SAFe Implementation Strategy Leadership Focusing Workshop

SAFe™ Training is a great start but not enough

For Enterprise Software-enabled organizations looking to use the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe™) to improve their business agility, the AgileSparks SAFe™ Implementation Strategy Management/Leadership Workshop is an interactive deep-dive following up for Leading SAFe training aimed at creating a strategy for implementing SAFe in the organization. Going beyond the formal training, this workshop starts with the specific pains, context, goals of the organization and focuses on how to implement the learning and how to drive the change.

This workshop is based on the AgileSparks Management/Executive Workshop used in dozens of enterprises to kickoff successful agile transformations – a key part of the AgileSparks Way. It combines field-proven best practices, applied in an interactive and expertly-facilitated manner, to provide the organization’s management with a context-specific road map to improvement.

When to use this workshop

The workshop is suitable for organizations in different stages of their Agile scaling journey – total newbies, organizations with a good team-level implementation they are looking to scale, organizations that have some “Agile Theater” going on which they’re trying to fix since they need to achieve real business agility at scale.

It is typically bundled with Leading SAFe training for the same group or follows up an earlier Leading SAFe public/in-house training.

Key Objectives/Deliverables

  • Establish Need/Goals for Enterprise Agility through exploration of pains/opportunities in current way of doing things
  • Establish what SAFe means applied to the organization –
    • What will be our Portfolios? Value Streams? Trains?
    • Who will fill which roles?
    • Do we need 3-level or 4-level SAFe?
    • What will be our Epics? Capabilities? Features? Stories?
    • What should be our Release Cadence?
    • How do we fit SAFe into our current governance context? The bigger organization? Partners? Customers? (Dealing with waterfall/phase gate/CMMI/etc.)
  • Review and learn from applicable case studies for SAFe / Scaled Agile.
  • Explore complementary practices required to successfully implement SAFe in the specific organizational context, e.g.:
    • Technical Safety
    • Sustainable Pace
    • Lean/Agile Requirements in a world of uncertainty – Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), Minimum Marketable Features (MMFs), Requirement slicing techniques, Lean Startup thinking.
    • Combining Scrum and Kanban into ScrumBan
    • AgileSparks Way Approach to Change Management
    • Agile Testing Approaches
  • Is SAFe SAFE here? Create and review a draft blueprint, explore and deal with risks until a high-confidence plan surfaces.

Workshop Approach

The workshop is highly interactive. We insist on a small intimate forum where everyone participates and affects the outcome. Innovation Games, Gamestorming and other techniques are used, and as an important side effect the participants also learn how to effectively think and collaborate to solve tough system-level problems in the future.

As the purpose of the workshop is to outline high-level improvement strategy together, the bulk of the thinking is done together in real-time, with us helping you apply relevant thinking approaches and tools. In order to have an effective workshop, we do spend some time getting acquainted with your context and expectations, using a few focused assessment interviews.

In true agile fashion, we aim to deliver value rather than follow a predefined plan/syllabus. While a backlog is prepared based on initial preparation/interviews to learn the general context and aims, we continuously seek feedback and adjust direction driving at maximum impact and return on the time of participants based on the discussions and directions that emerge.

Key agile tools such as Kanban Boards, Burnups, Estimation/Prioritization games and frequent Retrospectives are used throughout the Workshop, leading to hands on learning of how Agile works. Actually, We recommend these techniques be adopted for the ongoing routine of Management Teams

Duration

1-2 days of interviews and preparation Main Workshop is typically 2-3 days, depending on the organization size and complexity, preferably held in an offsite location.

Delivery

The workshop is facilitated by one of our SPC/SPCT-certified Enterprise Agility Lead Consultants. In some contexts we recommend 2 consultants facilitate the workshop in tandem.

About AgileSparks

We are a boutique consulting firm with offices in the US (Boston), Israel and India. We help product development and IT organizations improve their outcomes, productivity, predictability, quality, employee engagement through a variety of Agile/Lean solutions like Scrum, Scaled Agile Framework, Kanban, Lean Startup.

We are a small team of experts in Agile/Lean, including internationally recognized thought leaders, book authors and accredited/certified trainers with leading bodies in the Lean/Agile. We are Scaled Agile Gold Partners.

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Proven Enterprise-level Experience

AgileSparks‘ experts have proven experience in Agile/Lean training, consulting and implementation in over 100 companies world-wide, ranging from startups all the way to Fortune50 companies in a variety of industry segments – ISVs (product development), enterprise IT and governmental organizations, TELCO, embedded SW and Web/SaaS products, Defense contractors and custom project development shops. Past references include companies such as: Siemens, HP Software R&D, Intel, Cisco, EMC, Informatica, Amdocs, GE, CA, Philips, Retalix-NCR, Nice, Cisco, Motorola, CyberArk, eBay. See our site for testimonials from those clients and others.

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Sparking REAL Agility, not Agile Theater

In these days, everybody’s going agile or is already “agile”. We are seeing a lot of “Agile Theater” out there – people implementing surface-level practices without deep changes/spirit. With extensive experience in different sizes and contexts, and a team of world-class experts that continues to challenge itself to develop and improve best practices and building blocks, AgileSparks is uniquely positioned to help you choose wisely the way to REALLY improve, as well as be your trusted partner along the way. We have the experience and the know-how and, not less important, the passion to help your organization improve. It might be a tougher journey requiring deeper changes, but the outcome will be an actual improvement in your business agility not just the ability to say you are “doing agile”. We call this “The AgileSparks Way”

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Typical Workshop Agenda (Will be customized per context)

Opening (30min)

  • Intro+Purpose
  • Working Agreements
  • Expectations Setting/Collection

Why we’re here (1-2h)

  • Identify current state
  • Pains session – choose what to improve

What SAFe means here (3-5h)

  • What will be our Portfolios? Value Streams? Trains?
  • Who will fill which roles?
  • Do we need 3-level or 4-level SAFe?
  • What will be our Epics? Capabilities? Features? Stories?
  • What should be our Release Cadence?
  • How do we fit SAFe into our current governance context? The bigger organization? Partners? Customers? (Dealing with waterfall/phase gate/CMMI/etc.)

Review and learn from comparable case studies for SAFe / Scaled Agile

  • AgileSparks Case Studies
  • Industry Case Studies (e.g. Spotify, Lego, other SAFe case studies)

Follow up Context-specific Education/Learning (3-5h including exercises)

  • Human aspects of Lean/Agile – More techniques for Decentralized Control, Technical Safety, Sustainable pace
  • Lean/Agile Requirements in a world of uncertainty – Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), Minimum Marketable Features (MMFs), Requirement slicing techniques, Lean Startup thinking.
  • Combining Scrum and Kanban into ScrumBan
  • Intro to Agile Testing
  • AS Way / Change Approach

Is SAFe SAFE here? (2-3h)

  • Create and review a draft blueprint
  • Confidence Vote
  • Dealing with Risks/confidence gaps

Closing (30min-1h)

  • Takeaways, Epiphanies, Feedback, commitment to next steps

Interested in combining SAFe training with an implementation workshop? Let’s discuss.

 

You can also just email us at info@agilesparks.com.

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