What is Scaled Agile Framework?

What is Scaled Agile Framework?

Many development teams especially those trying to create an environment of continuous delivery, when we think of agile we often think of high levels of collaboration and flexibility as well as the iterative environment.  Its requirements evolve alongside the changing needs. So, as a result; we also tend to conceptualize agile as an approach that helps development teams across various industries deliver new features faster; but how do we get there?

What does the history of agile in time and how can knowing the history of agile help us better understand the methodology? And its positive impact on today’s development work.

Today agile has become popular but the challenge which comes across which the practitioner is actually faced was:

  1. Lack of experience with agile methodologies.  Little understanding of frameworks methods and how to implement
  2. The implementation is easy for a small project. But when you want to scale it to a bigger organization, complex environment, coordination, dependency management between distributed teams geographically, it becomes challenging with a simple agile framework.
  3. Thirdly having a clear understanding of what needs to be completed in the sprints and what the bigger picture is supported aligning the entire organization and managing commitments.

So organization required alignment of the products or services which are being produced by the project needs an alignment.

So the need for alignment was basically to ensure the organization gets the value out of whatever they have invested.

The value of that particular product or service introduced to the market is realized by the users that are very important.

What is Scaled Agile Framework?

To define scaled agile framework, it consists of a collection of principles, best practices, and processes that would enable large organizations to adopt agile methodologies. It helps them deliver products and services of the highest quality faster and safer.

Moreover, it is best suited for complex projects that involve several large teams in the projects program and portfolio liberals

It has seven core competencies based on which it can help organizations the, large organization in specific.

So if a certain core value is basically alignment built-in quality, transparency, and program execution.

The responsibility for strategy and alignment cannot rest with the combined opinions of the teams.

No matter how good they are instead alignment must rely on Enterprises’s business objective.

So it also needs to require to keep up with the change in the computations and then the dynamics across the environment where the organization is doing their business.

16 Principles of Scaled Agile Framework:

The important principles of the scaled agile framework are as follows:

1. Built-in quality:

Built-in quality is basically to ensure that every element and every increment of the solutions reflect quality standards throughout the development lifecycle.

Building quality is a prerequisite of a clean project.  Without it, the organization will lightly operate with large batches of unverified unvalidated work. It leads to the product or services which is not okay. Also, that would lead to excessive rework which is not good.

Transparency which basically needs to enable teams to rely on each other they should trust it needs to be built.

So based on which high performance can happen so wherever that trust exists.

So when the business and development can confidently rely on each other to act with integrity.

2. Trust:

Particularly in times of responding quickly or to work out a solution for resolving something which is actually not allowing things to move forward.

Without trust, no one can build high-performance teams and programs.

The confidence needed to make reasonable commitments is very very essential so forth is program execution

Safe focuses on working systems and business outcomes which mainly for example for teams to execute and continuously deliver value.

Intense focus on working systems and business outcomes so is because many enterprises start the transformation with individual agile teams.

They often become frustrated areas even those teams struggle to deliver a more substantial amount of solution, value, reliability, and efficiency.

3. Deliver solutions:

Delivering solutions with better value reliability and efficiency effectiveness is very very essential.

Here we are speaking about ensuring the scalability of the bigger organization.

Program management plays a very important role so that requires a lot of communication collaboration.

Without better execution of that without handling it better things cannot go the way it is

Various competencies SAF recommends so safe competencies involves:

  • Team and technical agility
  • Agile product delivery enterprises
  • Management organizational agility
  • Continuous learning culture and then
  • Lean-agile leadership

So, when we mean to say technical agility so agile teams are high-performing, and cross-functional business solutions are built by business and technical teams delighting customers with high-quality output.

That requires an able team that understands agile frameworks which follow it which comply with them.

4. Agile Product Delivery:

Agile product delivery actually refers to the scenario where the customer is at the center of the organization’s product strategy.

So a building big system with the help of lean coordinating and aligning the entire supply chain evolving the life of the system is continuously required to ensure the visibility of entire enterprises.

