blog. But let us look at the events that occur at the macro level.Lean Budget Review  Idea Sharing via Communities of Practice (not a formal event but a collaborative group)Solution DemoPortfolio SyncRoadshowWhat are the benefits of SAFe Agile ceremonies?:The Magic of PI planningWell, the more I talk about this, the more excited I am. A PI planning event when carried out to its truest purpose, gets half the job done. Here is where most of the brainstorming occurs and business value gets determined and, in some cases, gets assigned in a quantifiable manner to user stories and helps with the prioritisation.PI Planning Synchronisation towards a common goalThe events are a constant reminder that all teams are working towards delivering incremental value either on a particular value stream, or feature or program. An RTE and Product Management will help reiterating the need to focus on the larger goal whilst helping sorting out inter team dependencies.Less prescriptiveAs is the framework itself, SAFe events/ceremonies are less prescriptive. An SPC would recommend, apply the principles but inspect and adapt as to what works for your organization. As per the example I provided earlier w.r.t to the duration of the SAFe events, start with something reasonable and then validate its effectiveness. Then leave Kaizen to do the rest.Visualization of incremental value deliveryOpportunity for Business stakeholders and sponsors to have a look at the overall program increment every iteration, thus helping them evaluate the progress and provide timely feedback on market trends. What are the common mistakes?Lack of a shared product visionThings can go wrong if there is not enough representation in the product management group, say for e.g at the PO Sync event. This can lead to a blurred product vision with each team working out of sync. This may ultimately get detected too late, probably at the time of the system demo, and lead to a whole lot of unwanted rework.SoS as a status updateThe Scrum Of Scrum event should be used as an event to unblock cross team impediments or dependencies and not to just update what each team has been doing or is doing in its current sprint. TimeboxingGiven the scale at which these events will be conducted, it is critical that the associated events are facilitated in a timeboxed manner or else the participants could end up sitting and talking for hours. Roles like RTE, SPC Coaches etc will be critical in addressing this issue.Remote facilitationLack of effective collaboration tools could lead to some disastrous situations whilst facilitating the SAFe events. Given that most teams are running virtual ceremonies/events at the moment, its crucial to establish a working distributed model. This will then ensure that the platform is set up for the most effective collaboration and cross-functional work to take place.While you try to scale, as per the implementation roadmap, its essential that you solidify the process around which your ARTs will be functioning. It’s like setting the railway tracks with the correct track gauge matching the configurations of the wheelsets of the trains that will run on them. If not, they will just derail. As your ARTs pass through your set process, they will only benefit by sustaining focus and pace while moving towards a successful incremental product delivery.Thanks for your patience and wish you all the very best in your Agile journey. In case you want me to write about any specific topic, please feel free to comment below and I’ll be more than happy to add them to my ‘Blog Backlog’. If you liked the article, please do share it among your agile community to help spread the word.  Hope to see you soon, with more such interesting topics.
Safe Agile Ceremonies - Expert Guide

“Winners take time to relish their work, knowing... Read More

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