Search

Scrum Epic: How to Split an Epic into Chunks in Agile?

Scrum has been a buzzword since a decade now, and why not, it has so many success stories, hey, I am not talking about the stories which mean requirements in Scrum but the actual stories of teams and the organizations practicing Scrum. Looks like, I just gave the hint of what I would be covering in my article today.Yes, we will be talking about the requirements and how are they handled in Scrum. We will be talking about the Epic, so far, we have known Epic as a long narrative about the heroes of great historical or legendary significance performing courageous deeds but here we will touch upon a different side. Believe me, we are now going to talk about the Epics in Scrum!What is an Epic in Agile?In simple terms, Scrum Epic in Agile Methodology is a big chunk of work which can be divided into smaller user stories. An Epic can be spread across sprints and even across agile teams. An Epic can be a high-level description of what the client wants, and accordingly, it has some value attached to it. As we mentioned, an Epic is a high-level requirement, hence its scope can change over the course of time.Epics are a helpful way to organize your work and to create a hierarchy. The idea is to break down the work into shippable pieces so that large projects can actually get done and you can continue to ship value to your customers on a regular basis. Epics help teams break their work down while continuing to work towards a bigger goal.- AtlassianTo explain it better, I would prefer taking a life example, let’s say, throwing a New Year party at your place can be an Epic requirement for you. To do so, you’ll need to organize your effort: from the biggest objectives down to the smallest details. You should be able to respond to change, report your progress, and stick to a plan. Once you are aware of the Epic, you can drill it down to create smaller tasks like creating a guest list, deciding on the menu, shopping grocery, decoration at home, shopping for the new year, etc.Let’s see how we can create an Epic also called Scrum Epic User Story – In today’s era, almost all the tools that the team use have the capability to create an Epic, it is up to the product and the team, which type of Epic they want.Some Epics cater to the reporting needs of management. Some Epics are created with a timeframe in mind, it should not be too long and too short, i.e. it should not take more than a couple of weeks to finish. But the widely used way is Storytelling. But, what is storytelling?What is Storytelling?Storytelling is a tool which helps you visualize the flow of events and how they corroborate back to the Epic. If you feel, your working pattern does not sit in any of the mentioned ways, create your own. Just remember, Agile is never prescriptive, it shows you the path and how you want to go over it, it’s your choice!Coming back to our example, let us try to break it down in some doable components. It is really important to create chunks out of the Epic, so that the team can pick those up and deliver in a Sprint period. You can compare this activity with an art which requires precision in terms of size, priority, minimally interdependent etc. There are some pre-set ways of doing it, like:Workflow break downHere in our example, we talked about a project where we have a New Year party, let’s see how we can break it down in terms of workflow – Shopping can be a workflow where you need to get the items from outside. Another workflow can be cooking the food for the guests, the same way we can have decorating the house as another workflow. See how simple it gets to understand once you start connecting it with our lives! This also helps the Product Owner to easily prioritize the work, in our case, the Product Owner can be the host of the party. Some steps in the workflow may not be important right now and can be moved to later stages. Perhaps baking the cake takes on the priority as it takes time to cool down but the same can be done later as well.Role-based breakdownWe can also break an Epic as per the role, there can be different roles in your product or a project, here we have a role of a ‘host’, ‘guest’ or you can have a role as a ‘cook’, you can even add the roles based on your product. In a role-based breakdown we talk in terms of that particular persona, e.g., for a host, ‘Driving a successful party’ can be one, for a guest, it can be, ‘Looking for some fun games at the party’.Break Down around the timelineSome of the Epics can be broken down according to the time it will take to complete. The team usually divides the work which can be accomplished in a sprint time. They take up the whole thing, break it into pieces and fit the pieces in different Sprints as per the dependency and priority.As I have already mentioned, breaking down the user stories, requires consideration into several areas such as size, priority, interdependency, etc. Thus, there are two approaches for dividing the user stories– Horizontal and Vertical. It is like cutting the cake, if you cut it horizontally, you will get a single layer but if you take a vertical approach, you will get to have a bit of all the layers.Understanding the basic differences between Epic, Story, and TaskWe have been talking a lot about Epic and its breakdown, now let’s capture how it actually disintegrates further. We had an Epic “New Year Party”, this was a big chunk of work to be accomplished, we learned about the techniques to break it down. The result of the breakdown is termed Stories, which can be accomplished in a sprint time. The stories are further broken down into chunks called ‘Tasks’, the team pulls up the tasks and complete them, once all the tasks are completed the story is marked as ‘Completed’. The below figure explains Scrum Epic Vs User Story:Thus,Epic - A requirement that is just too big to deliver in a single sprint. Epics need to be broken into smaller deliverables (stories).Story - A requirement that the business wants. It is something that is deliverable within a single sprint.Tasks - The essentials of a story, these are the milestones to take the story to ‘Done’.Anything that we cannot measure will not yield many results, we have been hearing this for a long time. It does apply here as well. We can use burndown charts to measure how much work has been accomplished in an Epic. This also helps in predicting if the team is on track with the commitments. By keeping a watch on the Burndown chart, it becomes easy to manage the progress and blockers (if any) that the team is facing. This not only provides transparency to the system but also helps in building the trust for the team and the clients.How to identify Epics in AgileEpic is something which is a fairly large chunk of work and cannot be completed in one go. It is something which requires discussion and brainstorming so that it can be broken down further into smaller chunks.At the Epic level, we give rough estimates which can be in the form of T-shirt sizes, swags, points or any other method the team is comfortable with. The team can track the progress in an Epic through the Burndown chart which represents the progress and also reflects if there are any blockers.Benefits of EpicsEpics help in understanding the high-level requirement from the Stakeholder and what exactly is the need.It also helps in defining the scope of work which is in agreement with the client. Epics articulate efficiently about the final output what user needs.Epics help to track bigger thoughts in a product backlog without swamping it with multiple things. They allow establishing a hierarchy for the backlog items where the Epic represents the original idea often closely related to a particular outcome.It also helps in estimating how much time it will take to deliver. Epics are time and again used as placeholders for new views that have not been thought out completely, or whose full expansion has been postponed till essentially desirable.Epics are then evolved into split into multiple user stories that help Agile development teams effectively manage and groom their product backlog.Common Pitfalls in EpicThough there are many positive aspects of using the Epics in backlog management, a coin always has two sides, it has its pitfalls too! Sometimes, the teams can create confusions around the end deliverable from the Epic by just viewing them as more than just large user stories. This is deceptive when the team creates multifaceted tools to distinguish between Epics and user stories as well as creates far-reaching tools for chasing Epics separately from other backlog items.The teams may also try to estimate the Epics at a very high level though they might not have a clear picture of what is to be done. This increases the chances of ambiguity and it is very likely that the estimates will not be of any use as it will not serve any purpose in reporting.Finally, here we are, with the discussions around the Epics and how we can break it down. There is no fixed way to work on the Epic, it is all about what approach suit your needs. Again, it is all about the mindset and an approach we use to deal with the backlog. Epics are always fascinating to work with!User story is the unit of work defined in Scrum. When a Product Owner writes a user story for the customer’s requirements, it looks pretty simple at an initial stage. But, while working on that user story, all the related tasks tends to increase a lot that it is unable to fit in a week sprint. In such case, you need to break down such big user stories in epic and start slicing the epic further in smaller user stories. This approach can ease the efforts of Agile teams to get smaller but quality outcome in single sprint.   
Rated 4.5/5 based on 25 customer reviews