Providing solutions accordingly lean portfolio management which basically focuses on aligning the strategy funding and execution optimizing operations across the portfolio.

Decentralized decision-making powered by lightweight governance then organizational agility.

A lean agile mindset is created across the enterprise is very essential.

For example, I am working on a project. If HR does not understand my project dynamics and if they are not agile.

5. Project Organization:

Project organization will not help similarly with the procurement.

Similarly, the processes so very essential for all the organizational units to become a giant so that business operations are able to complement.

Contribute that speed or the change what is required so opportunities and threats are addressed quickly.

Risks are identified and addressed quickly so they were worked on it so risk management can become easier with

the involvement of the right stakeholders. In this scenario, everyone learns and grows together.

6. Exploration & Creativity:

Exploration and creativity are very an important part of an organization where they should be an innovation creation execution.

Maybe you may have across certain terms like intelligent risk-taking.

So learning through failures failure will lead towards inquiry not towards blaming.

All the things which are more and more discussed when we want to make an organization a learning organization the continuous improvement of solutions services and processes are everyone’s responsibility

It inspires others to align words actions and the mindset to lean-agile principles and values lead change and guide others. So this requires a lot of accountability and ensuring the correct information.

Moreover, well-informed individuals take forward things.

7. Competencies:

Considering competencies of what happens in each of the competencies, how to safely work using these competencies. So firstly let us look at the team and technical agility which basically involves an agile team of five elements.

That helps to define build test and deploy products so this is done by dividing the task into small, easier manage & time-boxed iterations.

Right then come to the team led by the scrum master and supported by the product order plan and then deliver the product in increments.

Further, after delivery, they have a retrospective to determine how the tractions went and how they can be improved.

8. Adopt the Right Agile Framework:

This is incorporated into the next iterations planning phase so the method used here could be Scrum or Kanban.

Both are popular the combination of this can be used. Scrum basically helps in ensuring that things move in iterations and everything is visible and delivered.

Whereas Kanban supports the terms of making it more visible and being able to manage it better.

A large organization usually consists of several agile teams is led by their respective scrum masters.

These teams together represent child-released reins also called art.

They usually involve 50 to 125 people cross-functional and involved. Everyone who understands customer needs and can help with building and delivering the solution required.

9. Agile Delivery:

Agile delivery practices include the one used by the teams to deliver value to the customers so it uses time-boxed iterations called program increments or peers

it usually involves four to five iterations all the teams get together to plan their work during planning events.

They should work together. They should have full visibility while doing it.

So three major components which are required when we do a product delivery is:

the release train engineer,  project management, and System Architect.

A release engineer represents the coach of the art facilitated the PA planning process. The project management provides the vision for the project and the backlog of the tasks.

The system architect provides architectural guidance for the process and then the teams then make plans regarding what they would be able to deliver.

The program board is also drawn up to determine dependencies between the teams which also goes through program iterations

Moreover, DevOps is becoming more popular today which actually provides that visibility needs for collaboration.

Need for cultural transformation so which helps in terms of bringing that agility across the organization as well as a learning organization.

10. Try finding Solutions:

Learn what can fail and what is the solution for it and that can help in terms of becoming a more resilient and reliable system

So DevOps has become popular and adoption of that discussion on that becomes more common across the organization’s

11. Enterprise Solution Deliver:

Let us look at scenarios where a single art may not be able to deliver an appropriate solution.

A solution train that coordinates multiple arts and suppliers would be able to provide solutions in large and complex scenarios. So it means consideration of the enterprise has a hole. Seeing into and organization’s entire visibility so basically what is that we are trying to achieve so alignment.

We discussed which requires the objective organization because the organization is investing.  So whatever we will do what various different levels it should complement each other rather than contradict so that complimenting thought or complimenting visibility can happen only when someone has bigger visibility.

Solution Management:

Enterprise word file output than the three major components that are required in the enterprise solution delivery would be solution management solutions architect and solution train engineer the solution management holds content.

Authority or what needs to be built solution architect handles the architecture across the art solution.

