The Essence of Servant Leadership

Posted by Rodger Koopman on Nov 11, 2020 8:48:48 AM

In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins studies what differentiates great companies from good companies. The answer? Great leadership.

I’m not surprised. Not only did I spend 15 years in the world’s greatest leadership laboratory (the U.S. military), but I have also worked for some fantastic people whose leadership had obvious positive impacts on their organizations. So what did I learn over the course of 30-odd years while working with some amazing leaders? It’s simple—leadership matters, especially servant leadership. Servant leaders put the needs of others first to meet the collective goals of the company. Without great (or at least good) servant leadership, organizations fail.

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Topics: Transformation, Leadership, Agile

2020 SAFe Summit Lean Coffee with Dean Leffingwell

Posted by Alyssa Hamilton on Nov 5, 2020 8:41:48 AM

In this short, interactive Lean Coffee with Dean Leffingwell, the creator and co-founder of the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe), Dean presents his excellent musings and chalk-talk answers on the following topics:

  • Critical Success Factors for a Lean-Agile Center of Excellence and Roadmap for Organizational Agility
  • Roadmap for SAFe 6.0
  • The Do's and Don'ts when implementing Lean Portfolio Management
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Topics: SAFe®, Transformation, Sustainability, Lean Portfolio Management

The 4 Must-Dos for Leading a Safe and Successful DevOps Transformation

Posted by Ryan Ferguson on Sep 24, 2020 1:28:56 PM

When a company invests in DevOps, it’s investing in speed: speed to market, speed to new ideas, speed to respond, and speed to recover. DevOps is a lot like roller coasters, sports cars, or anything else that goes zoom — if you don’t first build in safety, nobody will be comfortable going fast. The consequences of disregarding this could be disastrous, and it is up to leadership to provide that support and vision to ensure a successful transformation.

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Topics: Transformation, Leadership, DevOps

OKR Writing 101: How to Write an Effective OKR

Posted by Saajan Panikar on Mar 31, 2020 1:48:19 PM

OKR. OKR. OKR. If you’re like me, you’ve seen this acronym everywhere. OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, are the latest craze in Enterprise and Strategy management. They sound simple and straightforward enough, but writing an effective OKR can be much more challenging than it seems.

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Topics: Transformation, Agile

Beyond Automation: How to Succeed with DevOps

Posted by Cathy McGraw on Feb 18, 2020 10:03:04 AM

We’ve heard the message of DevOps: Automate Everything.

Automate code testing. Automate workflows. Automate infrastructure. Create the no-touch deploy. Empower the application developer to deploy directly into production. Sounds simple enough, right?

As your organization begins its DevOps transformation, you may become preoccupied with automation, forgetting that there are other DevOps concepts to address in your environment. The Scaled Agile Framework® references CALMR (Culture, Automation, Lean Flow, Metrics, Risk & Recovery) to highlight the importance of more than automation in DevOps. In this article, we’ll address the other concepts to keep in mind while on the DevOps journey.

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Topics: SAFe®, Transformation, DevOps

Introduction to DevSecOps

Posted by Nishant Sasidharan on Oct 9, 2019 9:03:27 AM

DevOps is a market buzzword, with nearly every enterprise trying to implement DevOps to remain relevant in their industry. When I was first introduced to DevOps, I was skeptical—over 40 deployments in a day and 200x shorter lead times? I was extremely concerned about the security and robustness of these builds being deployed, as the only artifacts to support this were from smaller companies. There was nothing to prove that DevOps worked in large enterprises.

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Topics: Transformation, DevOps

A Coach's Guide to Spreading Agility through the Enterprise

Posted by Rodger Koopman on Sep 24, 2019 9:58:49 AM

How does a Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe) Transformation stick and sustain? An important key to success is having communicative leaders who commit to organizational culture change. While this commitment is best obtained from the C-suite or VPs early in the sales cycle, it is also the hardest. SAFe Transformations tend to start and stop in the IT department, where the primary goal is to produce a faster software development lifecycle.

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Topics: Business Agility, SAFe®, Transformation, Sustainability, Leadership

8 Common Reasons Why SAFe® Transformations Fail (and how to avoid them)

Posted by Saajan Panikar on Aug 14, 2019 9:38:44 AM

Agile is disciplined; not reckless.

“That’s not how we do things here.”

“That will never work for us.”

“That’s not our culture.”

Sound familiar? Maybe you’ve heard or even said one of these phrases before. If so, you might be trudging through a Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe) Transformation.

If you think that your SAFe Transformation is doomed to fail because your organization is unique—so unique that industry best practices couldn’t possibly apply to you—then let’s dispel that myth right now. That's not why SAFe Transformations fail. Sure, context matters, but at the end of the day, large enterprises across all industries have the same problems.

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Topics: SAFe®, Transformation, Sustainability, Leadership

Why Do We Need Business Agility?

Posted by Susan Strain on Aug 6, 2019 9:29:06 AM

...Because the world is moving too fast not to be Agile!

At the XP 2002 Conference, The Standish Group showcased their study of how often features were used in a typical system. According to the results, features were used “often” or “always” only 20% of the time. 15 years later in 2017, after the software development world had largely embraced incremental delivery methods, the Standish Group conducted the same study again. The result? Still only 20% of features were used “often." There was little to no significant change.


So why didn’t the percentage increase? What inhibited the growth of using features in a system, despite the increase in Agile delivery methods?
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Topics: Business Agility, Transformation, Leadership

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