Scrum Epic: How to Split an Epic into Chunks in Agile?

10K
  • by Deepti Sinha
  • 25th Apr, 2019
  • Last updated on 25th Apr, 2019
  • 12 mins read
Scrum Epic: How to Split an Epic into Chunks in Agile?

Scrum has been a buzzword since a decade now, and why not, it has so many success stories, hey, I am not talking about the stories which mean requirements in Scrum but the actual stories of teams and the organizations practicing Scrum. Looks like, I just gave the hint of what I would be covering in my article today.

Yes, we will be talking about the requirements and how are they handled in Scrum. We will be talking about the Epic, so far, we have known Epic as a long narrative about the heroes of great historical or legendary significance performing courageous deeds but here we will touch upon a different side. Believe me, we are now going to talk about the Epics in Scrum!

What is an Epic in Agile?

In simple terms, Scrum Epic in Agile Methodology is a big chunk of work which can be divided into smaller user stories. An Epic can be spread across sprints and even across agile teams. An Epic can be a high-level description of what the client wants, and accordingly, it has some value attached to it. As we mentioned, an Epic is a high-level requirement, hence its scope can change over the course of time.

Epics are a helpful way to organize your work and to create a hierarchy. The idea is to break down the work into shippable pieces so that large projects can actually get done and you can continue to ship value to your customers on a regular basis. Epics help teams break their work down while continuing to work towards a bigger goal.- Atlassian

To explain it better, I would prefer taking a life example, let’s say, throwing a New Year party at your place can be an Epic requirement for you. To do so, you’ll need to organize your effort: from the biggest objectives down to the smallest details. You should be able to respond to change, report your progress, and stick to a plan. Once you are aware of the Epic, you can drill it down to create smaller tasks like creating a guest list, deciding on the menu, shopping grocery, decoration at home, shopping for the new year, etc.

Let’s see how we can create an Epic also called Scrum Epic User Story – In today’s era, almost all the tools that the team use have the capability to create an Epic, it is up to the product and the team, which type of Epic they want.

type of Epic

Some Epics cater to the reporting needs of management. Some Epics are created with a timeframe in mind, it should not be too long and too short, i.e. it should not take more than a couple of weeks to finish. But the widely used way is Storytelling. But, what is storytelling?

What is Storytelling?

Storytelling is a tool which helps you visualize the flow of events and how they corroborate back to the Epic. If you feel, your working pattern does not sit in any of the mentioned ways, create your own. Just remember, Agile is never prescriptive, it shows you the path and how you want to go over it, it’s your choice!

