Series (6 of 7): Building High-Performing ART — “Give Your ART a SAFe Framework”

Tasmania-building-frameworkThe title is a pun! SAFe is a framework. Seriously, provide  your Agile teams or team of Agile teams a framework…a structure.

Agile teams need framework/structure to thrive! A framework that could help them build the best systems that they could ever build.

A hot framework today is SAFe… specially with large / big corporations…because it –among other great reasons — could scale up to the portfolio level which in turn  connects the portfolio to the enterprise via “Strategic Themes”. Agile is no longer for small-scale Agile team… pointer-for-informationbut also for team of Agile Teams…and team of team of Agile teams….and team of team of team of Agile teams…yeah, you get the picture…it scales up! People thrive! Enterprise and customers benefit!

Let me tell you a bit about SAFe…just a teeny little bit… and I am not at all selling SAFe to you. I just like SAFe.

Here is a description of SAFe from its makers: “SAFe combines the power of Agile with Lean product development and systems thinking. It synchronizes alignment, collaboration, and delivery for multiple Agile teams. As a result, it dramatically improves business agility by accelerating productivity, time-to-market, quality, employee engagement, and more

SAFe is a Lean-Agile framework…that you can mold to your organization’s needs. It supports a full range of development environments, from the simplest to the most complex, using four new configurations of the framework (see image below).

Full SAFe Configuration
Full SAFe Configuration

It can scale up from team to program to large solution to portfolio level. Most companies start with ‘essential SAFe’ (program-level plus team-level). Some even start — and stay permanently — in the middle of  the ‘Full SAFe configuraton’ — the program-level — and then subcontract the team-level planning and execution to an outside vendor.

the-shuhari-of-agile-48-728SAFe is a Framework that is open to customization. If you intend to customize it, do so after you have learned SAFe and lived it…have a sense of mastery of it first…then take it to the next level: customization; then to the next level: with your mature Lean-Agile mindset, you depart from the framework to fit your reality.

At a personal level, here is an example: I love to cook. When I try a new recipe, I follow the instruction. After a while, I make changes to the recipe;

Adobo -- Thousands of variations of this popular dish in the Philippines...Shuhari in action!
Adobo — Thousands of variations of this popular dish in the Philippines…Shuhari in action!

then after a while, I just cook it in accordance with what my heart, mind, mood desires… but still sticking with the spirit of the recipe.

There is a Japanese word for this, it is: Shuhari.

Having a Lean-Agile mindset allows you to tailor Frameworks, like SAFe,  for your reality.

Framework…customized framework in accordance with what your ART desires.. 😉 is key to building a high-performing ART!

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