Do you have the 7 Dimensions of a Great SPC?

Posted by John H. Thompson on Jul 16, 2019 9:43:54 AM

If you’re a newly minted SAFe Program Consultant (SPC), then congratulations! After all your agile/project/program management experience and diligent studying to pass a difficult exam, you deserve a sense of accomplishment. However, as you may already suspect, your journey has only just begun. To be an effective SPC for years to come, more will be required.

Today’s topic is near and dear to my heart. I’ve had the opportunity to work with and observe several great SPCs during the last five years, and I’ve learned nuances and success patterns for the multifaceted endeavor of becoming a great SPC.

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Topics: SAFe®, Coaching, Transformation, Leadership

The Great Agile Transformation Misunderstanding

Posted by Frank Rios on Jul 2, 2019 11:17:35 AM

 

Have you ever said a word to someone, let’s say “puppy,” and got a positive reaction from one person, and a negative reaction from someone else? Why is that? It’s the same word! It turns out there are two types of meanings to words, and it’s the second type that makes all the difference in the world.

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Topics: Business Agility, Coaching, Transformation

5 Little Changes that Make a Big Difference in your SAFe® Transformation

Posted by Mitch Malloy on Jun 11, 2019 8:25:39 AM

A colleague suggested I write this article, and I quickly agreed, thinking to myself, “No sweat! There are so many little things that can make a big difference. I can type this out in no time.”

Now pause. Go back and review that last thought. Do you see a flaw in my logic here? “There are so many little things...I can type this out in no time.” Did I really think a long list of things would make this task any easier? That it would make the writing process fly by?

It took me three weeks to write this article. The fact that there are so many small changes that can have a huge impact on a SAFe® Transformation made my heart beat a little faster every time I thought about it. I kept putting my thoughts down and picking them up again, and the list kept growing and growing.

Isn’t this similar to any organizational transformation (or any large initiative, for that matter)? Every good idea gets added onto the transformation until you aren’t sure where to start or end. Ideas grow and take on lives of their own, spawning more ideas. The resulting list can become overwhelming, potentially frightening those involved and even driving them to resist.

Fortunately, the solution to my problem and the organizational transformation problem above are the same: put on your Product Thinking Cap and prioritize ruthlessly, coming up with a short, doable list of the most important things that can make the greatest impact. Your list doesn’t have to be perfect or comprehensive, but as you focus on small efforts with the biggest impact, you will begin to move forward in the right direction.

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Topics: SAFe®, Coaching, Transformation, Sustainability, Leadership

10 Teaching Tips for Your First SAFe® Classes

Posted by Scott Green & Randy Smith on Jun 4, 2019 8:39:56 AM

You’re a new SPC gearing up to teach your first class in the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®), i.e., formal training with lots of slides. You’re probably a bit nervous, maybe unsure about how to present all this information in an engaging, relevant way.

Want some advice? Preparation is key to success. Take it from two battle-hardened SAFe veterans who’ve taught thousands of studentsgoing in prepared gives you greater self-confidence, more flexibility, and an opportunity to be more strategic with what you and your students will get out of the class. The end result? Grateful students who walk away feeling confident that SAFe will work for their organization, and maybe even inspired to teach their own classes someday.

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Topics: SAFe®, Leadership, Training

5 Tips for Leading a Great Inspect & Adapt Workshop

Posted by Randy Smith on May 22, 2019 11:56:23 AM

OK, you’re an RTE or an SPC in the IP iteration at the end of your PI. You’re getting ready to run the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) Inspect and Adapt (I&A) Workshop, and it seems a bit daunting. It’s big. It’s a bit complicated. It’s got lots of people. Maybe you’re wondering if it’s even worth it. Trust me, it is. And I promise that an I&A is easier than it seems.

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Topics: SAFe®, Coaching

6 Videos that Reveal the Secrets of Lean-Agile Leadership

Posted by Susan Strain on May 17, 2019 9:27:48 AM

As a leader, how do you create an environment that is nimble enough to thrive in an era of digital disruption?

Certainly not through “Command and Control,” which has been the prevailing management model for decades. Nothing limits creativity or the growth of new leadership quite like an “I know best” attitude. So what’s a better alternative?

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Topics: SAFe®, Transformation, Leadership

5 Common (and Wrong) Expectations of a SAFe® Transformation

Posted by Travis Reed on May 9, 2019 8:27:11 AM

"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."

Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince (1532)

SAFe® is all the rage, folks. With over 300,000 trained SAFe practitioners in demand all over the globe, including at over 70% of Fortune 100 companies, The Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) is by far the most popular framework for scaling agile. Considering that Scaled Agile, Inc. started in 2010, this growth is no small feat. SAFe has a positive track record as the most viable framework for better solution delivery (just see one of their 50+ case studies), and many businesses may view it as the silver bullet to solve their modern value delivery problems.

It’s in our instinct to ‘seek the path of least resistance’, and SAFe could very well be the easiest, most clearly defined way to scale agile. Consequently, it’s common to enter a SAFe Transformation with a set of false expectations. Whether you’re considering SAFe or just starting the journey, my goal is to help you prepare for reality.

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Topics: SAFe®, Coaching, Transformation, Sustainability

Agile Coaching & Organizational Healing

Posted by Charles Osburn on Apr 23, 2019 12:07:26 PM

As Agile Coaches we are constantly faced with the responsibility of training, mentoring, facilitating, and coaching.  I’m going to suggest that coaching is about raising awareness in an organization, with clients who are whole and well.  The client has everything they need to accomplish what they desire.  As their coach, we are helping them expand their awareness in a way and at a rate they can fully accept. Each client will develop their own path forward. 

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Topics: Business Agility, Coaching

Free ICON Maturity Assessment Tool for your SAFe® Transformation

Posted by Susan Strain on Apr 16, 2019 6:03:31 PM

Let’s consider a common request from Agile Transformation teams and PMO offices: Have you assessed the Agile maturity of your teams?

This seems like a reasonable ask—after all, the teams are the ones responsible for creating the shippable software every two weeks. But do team-based metrics tell the whole story?

Now consider this: Is it possible for teams (even high performing teamsto be limited by the Agility of their executives, stakeholders, managers, and shared services?

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Topics: SAFe®

Creating Great Products with Enterprise Business Agility

Posted by Saahil Panikar on Mar 16, 2019 1:14:19 PM

Agile is disciplined; not reckless.

There have been many trends throughout the history of software development, and very few constants. One such constant is the belief that IT is special and needs to be treated differently. And because IT needs to be treated differently, you need a special department that interfaces with IT and makes sure that everything runs smoothly. This has led to IT and Business being managed in separate silos, and collaboration being forced by Program Management Offices (PMOs). If you’re familiar with this dynamic, you may appreciate the quagmire of approvals, gates, and checks that must be navigated to successfully accomplish anything.

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Topics: Business Agility

Sustainable Solutions Since 1992

For 27 years, ICON has been transforming organizations' software and business development processes with talented, engaging, and empathetic individuals. This blog is place for our Coaching Community to share their insights and experiences with you.

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