Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) by Sudip Banerjee on September 22, 2020 160 views

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a framework that allows you to apply agile practices at an enterprise level. The 5 minutes video below will give a brief idea of the same. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW2m-BtCJyE

But before we dive into SAFe, let’s take a look into Agile, the building block of SAFe.

Agile scrum methodology is a project management system that relies on incremental development. Each iteration consists of two to four-week sprints, where each sprint’s goal is to build the important features first and come out with a potentially deliverable product. Agile methodology gives the power to change direction quickly, intentionally if we find we need to make course corrections as the devil is in the detail. One can read about the agile manifesto at their site – http://agilemanifesto.org/

Many of us have implemented Agile methodology in our teams or are planning to implement it. But in large enterprises, it presents a challenge as Agile is limited to a project or a single team. SAFe actually solves this.

WHY SAFe?

What value does SAFe bring to an enterprise? In large enterprises, it’s impossible to totally transform the entire operation to fit with all-encompassing Agile structures (like Scrum). Instead, SAFe was designed for large corporations to use Agile principles, without requiring a change in the organizational structure. SAFe makes it possible for large organizations to change centralized control with decentralized decision making for better and test driven productivity. SAFe has helped teams maintain an alignment with business goals while keeping a balance in time, cost, and scope.

SAFe Team Creation

Problem Statement: Let’s take a group of development + business teams working together to build a product. Every team is following Agile separately but the teams are facing challenges in allowing close collaboration between themselves and alignment across the entire organization.

Solution: Let’s see how SAFe team creation works to solve the above problem.

  • All the stakeholders and management come together to create a very high-level document which is also called Portfolio Backlog. Portfolio Backlog consists of multiple Business and architectural requirements which is also known as Epics, which are ordered in priorities
  •  Based on the priorities, these epics are picked up by the Product Managers and Delivery Managers and they decide the timeframe and roadmap to achieve the Epics.
  • Now the Product Manager creates a stack of Program Backlog. The Program Backlog consists of functional breakdown of the Epics.
  • The Release Management Team prepares a release plan to fit in the features in the multiple release cycles. They also work on preparing the architecture and infrastructure to enable smooth releases.
  • Now each team has an individual Product Backlog which is also known as Team Backlog. Release/System Team has their own Product Backlog, similarly, all the Scrum Team working on the project will have their individual Product Backlog.
  • Product Backlog consists of both functional and non-functional stories. These stories are prioritized by the Product Owner who is working on that Scrum Team.
  •  Typically the size of a team is 5-10 team members that are working in a Scaled Agile Environment. Scrum roles includes:
    • Team (Dev+QA)
    • Scrum Master
    • Product Owner
  • The Scrum Team performs all the Scrum Ceremonies and works on developing the Increment to be delivered at the end of each sprint.
  • All SAFe teams are part of one of the Agile Release Train (ART).

Argusoft as an organisation has been using SAFe methodology in many successful projects. Many businesses faced issues to bring multiple teams together in a single train, to journey together, which were resulting in production delays and organisation issues. Using SAFe, Argusoft ensures that these businesses were successful to streamline their processes and were able to bring about their product delivery in a shorter time to market.

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About Author

Sudip Banerjee

Group Lead – Technology

Sudip is an experienced full-stack developer, who loves to build software that makes our life easier and our environment better. A Cinphilia from heart and strongly believes in the idea of code, netflix and chill. He is a "Certified SAFe 5 Practitioner" and holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science & Engineering from Biju Patnaik Technical University.