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Scaled Agile Framework Core Values

by StarAgile

March 26, 2020
Category SAFe


Scaled agile framework core values

When you want to take agile to larger teams, then you need an effective scaling to be done. That is when several scaling frameworks come into the picture. SAFe is one of the most famous frameworks and scales agile across the organization. Feel free to ground agile practices at an enterprise level with this framework. 

Before we talk about the Scaled agile framework core values, we shall give you a brief about the foundation of this framework. 

SAFe Foundation

Agile principles in the lean context 

There are a few basic principles that you must master to become a pro in using the SAFe framework. The chief principle demands one to look at an economic view, apply system thinking, preserving options and assuming variability. Further, visualize to limit WIP. Always build increment using rapid and integrated learning cycles and make decisions in a decentralized manner. 

Scaled agile framework core values

These are four values namely the alignment, built-in quality, transparency, and program execution.  We shall explain that in detail in the coming sections. 

Leadership in a lean-agile way 

Agile leaders must lead to change, know the right way and ensure learning as a lifelong process. These leaders practice unlocking the intrinsic motivation of every skilled worker. 

Mindset

The mindset is driven based on the lean house, and the manifesto of agile methodology. Both keep the customer as the prime focus and work towards the release of valuable products. 

Practice communities 

Lean agile implementation works successfully as it always forms a group with people sharing common interest. They collaborate to discuss and make things happen and drive the work towards achieving the goal. 

1-2-3 implementation 

The best strategy that makes SAFe implementation possible is this 1-2-3 way which includes the three steps as given below. 

a.Employing change agents internally and making a plan to sustain the SAFe transformation 

b.Offering training to the executives 

c.Providing training to the teams 

Four Scaled agile framework core values

The 3 bodies on which SAFe relies are agile development, system thinking, and lean product development. However, the core values play a critical role in SAFe to make in deep, broad and scalable. 

1. Scaled Agile Framework core values – Alignment 

Alignment is nothing technical and just an English word which means aligning the company, people and the customer. Yes, all three must be on the same platform to avoid any mishaps. How do we achieve this? Not only to avoid any accidents but also to cope up with the changes and competition, alignment is a must. 

  • Begin alignment right from inception in making strategy at the portfolio level. This reflects the theme, backlog, and vision. Then it will help in making the road map and prioritizing the product backlogs across levels. This will enable assigning, monitoring and clearing team backlogs one at a time.
  • The alignment process mainly depends on the product owner. He uses PI objective and iteration goal to communicate commitment and expectation. 
  • The aligned system remains in place by applying synchronization and cadence. 
  • The scalability and robustness are checked with the help of the user experience and governance. 
  • Stakeholders are engaged based on economic prioritization. 

However, this does not mean that the PO has a command or control but only he initiates a common direction enabling the entire team to work together. Alignment improves autonomy, decentralized decision making, and empowerment. 

2. Scaled Agile Framework core values – Built-in Quality 

It is important to keep an eye on the quality as aligned work alone cannot make the team to achieve the goal. Each team member should work in an aligned fashion and also check the quality at every stage. This will avoid reworks and saves cost. The 5 aspects around which the quality of the SAFe implementation revolves include the lean flow, agile architecture, and quality at the design stage, quality of the codes, system quality and finally the quality of the released end product. 

It is not possible to check quality every hour and hence the five aspects have been emphasized and this will prevent any last-minute surprises. 

3. Scaled Agile Framework core values – Transparency 

Developing a solution is difficult when there is a lack of openness in communication. But for the team from top to bottom to be transparent basic trust is a mandate. Integrity is the key to success. SAFe follows the following practices to ensure trust among the team and thus achieves a successful implementation. 

  • Portfolio Kanban is visible to all executives, stakeholders and lean portfolio management. Further, the backlogs are visible and they understand the objectives of the program increment during every release and solution train. 
  • Teams will meet during every stand-up and commit to work towards the goal. As well they check the progress which is open to every individual of the team. 
  • Then the backlog improvement occurs by inspecting and adapting the right methodology which is understood from the lessons learned as a continuous process. 
  • The team can further access the enabler epics and also the new initiatives and progress depending on the working solutions and its objectives. 
  • Work in progress and velocity is visible to all and programs are executed in a reliable manner. 

4. Scaled Agile Framework core values – Program Execution 

Again the core value of execution is yet a key for a successful SAFe implementation. Yes, aligning, checking quality and being transparent cannot be possible as the team cannot execute and deliver the value constantly. 

But, SAFe follows implementation using Essential SAFe at the beginning and the value streams' ability in delivering the value. This process makes program execution simple. The team should not lose focus and feel frustrated to make execution possible. For this to happen the first 3 core values become important. Thus all four are interrelated and make things possible in lean-agile transformation at an enterprise level. 

Final words 

To make the four values work effectively a powerful leader is required. However, there is no hierarchy in agile methodology and hence by a leader, we do not mean any commander. But the product owner and the leadership team join hands to enable the team to work in collaboration. 

Empowering every individual will allow the team to align together. The aligned team will not think twice to check the quality and also openly share their views with the team. This process will make program execution possible and thus these core values are the most important among the other foundations of the SAFe framework. 

Do you want to implement SAFe in your organization? Then embrace the four core values to make a revolution within your team.  People will certainly love these values as they are transparent and allows the team to learn as a continuous process. 

Do not just stop reading this blog as we are sure that you need practical knwoeledge about how these core values help individual to successfully work with SAFe framework. Therefore, register for SAFe certification and get certified to add value to your organization. 


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