Scaled Agile Framework is a project management method based on step-by-step task execution. SAFe principles are suitable for situations where there is a risk of unexpected changes and the workflow cannot be planned to completion. SAFe Agile principles are typically used for situations in software product development.
Despite technical changes in the digital sphere, this proven method has remained relevant since it was formulated in 2001. Read on to master this project management method and learn about all its benefits for a SAFe business.
Basic Principles of the Scaled Agile Framework
The SAFe model is based on four basic principles. If you can determine the purpose and requirements with which you will implement this project management method, you will be able to master it much faster.
People and Relationships Between Them Are More Important Than Processes and Tools
The basis of product development is communication between the client and the implementation team, as well as between team members. Only in this way can the SAFe requirements be met. Without mutual understanding, the established processes will be useless. Agile project management requires that people involved in development quickly exchange information and understand each other correctly. Ultimately, this leads to a scaled agile enterprise framework.
Cooperation With the Client Is More Important Than Agreeing on The Terms of the Contract
In the classic project management scheme, the customer is involved only at the beginning and end of the work process. They determine the product requirements and development timeline, accept the finished result, and provide feedback. The Scaled Agile Framework core values require an active involvement of the customer in the development process. They collaborate with specialists at all stages of the process. This approach helps to quickly reach mutual understanding and complete development without missing deadlines.
Reacting Quickly to Changes Instead of Sticking to the Original Plan
The classic project management methodology involves making changes only at the last stage of work. However, this strategy is not suitable for digital. If you delay making changes, it may be too late to strengthen the team with new specialists or shift the project deadline. Therefore, the Scaled Agile Framework for enterprise offers new solutions.
A Working Program Is More Important Than Documentation
Classic project management techniques include preparing numerous documents: technical requirements, specifications, project estimates, product testing plans, and results approval plans. It takes a lot of time. To simplify the process, implement the Scaled Agile Framework principles as they involve the preparation of only the necessary documents. These alternative program files contain a list of tasks compiled based on the customer’s priorities. It is enough to develop a product without bureaucratic formalities.
How does the Scaled Agile Framework for Enterprise Work?
Now you know the basic principles of the Scaled Agile Framework, but why use the Scaled Agile Framework at all? SAFe’s core premise is to address the scaling challenges faced by large corporations, where outdated procedures and technological hierarchies make it difficult to maintain agility in the market to respond quickly to customer demands.
Let’s dive into some framework nuances. SAFe is a layered cake of different Agile software development methodologies. It supports SAFe principles and values. At the lower levels is almost traditional Scrum, with typical two- to three-week sprints, teams of 3–9 people, including the Product Owner, and all the usual rituals, starting from the daily planning standup meeting and ending with severe reprimands at the retrospective. There are also levels of coordination between departments, directors, and the client, and funds are allocated to various areas of the business.
A distinctive feature of SAFe is that the framework keeps up with the times and does not lag behind new, developing trends in business and technology. This is why implementing the Scaled Agile Framework allows enterprises to quickly adapt to changes and stay ahead of competitors by using the latest knowledge, timely reflected in the framework.
What Are the SAFe Core Values?
SAFe’s four core values are the foundation for its efficiency within various businesses. They will help your workflow, facilitate communication, and alleviate the burden of everyday tasks. Let’s take a look at the list to inspect and adapt SAFe for any business:
- High-end quality. When the SAFe practices development lifecycle is on, you can observe the results at lightning speed. Instead of wasting time on miscommunication and overworking, especially when the organization is dealing with large batches of untested work, the framework, with its high-quality features, helps speed things up.
- Transparent workflow. The transparency you provide through SAFe methodologies is the first step to trust. The management team implements the same approach to work and evaluation, and the workers know it. If there are any arguments about non-transparent actions, the framework can really make a difference.
- Consistency. Even though framework is continuously updated to keep up with the times, there is a certain consistency of the SAFe concepts. By mastering the basic concepts, there are no hurdles in teaching them to newbies. Only some features and principles may vary. As a result, businesses receive complete autonomy and decentralized decision-making. Driven employees can make better decisions. This is one of the main principles of SAFe.
- Easy performance and fast results. The first three SAFe values and principles are meaningless if teams cannot perform and consistently deliver high value. Therefore, SAFe places a strong emphasis on operational systems and business results.
These are the keys to promoting the use of the framework. Now that you have mastered and implemented the SAFe requirements, you have the cornerstone for inspection and adaptation workshops.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the SAFe Process
SAFe values are the answer to questions that arise when Agile teams interact with supporting functional teams, such as infrastructure teams, architects, and others. Implementing this method brings many benefits of SAFe, but let’s highlight the key ones.
Benefits of Scaled Agile Framework
- The method helps cross-functional teams collaborate effectively with each other.
- SAFe methodologies motivate organizations to increase their transparency to employees.
- SAFe start principles align all aspects of the project with the expanded business goal.
- Uses many good tools: WSJF, Kanban, Gemba, etc.
- SAFe processes are clear, explainable, and relatively easy to implement in organizations.
- Thanks to the Scaled Agile Framework flow of work, the functions of each employee are strictly defined, so everyone understands what to do.
- Some people feel that the framework is not flexible enough because it places a lot of emphasis on upfront planning and defining processes.
- It’s more cascading than a team-oriented approach.
- The Scaled Agile Framework enabler is very resource-intensive in communications and meetings.
- When reality does not meet expectations, response and adaptation occur rather slowly.
As practice shows, many organizations try to combine frameworks and practices to achieve better results in their team.
SAFe Implementation Results
Built on decades of hands-on experience, the Scaled Agile Framework draws on four core areas of expertise: Agile development, systems thinking, lean product development, and DevOps. If you implement Scaled Agile Framework roles, you will receive significant business results and competitive advantages.
SAFe delivers business agility and improves business results for organizations of all sizes worldwide. Many companies are already experiencing significant improvements in time-to-market, increased employee engagement, increased quality, and overall improved economic results. Do you want to become part of these successful projects? Scaled Agile Framework enablers also help create a new culture and significantly boost productivity in organizations that are supportive and positive.
Now, you have a basic idea of the benefits, core values, and possible results the framework can bring your team. But remember that this is an important decision for any organization, requiring time, effort, training, and financial costs. Getting into SAFe concepts can be a challenging task, so it is necessary to understand the framework properly. If you still have questions about implementing SAFe, there are many courses dedicated to this framework.