Coming back to our example, let us try to break it down in some doable components. It is really important to create chunks out of the Epic, so that the team can pick those up and deliver in a Sprint period. You can compare this activity with an art which requires precision in terms of size, priority, minimally interdependent etc. There are some pre-set ways of doing it, like:

Workflow break down

Here in our example, we talked about a project where we have a New Year party, let’s see how we can break it down in terms of workflow – Shopping can be a workflow where you need to get the items from outside. Another workflow can be cooking the food for the guests, the same way we can have decorating the house as another workflow. See how simple it gets to understand once you start connecting it with our lives! This also helps the Product Owner to easily prioritize the work, in our case, the Product Owner can be the host of the party. Some steps in the workflow may not be important right now and can be moved to later stages. Perhaps baking the cake takes on the priority as it takes time to cool down but the same can be done later as well.

Role-based breakdown

We can also break an Epic as per the role, there can be different roles in your product or a project, here we have a role of a ‘host’, ‘guest’ or you can have a role as a ‘cook’, you can even add the roles based on your product. In a role-based breakdown we talk in terms of that particular persona, e.g., for a host, ‘Driving a successful party’ can be one, for a guest, it can be, ‘Looking for some fun games at the party’.

Break Down around the timeline

Some of the Epics can be broken down according to the time it will take to complete. The team usually divides the work which can be accomplished in a sprint time. They take up the whole thing, break it into pieces and fit the pieces in different Sprints as per the dependency and priority.

As I have already mentioned, breaking down the user stories, requires consideration into several areas such as size, priority, interdependency, etc. Thus, there are two approaches for dividing the user stories– Horizontal and Vertical. It is like cutting the cake, if you cut it horizontally, you will get a single layer but if you take a vertical approach, you will get to have a bit of all the layers.

Understanding the basic differences between Epic, Story, and Task

We have been talking a lot about Epic and its breakdown, now let’s capture how it actually disintegrates further. We had an Epic “New Year Party”, this was a big chunk of work to be accomplished, we learned about the techniques to break it down. The result of the breakdown is termed Stories, which can be accomplished in a sprint time. The stories are further broken down into chunks called ‘Tasks’, the team pulls up the tasks and complete them, once all the tasks are completed the story is marked as ‘Completed’. The below figure explains Scrum Epic Vs User Story:

differences between Epic, Story, and Task

Thus,

Epic - A requirement that is just too big to deliver in a single sprint. Epics need to be broken into smaller deliverables (stories).

Story - A requirement that the business wants. It is something that is deliverable within a single sprint.

Tasks - The essentials of a story, these are the milestones to take the story to ‘Done’.

Anything that we cannot measure will not yield many results, we have been hearing this for a long time. It does apply here as well. We can use burndown charts to measure how much work has been accomplished in an Epic. This also helps in predicting if the team is on track with the commitments. By keeping a watch on the Burndown chart, it becomes easy to manage the progress and blockers (if any) that the team is facing. This not only provides transparency to the system but also helps in building the trust for the team and the clients.

How to identify Epics in Agile

Epic is something which is a fairly large chunk of work and cannot be completed in one go. It is something which requires discussion and brainstorming so that it can be broken down further into smaller chunks.

At the Epic level, we give rough estimates which can be in the form of T-shirt sizes, swags, points or any other method the team is comfortable with. The team can track the progress in an Epic through the Burndown chart which represents the progress and also reflects if there are any blockers.

Benefits of Epics

Benefits of Epics

  • Epics help in understanding the high-level requirement from the Stakeholder and what exactly is the need.
  • It also helps in defining the scope of work which is in agreement with the client. Epics articulate efficiently about the final output what user needs.
  • Epics help to track bigger thoughts in a product backlog without swamping it with multiple things. They allow establishing a hierarchy for the backlog items where the Epic represents the original idea often closely related to a particular outcome.
  • It also helps in estimating how much time it will take to deliver. Epics are time and again used as placeholders for new views that have not been thought out completely, or whose full expansion has been postponed till essentially desirable.
  • Epics are then evolved into split into multiple user stories that help Agile development teams effectively manage and groom their product backlog.

Common Pitfalls in Epic

  • Though there are many positive aspects of using the Epics in backlog management, a coin always has two sides, it has its pitfalls too! Sometimes, the teams can create confusions around the end deliverable from the Epic by just viewing them as more than just large user stories. This is deceptive when the team creates multifaceted tools to distinguish between Epics and user stories as well as creates far-reaching tools for chasing Epics separately from other backlog items.
  • The teams may also try to estimate the Epics at a very high level though they might not have a clear picture of what is to be done. This increases the chances of ambiguity and it is very likely that the estimates will not be of any use as it will not serve any purpose in reporting.
  • Finally, here we are, with the discussions around the Epics and how we can break it down. There is no fixed way to work on the Epic, it is all about what approach suit your needs. Again, it is all about the mindset and an approach we use to deal with the backlog. Epics are always fascinating to work with!

User story is the unit of work defined in Scrum. When a Product Owner writes a user story for the customer’s requirements, it looks pretty simple at an initial stage. But, while working on that user story, all the related tasks tends to increase a lot that it is unable to fit in a week sprint. In such case, you need to break down such big user stories in epic and start slicing the epic further in smaller user stories. This approach can ease the efforts of Agile teams to get smaller but quality outcome in single sprint.   

