SAFe in 3

I see three things I feel as strong advantages within Safe (ScaledAgileFramework):


1. OPERATIONAL (Scrum/Agile): The fact that we find and synchronize a chain of systems that provides support for at least one value stream.

  • Develop solutions in cooperation across the systems with common pace and goal, as well as create a sustainable flow of new solutions
  • Create predictability through transparency towards customer/market


2. TACTICAL (Beyond Budgeting): We can curb budgeting hysteria in favour of focusing on the task

  • Remove the evil elements of reporting for reporting purposes alone and thus harness the fear that these structures nourish
  • Properly managed, capitalise on the predictability instead of URGE for cost follow-ups that do not create value for the customer


3. STRATEGIC (Respect for people and cultures):

  • Train and work for an agile leadership that embraces the agile values and to act accordingly:
    • Manage change,
    • have a lifelong learning,
    • develop staff,
    • inspire through vision and eliminate unnecessary procedures and policies,
    • decentralize decisions
    • and unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers
  • Establish Product Ownership with quorum, i.e. add product owners with a mandate to establish and prioritize content of development
  • Establish close and fruitful relations based on trust and respect with suppliers (expose supplier to competition only when absolutely necessary)

Value streams for a sustainable workplace

Today everyone is transforming their businesses and becoming digitalised. What happened is that we discovered that we have a big load of data that we previously didn’t know how to process, and with all the SOA and cloud development (which were buzzing during the 00’s) new information-intersections becomes available for real, are now opening up new venues to capitalise upon. And we named it digitalisation.

To get going with our digitalisation ambitions we need to transfer requirements for new features in our systems in a fast pace manner. All too often have I seen a Change Request process, funnelling ideas into a PMO or a subset there of. I am not alone to know that these funnels usually have an effectiveness of 1-5%. There is a lot of standstill and when the process is running there are a lot of wasteful decision making among people who are not concerned with the actual outcomes. This is bureaucracy at its worst and there is no need for it. Continue reading “Value streams for a sustainable workplace”

How to foster a fear-less, can-do organisation

Whether I have been in a project or in the line there have always been cases where I or others needed to confirm our decisions. Being it the Business Analyst needs to address the Project Manager in order to decide on a feature priority, or a Test Manager debating quality with the Dev. Teamleader and then have the issue resolved through the Project Manager. Sometimes the Project Manager can’t answer on how to commit resources to the project and the Project Manager have to go to the steering group for advice. These examples might be a bit ludicrous, but the point I am trying to prove is that the running for confirmation takes a lot of time and energy and it usually isn’t really issues that need to be solved through the hierarchy. We are fostered that this is the way to align decisions and the structures surrounding us doesn’t really support any other way. We fear the consequences of not conforming to the hierarchy, the subliminal rules, and the business policies.

These structures need to change, and it needs to change on several levels. Continue reading “How to foster a fear-less, can-do organisation”

Disrupting the Project Iron Triangle

The project iron triangle; scope, time and costs. While risking a breach in the boundary of any of the three, only quality is left to give way to the schedules and costs as well as, in most cases, an ambiguous scope.

“only quality is left to give way for schedules, costs and ambiguous scope”

The Project Iron Triangle
The Project Iron Triangle

Even if this seems to be the only way to responsibly deal with planning and control, it does put a lot of unnecessary strain on the organisation and the individual. Let me explain why.

Let’s face it; how many times have you been through the process of changing a deadline or asking for more resources from the steering group in order to reach the project objectives. We have already accepted the fact that costs and time are fluid and we desperately try to control them, but to no avail. Instead of staring us blind at cost and time, we have to turn the situation around and start focusing on quality and value. Let time and costs become fixed, and let the scope become fluid. If the outcome is of importance to the client/customer (which it always is), we will find a way of collaborating a solution. This might lead to the comment;

– That is wishful thinking, since clients want a fixed price, or at least trustworthy predictions.
– Well, how is that working out for you?

Think about it; what does a fixed price make the supplier do? The supplier adds risk, plan for risk, prepare for risk. A lot of planning for disasters. This is what some of the creators to the Agile manifesto say on the topic;

Learn to trust in your ability to respond to unpredictable events;
it’s more important than trusting in your ability to plan for disaster.

Continue reading “Disrupting the Project Iron Triangle”