Common Questions to Implementing SAFe [#SAFe #Implementing #AgileNewsAndViews]

COMMON QUESTIONS TO IMPLEMENTING SAFE [#SAFe #Implementing #AgileNewsAndViews]

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is the de facto standard to promote alignment, collaboration, and delivery across large numbers of Agile teams within a large organization.

QUESTION #1: CAN I REALLY CHANGE LEADERSHIP AND EMPLOYEE BEHAVIORS?
QUESTION #2: HOW CAN COMPLIANCE BE ACHIEVED AND PROVEN TO REGULATORS?
QUESTION #3: CAN I CONFIGURE AND TAILOR SAFE TO OUR NEEDS?

QUESTION #1: CAN I REALLY CHANGE LEADERSHIP AND EMPLOYEE BEHAVIORS?
Staff can be ready to change software practices but not necessarily ready and willing to adopt a particular framework.

Many organizations have tried multiple frameworks and because they may not have been successful, they decide to give up. There has been evidence that as frameworks are implemented, particularly multiple times, the development teams get frustrated and may oppose new framework adoption. This is true on a team level and all the way up to the leadership within the organization.

In addition, large-scale frameworks such as SAFe tend to explain their structures and processes in a theoretical way. This means that they provide little guidance on how organizations can assess their overall readiness to undertake a large-scale Agile transformation process. Because of this, executives may sense a lack of readiness and they do not have any mechanism to clearly identify their issues.

To ease up some of this worry and doubt within organizations, SAFe is one of the earliest to focus on leadership training.

If you want to find which leaders will make the change or are at least open to it take a look and find a training by SAFe. Then provide it to your leadership team as an opt-in activity. Go to that training and see who attends and who does no. Those who want to attend are more likely to have a growth mindset that is well aligned with Agile values.

Leaders need to be open to new approaches to their own behaviors. These trainings will alter not just the impact a leader is trying to make, but their words and body language as they perform their day to day activities.

QUESTION #2: HOW CAN COMPLIANCE BE ACHIEVED AND PROVEN TO REGULATORS?
When developing security and safety into products for markets such as IoT, industrial, medical, automotive, avionics, and defense, we are faced with an unacceptable social or economic cost of failure. Most of these developments are subject to regulatory or industry compliance requirements, such as FDA CPT 11, IEC 62 304, Automotive Spice, etc.

However, software developers and the others building these cyber-physical systems should not have to worry about compliance. But the important thing is that as they follow their processes they will automatically be compliant with these various requirements.

Historically these regulatory and compliance guidelines have assumed a waterfall, phase gate approach to product development.

So, can Lean-Agile practices using SAFe be applied in these environments? Definitely!

SAFe has the built-in hooks for an organization to stay compliant within their processes. Being Agile is high compliance industries such as MedTech or Automotive is still possible.

To satisfy compliance standards, organizations must demonstrate that their systems meet the intended purpose without causing harm. They must also have the objective evidence required to prove conformance to those standards. An organization’s Quality Management System (QMS) defines policies, processes, and procedures that ensure development activities and outcomes comply with all relevant regulations and provide the artifacts required to prove it.

This means those who want the benefits of Lean-Agile development (faster time to market and higher quality to name a few) will typically have to evolve a Lean QMS.

Products, such as Applied SAFe, created mappings to various reference models like CMMI, Automotive SPICE 3.0, IEC 62304, CTR-180 (FDA) and others. Therefore, as a company, you can be Agile, efficient and compliant to regulatory requirements within organizational processes and even in your tailored instances of Portfolio, VS, Programs, and Teams.

Overall, SAFe helps organizations improve their regulatory compliance while delivering value with higher quality, greater predictability, and faster time to market. Continually addressing compliance concerns is one of the 8 practices of SAFe’s Business Solution and Lean Systems competency.

QUESTION #3: CAN I CONFIGURE AND TAILOR SAFE TO OUR NEEDS?
SAFe is not a one-size-fits-all framework. It does have the ability to be tailored and configured to the needs of each company.

Within the latest version of the framework, SAFe focuses on 4 configurations of SAFe — Essential SAFe, Portfolio SAFe, Large Solution SAFe and Full SAFe. Essential SAFe is the primary configuration and the foundation on which everything else is built. It provides a starting point for implementing SAFe and describes the most critical elements needed to realize the majority of the framework’s benefits. Only after this foundation is in place should the other three configurations of SAFe be considered.

Overall, the SAFe approach to software development is useful to companies producing or releasing products on a large scale. It enables sales and marketing to estimate release dates, finance to consider budget and funding, and it puts the stakeholders / customers at ease to be able to see further into the future than 3 weeks, even at a coarse level.

ADAPTED FROM
Common Obstacles/Questions to Implementing SAFe
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