Deepti

Deepti Sinha

Blog Author

Deepti is an Agile Coach by profession and Freelance Trainer with over 11 years of industry experience working primarily with healthcare & finance clients in delivering business. She has played a wide variety of roles in the graph of her career, whether it be, management, operations or quality. She likes reading fiction, management and loves to write her experiences. Her colleagues mostly describe her as very detail oriented person with a knack of creativity and imagination. And yes, she loves feedback more than her coffee!!

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Suggested Blogs

Agile Digital Marketing: What Is It And How To Implement It

Agile digital Marketing is a way to deal with promoting that takes its motivation from agile programming advancement and those qualities: “Responding to change over following a plan Rapid iterations over Big-Bang campaigns Testing and data over opinions and conventions Many small experiments over a few large bets Individuals and interactions over one size fits all Collaboration over silos and hierarchy” The objectives of Agile Marketing are to enhance the speed, consistency, straightforwardness, productivityand versatility to change of the showcasing capacity. Agile Marketers take after a procedure called Scrum, intended to expand arrangement with the business points of the association and the business staff, to enhance correspondence, both inside and outside the promoting group, and to build the speed and responsiveness of showcasing. The procedure duplicates that of light-footed advancement, with a few contrasts in the points of interest in Digital marketing with Agile framework Step by step instructions to implement Agile Digital Marketing  You have to comprehend the essential parts of Agile and have seen two or three awesome crusades in real life. In any case, what does it truly take to execute a lithe technique? Before that, I’d like to call attention to something essential: Businesses organizations of all sizes can use this technique. You need not a gigantic group to begin utilizing agile methodologies in your business. All it requires is a touch of inventiveness and a huge dedication. When you have those things, you’re ready. At that point, it’s simply an issue of setting up the framework. Setup a System for Listening  A nimble procedure begins when you grasp tuning in. In case you’re not keeping an ear to the ground, you’ll miss extraordinary chances to have an effect. How you listen relies on upon your inclinations; however I’ve laid out two or three distinct choices here. Web-based Social Networking  Online networking is the ideal stage for deft tuning in. I like utilizing a mix of Reddit and Twitter to get the bounce on breaking news. Facebook is turning into a nice contender for this need also. Professional tip: Invest in a social listening dashboard like Hootsuite or Sprout Social which will make staying aware of patterns, catchphrases and records substantially less demanding. Google Alerts  Make a Google Alert for pertinent catchphrases and expressions to your organization. Set the recurrence to email you as it happens. Simply make a point to just pick catchphrases that reflect breaking news; else, you’ll wind up with an extremely swarmed inbox. Ace tip: Use Warble Alerts too. It’s a device intended for Twitter that capacities likewise to Google Alerts. You can track catchphrases, phrases, #hashtags, @mentions etc. Plan to Respond Quickly  When something happens, you have to react as quickly as time permits. This is the place independent ventures frequently have leeway over huge organizations. Private companies and new businesses can arrive at awesome introduction with key nimble promoting. This procedure is iterative, taking into account short showcasing tests, frequent criticism, and the capacity to respond to changing economic situations. To take in more, look at the highlighted present’s segment on the privilege.    
Rated 4.0/5 based on 1 customer reviews
Agile Digital Marketing: What Is It And How To Imp...

