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

Agile Contracts- How changing the way you work with vendors can streamline your development

Posted by Saahil Panikar on Nov 18, 2018 10:05:00 AM

Agile is disciplined, not reckless.

If you've ever worked for an organization that has hired an external vendor, you may have noticed challenges with vendor management, including projects being delivered over budget, behind schedule, and sometimes obsolete or irrelevant after market-conditions changed during development. These challenges are especially common for Agile companies working with software vendors that primarily run Waterfall projects and teams.

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Topics: Business Agility

The Synergistic Nature of PI Objectives

Posted by Charlene M. Cuenca on Oct 4, 2018 11:45:00 AM

Connecting the Dots Between Goals and Outcomes

In line with the SAFe Core Values, PI Objectives create a synergistic effect between business and IT, resulting in alignment, transparency, and efficient program execution. This synergy manifests itself during the PI Planning event and continues throughout the PI Cycle as value delivered is demonstarted to the business incrementally. It has the ancillary benefit of increasing the quality of backlog items socialized to teams as part of PI Planning readiness.

Check out Charlene's presentation and gain an appreciation for how Business Value Scoring provides evidence on the amount of synergy acheived.

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Topics: SAFe®

Enterprise Backlog Structure and Management

Posted by Charlene M. Cuenca on Oct 30, 2017 12:58:00 PM

Program execution is one of the four SAFe® Core Values. To achieve successful program execution, organizations need an efficient system that defines the backlogs of the value to be delivered, the roles that manage them, and the proper timelines for refinement at every level of SAFe. Understanding that we are already doing some form of preparedness today, with our own checklists and timelines being more ad hoc, this article illustrates how to connect the levels to enable ‘continuous Program Increment (PI) readiness.’ This requires contemplating these processes to provide an organized thread aligning them and the people using them to make them more cohesive. To pursue this, we adopt Principle #2, Apply Systems Thinking.

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Topics: SAFe®

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