You work in a large organization with multiple business units, projects and programs. On the one hand you need structure to get hold of and keep track of all the changes within your organization, on the other hand you want to give your professionals as much space as possible to decide for themselves how they do their work. You know that according to agile or scrum work fits well in an individual project, but how do you deploy it within a larger organization and how do you prevent agile working becoming an excuse to no longer meet deadlines?
Before we zoom in on scalability, it is good to briefly reflect on agile. The signatories of the agile manifesto prefer:
- People and their mutual interaction above processes and tools
- Working software above comprehensive documentation
- Collaboration with the customer above contract negotiations
- Responding to change above following a plan
In doing so, they assume 12 principles:
- Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer by delivering valuable software early and continuously.
- Welcome changing needs, even late in the development process. Agile processes use change to the customer's competitive advantage.
- Deliver working software regularly. Preferably every few weeks, at most every few months.
- Business people and developers need to work together every day throughout the project.
- Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need and trust them to get the job done.
- The most efficient and effective way to share information in and with a development team is by talking to each other.
- Working software is the most important measure for progress.
- Agile processes promote constant development. Clients, developers and users must be able to sustain a constant pace forever.
- Constant attention to high technical quality and good design reinforce agility.
- Simplicity, the art of maximizing the work that is not done, is essential.
- The best architectures, requirements and designs come from self-managing teams.
- At fixed times, the team examines how it can be more effective and then adjusts its behavior accordingly.
Agile originated from ICT but in our opinion it can be applied much more widely in projects, programs, departments and other initiatives that work on a change / improvement agenda. A successful implementation of Agile stands or falls with truly embracing the underlying principles. If this does not happen, the chance of implementation failing is high.
Agile for the entire organization
In many sectors the pace of change of the 'market' is so high that there is a constant change agenda that extends from strategy up to and including the current operation. Agility is required of the entire organization. The successful introduction of this is not easy, but there is a way out.
Scalable implementation of Agile
The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is the international best practice to implement Agile in a controlled manner, by starting in the teams and then scaling up via program and solution level up to portfolio level.
SAFe is available in 4 variants, from very simple to very extensive. The most extensive variant is shown below. In version 4.6 of SAFe the 5 core competencies of a "Lean Enterprise" have also been added. A special section has also been added for governments.
SAFe not only offers a complete framework, but also a fully elaborated implementation approach with a large number of good practices. By combining this approach with the right change approach, training and by making success measurable on the basis of a number KPIs you can successfully implement agile in a scalable way.
Supply Value was involved in the successful implementation of Scaled Agile at various organizations in recent years. Learning and benefiting from our experiences? Then take contact us.