Agile digital Marketing is a way to deal with prom... Read More

A Glimpse Of The Major Leading SAFe® Versions

A Quick view of SAFe® Agile has gained popularity in recent years, and with good reason. Teams love this approach that allows them to get a value to the customer faster while learning and adjusting to change as needed. But teams often don’t work in isolation. Many teams work in the context of larger organizations.  Often Agile doesn’t fit their needs. Some teams need an Agile approach that scales to larger projects that involve multiple teams.   It’s possible to do this. That’s where the Scaled Agile Framework, or SAFe®, can help.Why SAFe® is the best scalable framework?The Scaled Agile Framework is a structured Agile approach for large enterprises. It’s prescriptive and provides a path for interdependent teams to gain the benefits of using an Agile approach.Scaled Agile provides guidance not only at the team level but also at the Program and Portfolio levels. It also has built-in coordinated planning across related teams who are working in Release Trains.These planning increments allow teams to plan together to work with customers and release value frequently in a way that’s sustainable to teams.And it supports continuous improvement.It’s a great way for large companies to maintain structure and roll out Agile at a large scale. What is SAFe® 4.5? Scaled Agile, otherwise known as SAFe®, was initially released in 2011 by Dean Leffingwell as a knowledge base for enterprises to adopt Agile. Over the years it has grown and evolved. SAFe® 4.5 was released on June 22, 2017, to accommodate improvements to the framework. Following are some of the key improvements in SAFe® 4.5:Essential SAFe® and ConfigurabilityInnovation with Lean Startup and Lean UXScalable DevOps and Continuous DeliveryImplementation roadmapBenefits of SAFe® 4.5 to companies:Organizations who adopt SAFe® 4.5 will be able to gain the following benefits:1) Test ideas more quickly. SAFe® 4.5 has a build-in iterative development and testing. This lets teams get faster feedback to learn and adjust more quickly.2) Deliver much faster. The changes to SAFe® 4.5 allow teams to move complex work through the pipeline and deliver value to the customer faster.3) Simplify governance and improve portfolio performance. Guidance and support have been added at the Portfolio level to guide organizations in addressing Portfolio-level concerns in a scaled agile context. SAFe® 4.5 - Key areas of improvements:A. Essential SAFe® and ConfigurabilityFour configurations of SAFe® that provide a more configurable and scalable approach:Essential SAFe®: The most basic level that teams can use. It contains just the essentials that a team needs to get the benefits of SAFe®.Portfolio SAFe®: For enterprises that implement multiple solutions that have portfolio responsibilities such as governance, strategy, and portfolio funding.Large Solution: Complex solutions that involve multiple Agile Release Trains. These initiatives don’t require Portfolio concerns, but only include the Large Solution and Essential SAFe® elements.  SAFe® Full SAFe®: The most comprehensive level that can be applied to huge enterprise initiatives requiring hundreds of people to complete.Because SAFe® is a framework, that provides the flexibility to choose the level of SAFe® that best fits your organization’s needs.B. Innovation with Lean Startup and Lean UXRather than creating an entire project plan up-front, SAFe® teams focus on features. They create a hypothesis about what a new feature will deliver and then use an iterative approach to develop and test their hypothesis along the way. As teams move forward through development, they perform this development and test approach repeatedly and adjust as needed, based on feedback. Teams also work closely with end users to identify the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to focus on first. They identify what will be most valuable to the customer most immediately. Then they rely on feedback and learning as they develop the solution incrementally. They adjust as needed to incorporate what they’ve learned into the features. This collaboration and fast feedback and adjustment cycle result in a more successful product.  C. Scalable DevOps & Continuous DeliveryThe addition of a greater focus on DevOps allows teams to innovate faster. Like Agile, DevOps is a mindset. And like Agile, it allows teams to learn, adjust, and deliver value to users incrementally. The continuous delivery pipeline allows teams to move value through the pipeline faster through continuous exploration, continuous integration, continuous deployment, and released on demand. DevOps breaks down silos and supports Agile teams to work together more seamlessly. This results in more efficient delivery of value to the end users faster. It’s a perfect complement to Scaled Agile.D. Implementation RoadmapSAFe® now offers a suggested roadmap to SAFe® adoption. While change can be challenging, the implementation roadmap provides guidance that can help with that organizational change.Critical Role of the SAFe® Program ConsultantSAFe® Program Consultants, or SPCs, are critical change agents in the transition to Scaled Agile.Because of the depth of knowledge required to gain SPC certification, they’re perfectly positioned to help the organization move through challenges of change.They can train and coach all levels of SAFe® participants, from team members to executive leaders. They can also train the Scrum Master, Product Owners, and Agile Release Train Engineers, which are critical roles in SAFe®.The SPC can also train teams and help them launch their Agile Release Trains (ARTs).And they can support teams on the path to continued improvement as they continue to learn and grow.The SPC can also help identify value streams in the organization that may be ready to launch Agile Release Trains.The can also help develop rollout plans for SAFe® in the enterprise.Along with this, they can provide important communications that help the enterprise understand the drivers and value behind the SAFe® transition.       How SAFe® 4.5 is backward compatible with SAFe® 4.0?Even if your organization has already adopted SAFe® 4.0, SAFe® 4.5 has been developed in a way that can be easily adopted without disruption. Your organization can adopt the changes at the pace that works best.Few Updates in the new courseware The courseware for SAFe® 4.5 has incorporated changes to support the changes in SAFe® 4.5.They include Implementing SAFe®, Leading SAFe®, and SAFe® for Teams.Some of the changes you’ll see are as follows:Two new lessons for Leading SAFe®Student workbookTrainer GuideNew look and feelUpdated LPM contentSmoother lesson flowNEW Course Delivery Enablement (CDE) Changes were made to improve alignment between SAFe® and Scrum:Iteration Review: Increments previously known as Sprints now have reviews added. This allows more opportunities for teams to incorporate improvements. Additionally, a Team Demo has been added in each iteration review. This provides more opportunity for transparency, sharing, and feedback.Development Team: The Development team was specifically identified at the team level in SAFe® 4.5. The development team is made up of three to nine