Close the Factory?! Well… it is more like ‘Stop the production line!!! Problem has been encountered… let us fix this before it negatively affects the quality of our work down the line. This problem cannot persist.’
That is what we call in Lean, ‘Andon’.
In SAFe, we have a similar time wherein we ‘Close the Lean Agile Software Factory’… to solve the topmost and significant problems that were encountered during the Planning Interval and ART Execution.
The time is the last iteration of the Planning Interval: the IP Iteration… IP stands for Innovation and Planning. The ‘Factory’ is practically closed during IP Iteration. This allows time to — among many other things like Innovation and Planning — solve significant problems that were found during the current and about-to-close Planning Interval. We solve these now because we do not want these significant problems to fester in the upcoming series of Planning Intervals.
The exact time for this ‘Andon’ is within the “Inspect and Adapt” event within the IP Iteration… specifically the “Retrospection and Problem-Solving Workshop”.
That is the spirit of ‘Andon’… applied in SAFe!
Briefly: we call out ‘Andon!’ to address a significant problem… then we close the ‘Factory’ to solve it and to stop it from festering… potentially degrading the quality of the Valuable things that we continuously deliver to our customers.