Train engineer enables coaching and facilitating of solutions train events

12. Organizational ability:

Organizational agility should ensure the organization’s various business units in the organization should be with that dynamics of agility which the organization is going through.

If you have a project where you have you have adopted agile methodology.

It’s quite obvious for your pace for your flexibility for your speed.

Other business units which are working with you to support you should also complement that they cannot become slower, they cannot have their own pace of doing things like in your project.

You have a procurement, you have a recruitment, you have some claims to be clear from HR maybe you’re dependent on certain tools and environments.

Now if these are not agile if these are not responding at the same flexibility or same speed that the agile project team requires then obviously things will not flow further.

13. Manage Operations:

Now when we say agile of obviously we introduce products or services quickly to the environment now someone is to manage we have operations.

Operations manage the products or services of which they are not aware now even there the agility is required.

Keep introducing the new products or sir to the environment, the operation should also be well informed and educated about it.

So that they can monitor and manage them effectively and efficiently if they fail

Using it will not have a good experience. Your product or services may have great features functionalities but if whenever there is a query about that product features or functionality.

Whenever there is an issue the incident with user actually counts the first point of contact for users would be the operations.

The moment operations fail to respond with the right clarifications or right resolution quickly then obviously user experience will result in not a good way.

14. Organizational ability:

Customer satisfaction or customer delight will be at stake. Say, one operation should become again, so rest of the business units which are supporting like funding.

We know about funding is not done in an agile way. Obviously, things cannot move smoother or easier so everything across the organization should become agile.

Organizational agility has to be ensured so enabling a portfolio with strategic agility making changes in the direction.

Depending on the scenario then encouraging the growth of lean thinking people and agile teams so people should be working towards ensuring creating value.

What they do should be enabled through it. So they should also know whatever we are doing how this particular task or the work or the results.

Creating results in value addition or value creation to the organization. Does it really align with the organization’s requirements? Is it fulfilling maybe the customer as a stakeholder or organization? The business unit is actually investing in this project.

So in that context or in that perspective, everyone should be aware of that alignment. The directions the vision then focusing on value and helping with organizing and reorganizing building an environment for the flow of value across the organization.

15. Understanding Value:

So everyone should realize value.  So the value is what value can be defined in the perspective of every individual’s background and every individual’s requirement. Because it is a perceived one.

So there may be the real thing that we have created what perception is different. so the perceived versus what is actually created should be as closer as possible.

So zero deviation is an expectation but difficult. However, it should have a tendency towards it should actually be very near to that perceived reality.

So, how to realize that value? How to know how these features and functionalities can be used?

So now if you educate that customer user how to use it what are the values it can create and do some exercise in terms of educating, training, coaching customer, can visualize it.

The customer is very mature and our product does not have the features and functionality required.

Therefore,  in terms of usage of products and services and realizing those values, this has to be encouraged more and more.

So further continuous learning culture so when we say learning.

It’s quite obvious organizations should keep maturing individuals in the organization should keep maturing in terms of capabilities in terms of ability to do new things.

Innovate the knowledge the capability skills competencies so that can be possible only through learning.

So learning should be continuous so this end shorts an atmosphere of innovation and constant improvement until organizations become learning organizations.

Each individual each professional, engineer, executives invest their time in learning. They learn through what they are doing they go through formal training they bring.

16. Create a Product Portfolio:

The product portfolio is the business portfolio. So understanding of that and complementing to that is very essential.

The full safe is a comprehensive configuration that includes all competencies and ensures business agility.

So advantages and disadvantages of safe so advantages involve enabling decentralized decision making it eases collaboration across cross-functional teams.

It ensures and decisions are made with strategic objectives in mind.

Final Words:

Additional layers of oversight which makes it resemble the waterfall approach the top-down approach can limit understanding of the software lifecycle and cause bad planning.

Therefore, visibility is very essential then larger planning cycles and roles that are fixed in development cycles.

Written by Liam Rhoehler

Hi', I am Adam. I've been with HowNest since October 2017. My research work, articles, whitepapers cover all areas of technology such business software applications, employee management, operation management, agile scrum, etc.

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