people who can move an element of work from development through the test. This development team contains software developers, testers, and engineers, and does not include the Product Owner and Scrum Master. Each of those roles is shown separately at the team level in SAFe® 4.5.Scrum events: The list of scrum events are shown next to the ScrumXP icon and include Plan, Execute, Review, and Retro (for a retrospective.)Combined SAFe® Foundation ElementsSAFe® 4.0 had the foundational elements of Core Values, Lean-Agile Mindset, SAFe® Principles, and Implementing SAFe® at a basic level.SAFe® 4.5 adds to the foundation elements by also including Lean-Agile Leaders, the Implementation Roadmap, and the support of the SPC in the successful implementation of SAFe®.Additional changes include:Communities of Practice: This was moved to the spanning palette to show support at all levels: team, program, large solution, and portfolio.Lean-Agile Leaders: This role is now included in the foundational level. Supportive leadership is critical to a successful SAFe® adoption.SAFe® Program Consultant: This role was added to the Foundational Layer. The SPC can play a key leadership role in a successful transition to Scaled Agile.Implementation Roadmap: The implementation roadmap replaces the basic implementation information in SAFe® 4.0. It provides more in-depth information on the elements to a successful enterprise transition to SAFe®.Benefits of upgrading to SAFe® 4.5With the addition of Lean Startup approaches, along with a deeper focus on DevOps and Continuous Delivery, teams will be situated to deliver quality and value to users more quickly.With improvements at the Portfolio level, teams get more guidance on Portfolio governance and other portfolio levels concerns, such as budgeting and compliance.  Reasons to Upgrade to SAFe® 4.5 Enterprises who’ve been using SAFe® 4.0 will find greater flexibility with the added levels in SAFe® 4.5. Smaller groups in the enterprise can use the team level, while groups working on more complex initiatives can create Agile Release Trains with many teams.Your teams can innovate faster by using the Lean Startup Approach. Work with end users to identify the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), then iterate as you get fast feedback and adjust. This also makes your customer more of a partner in development, resulting in better collaboration and a better end product.Get features and value to your user community faster with DevOps and the Continuous Delivery pipeline. Your teams can continuously hypothesize, build, measure, and learn to continuously release value. This also allows large organizations to innovate more quickly.Most Recent Changes in SAFe® series - SAFe® 4.6Because Scaled Agile continues to improve, new changes have been incorporated with SAFe® 4.6. with the addition of five core competencies that enable enterprises to respond to technology and market changes.Lean Portfolio Management: The information needed for how to use a Lean-Agile approach to portfolio strategy, funding, and governance.Business Solutions and Lean Systems: Optimizing activities to Implement large, complex initiatives using a Scaled Agile approach while still addressing the necessary activities such as designing, testing, deployment, and even retiring old solutions.DevOps and Release on Demand: The skills needed to release value as needed through a continuous delivery pipeline.Team and Technical Agility: The skills needed to establish successful teams who consistently deliver value and quality to meet customer needs.Lean-Agile Leadership: How leadership enables a successful agile transformation by supporting empowered teams in implementing agile practices. Leaders carry out the Agile principles and practices and ensure teams have the support they need to succeedSAFe® Agilist (SA) Certification exam: The SAFe® Agilist certification is for the change leaders in an organization to learn about the SAFe® practices to support change at all levels: team, program, and portfolio levels. These change agents can play a positive role in an enterprise transition to SAFe®.In order to become certified as a SAFe® Agilist (SA), you must first take the Leading SAFe® class and pass the SAFe® certification exam. To learn more about this, see this article on How To Pass Leading SAFe® 4.5 Exam.SAFe® Certification Exam: KnowledgeHut provides Leading SAFe® training in multiple locations. Check the site for locations and dates.SAFe® Agile Certification Cost: Check KnowledgeHut’s scheduled training offerings to see the course cost. Each course includes the opportunity to sit for the exam included in the cost.Scaled Agile Framework Certification Cost: There are multiple levels of SAFe® certification, including Scrum Master, Release Train Engineer, and Product Owner. Courses range in cost, but each includes the chance to sit for the corresponding SAFe® certification.SAFe® Classes: SAFe® classes are offered by various organizations. To see if KnowledgeHut is offering SAFe® Training near you, check the SAFe® training schedule on our website.TrainingKnowledgeHut provides multiple Scaled Agile courses to give both leaders and team members in your organization the information they need to for a successful transition to Scaled Agile. Check the site for the list of classes to find those that are right for your organization as you make the journey.All course fees cover examination costs for certification.SAFe® 4.5 Scrum Master with SSM Certification TrainingLearn the core competencies of implementing Agile across the enterprise, along with how to lead high-performing teams to deliver successful solutions. You’ll also learn how to implement DevOps practices. Completion of this course will prepare you for obtaining your SAFe® 4 Scrum Master certificate.SAFe® 4 Advanced Scrum Master (SASM)This two-day course teaches you to how to apply Scrum at the enterprise level and prepares you to lead high-performing teams in a Scaled Agile environment. At course completion, you’ll be prepared to manage interactions not only on your team but also across teams and with stakeholders. You’ll also be prepared to take the SAFe® Advanced Scrum Master exam.Leading SAFe®4.5 Training Course (SA)This two-day Leading SAFe® class prepares you to become a Certified SAFe® 4 Agilist, ready to lead the agile transformation in your enterprise.  By the end of this course, you’ll be able to take the SAFe® Agilist (SA) certification exam.SAFe® 4.5 for Teams (SP) This two-day course teaches Scrum fundamentals, principles tools, and processes. You’ll learn about software engineering practices needed to scale agile and deliver quality solutions in a Scaled Agile environment. Teams new to Scaled Agile will find value in going through this course. Attending the class prepares you for the certification exam to become a certified SAFe® 4 Practitioner (SP). DevOps Foundation Certification trainingThis course teaches you the DevOps framework, along with the practices to prepare you to apply the principles in your work environment. Completion of this course will prepare you also to take the DevOps Foundation exam for certification.
Rated 4.5/5 based on 12 customer reviews
4706
A Glimpse Of The Major Leading SAFe® Versions

A Quick view of SAFe® Agile has gained popularit... Read More

How SAFe®️ Core Values Quicken The Progress Of An Agile Team

What is Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®️)?The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®️) helps businesses address the significant challenges of developing and delivering enterprise-class software and systems in the shortest sustainable lead time. It is an online, freely revealed knowledge base of proven success patterns for implementing Lean-Agile software and systems at enterprise scale.Developed in the field, SAFe®️  draws from three primary bodies of knowledge: Agile development, systems thinking, and Lean product development. It synchronizes alignment, collaboration, and delivery for large numbers of Agile teams. Scalable and configurable, SAFe®️ allows each organization to adapt it to its own business needs. It supports smaller-scale solutions employing 50–125 practitioners, as well as complex systems that require thousands of people. Why use  SAFe®️ ?SAFe®️ combines the power of Agile with systems thinking and Lean product development. It synchronizes alignment, collaboration, and delivery for multiple Agile teams. As a result,  SAFe®️ provides dramatic improvements to business agility, including productivity, time to market, quality, and employee engagement, and more.SAFe®️ is improving business outcomes for companies of all sizes across the world. It has produced dramatic increases in time to market, employee engagement, higher quality, higher customer satisfaction, and overall improved economic outcomes. It also helps create cultures that are more productive, rewarding, and fun.QualityBuilt-In Quality practices increase customer satisfaction and provide faster and more predictable value delivery. They also improve the ability to innovate. Without quality, the Lean goal of the maximum value in the shortest sustainable lead time cannot be achieved. ProductivityWhen productivity increases, system development economics improves, as does employee engagement. For team members, productivity is a critical, personal need. Everyone feels better when they’re contributing more and doing less wasteful work.Employee EngagementAccording to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), employees with the highest level of commitment perform 21 percent better and are 65 percent less likely to leave the organization. Clearly, employee engagement is directly linked to business performance.Faster Time to MarketLean-Agile frameworks allow businesses to deliver value to the market more quickly. Companies that adopt Agile development practices routinely gain first-mover advantages and enjoy the higher gross margins afforded to market leaders. SAFe®️ enterprises typically see a 30–75 percent (as much as 3x!) improvement in time to market.SAFe®️ configurationsSAFe®️ supports the full range of development environments with four out-the-box configurationsEssential SAFe®️Portfolio SAFe®️Large Solution SAFe®️Full SAFe®️Essential SAFe®️The Essential SAFe®️ configuration is the heart of the Framework and is the simplest starting point for implementation. It’s the basic building block for all other SAFe®️ configurations and describes the most critical elements needed to realize the majority of the Framework’s benefits.  Together, the Team and Program Levels form an organizational structure called the Agile Release Train (ART), where Agile teams, key stakeholders, and other resources are dedicated to an important, ongoing solution mission.Large Solution SAFe®️The Large Solution SAFe®️ configuration is for developing the largest and most complex solutions that typically require multiple Agile release trains and Suppliers, but do not require portfolio-level considerations. The Solution Train organizational construct of the Large Solution Level helps enterprises that face the biggest challenges—building large-scale, multidisciplinary software, hardware, and complex IT systems. Building these solutions requires additional roles, artifacts, events, and coordination. Portfolio SAFe®️The Portfolio SAFe®️ configuration helps align portfolio execution to the enterprise strategy, by organizing Agile development around the flow of value, through one or more value streams. It provides business agility through principles and practices for portfolio strategy and investment funding, Agile portfolio operations, and Lean governance. Full SAFe®️The Full SAFe®️ configuration is the most comprehensive version of the Framework. It supports enterprises that build and maintain large integrated solutions, which require hundreds of people or more and includes all levels of SAFe®️: team, program, large solution, and portfolio. In the largest enterprises, multiple instances of various SAFe®️ configurations may be required. Scaled agile framework core values  - SAFe®️  SAFe®️ is broad and deep and based on both Lean and Agile principles as its foundation.Importance of core valuesCore values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization.The core values are the guiding principles that speak behavior and action.Core values can help people to know what is right from wrong.It helps companies to determine whether they are working on the right path or not.SAFe®️ upholds four Core Values: alignment, built-in quality, transparency, and program execution, as illustrated in Figure below and described in the following sections.1. AlignmentAlignment ensures that many people act as one unit or team, all pulling in the same direction. Alignment in SAFe®️ is achieved when everyone in the portfolio, and every team member on every ART, understand the strategy and the part they play in achieving it.SAFe®️ delivers alignment by orchestrating strategic themes, vision, roadmap, and PI planning. Economic prioritization and the visible flow of work through the various Kanban systems and backlogs provide visibility and transparency.2.Built-in QualityBuilt-in quality is one of the important core values of SAFe®️. The enterprise’s ability to deliver new functionality with the fastest sustainable lead time and to be able to react to rapidly changing business environments is dependent on solution quality. But built-in quality is not unique to SAFe®️. Rather, it is a core principle of the Lean-Agile mindset, where it helps avoid the cost of delays associated with recall, rework, and defect fixing. The Agile Manifesto is focused on quality as well: “Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.”The following sections summarize recommended practices for achieving built-in quality.SoftwareSAFe®️’s software quality practices—many of which are inspired by Extreme Programming (XP)— help Agile software teams ensure that the solutions they build are high quality and adaptable to change. The collaborative nature of these practices, along with a focus on frequent validation, creates an emergent culture in which engineering and craftsmanship are key business enablers. Test-Driven DevelopmentTest-Driven Development (TDD) is a philosophy and practice that recommends building and executing tests before implementing the code or a component of a system. By validating them against a series of agreed-to tests, TDD—an Agile Testing practice—improves system outcomes by assuring that the system implementation meets its requirements. TDD, along with Behavior-Driven Development (BDD), is part of the ‘test-first’ approach to Build Quality into development. Writing tests first creates a more balanced testing portfolio with many fast, automated development tests and fewer slow, manual, end-to-end tests. Acceptance Test Driven DevelopmentAcceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) is a practice in which the whole team collaboratively discusses acceptance criteria, with examples, and then distills them into a set of concrete acceptance tests before development begins. It’s the best way to ensure that all have the same shared understanding of what it is we are building. It’s also the best way to ensure we have a shared definition of Done.Behavior-Driven DevelopmentBehavior Driven Development (BDD) is a Test-First, Agile Testing practice that provides Built-In Quality by defining (and potentially automating) tests before, or as part of, specifying system behavior. BDD is a collaborative process that creates a shared understanding of requirements between the business and the Development Team. Its goal is to help guide development, decrease rework, and increase flow. Without focusing on internal implementation, BDD tests are business-facing scenarios that attempt to describe the behavior of a Story, Feature, or Capability from a user’s perspective. When automated, these tests ensure that the system continuously meets the specified behavior even as the system evolves. That, in turn, enables Release on Demand. Automated BDD tests can also serve as the definitive statement regarding the as-built system behavior, replacing other forms of behavioral specifications.Continuous IntegrationThis is the practice of merging the code from each developer’s workspace into a single main branch of code, multiple times per day. This lessens the risk of deferred integration issues and their impact on system quality and program predictability. Teams perform local integration at least daily. But to confirm that the work is progressing as intended, full system-level integration should be achieved at least one or two times per iteration.RefactoringRefactoring is “a disciplined technique for restructuring an existing body of code, altering its internal structure without changing its external behavior.” A key enabler of emergent design, refactoring is essential to Agile. To maintain system robustness, teams continuously refactor code in a series of small steps, providing a solid foundation for future development.Pair WorkSome teams follow pair programming, but that may be too extreme for many. More generally, pair work may couple developers and testers on a story. Still, others prefer more spontaneous pairing, with developers collaborating for critical code segments, refactoring of legacy code, development of interface definition, and system-level integration challenges.HardwareHardware quality is supported by exploratory early iterations, frequent system-level integration, design verification, modeling, and set-based design. The Agile architecture supports software and hardware quality.1.System IntegrationDifferent components and subsystems—software, firmware, hardware, and everything else—must collaborate to provide effective solution-level behaviors. Practices that support solution-level quality include:Frequent system and solution-level integrationSolution-level testing of functional and Nonfunctional RequirementsSystem and Solution Demos2.ComplianceSAFe®️ enterprises that build high assurance systems define their approved practices, policies, and procedures in a Lean Quality Management System (QMS). These systems are intended to ensure that development activities and outcomes comply with all relevant regulations and quality standards, as well as providing the required documentation to prove it.3.TransparencyTransparency builds trust. Trust, in turn, is essential for performance, innovation, risk-taking, and relentless improvement. Trust exists when the business and development can confidently rely on another to act with integrity, particularly in times of difficulty. Without trust no one can build high-performance teams and programs, nor build (or rebuild) the confidence needed to make and meet reasonable commitments.  And without trust, working environments are a lot less fun and motivating.Here are few SAFe®️ practices which enable trust:ARTs have visibility into the team’s backlogs, as well as other Program Backlogs.Teams and programs commit to short-term, visible commitments that they routinely meet4. Program ExecutionSAFe®️ places an intense focus on working systems and business outcomes. History shows us that while many enterprises start the transformation with individual Agile teams, they often become frustrated as even those teams struggle to deliver more substantial amounts of solution value, reliably and efficiently. That is the purpose of the ART, and that is why SAFe®️ focuses implementation initially at the Program Level. In turn, the ability of Value Streams to deliver value depends on the ability of the ARTs and Solution Trains.ConclusionThe four Core Values of alignment, built-in quality, transparency, and program execution represent the fundamental beliefs that are key to SAFe®️ effectiveness. These guiding principles help dictate behavior and action for everyone who participates in a SAFe®️ portfolio. Successful teams and programs implementing  SAFe®️ have aligned their organizations along these core values and getting many benefits—employee engagement, productivity, quality, and time to market. 
Rated 4.0/5 based on 14 customer reviews
4614
How SAFe®️ Core Values Quicken The Progress Of ...

What is Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®️)?The Sca... Read More