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accelerating teams with agile frameworks like LeSS, SAFe and DAD

To compete in the market today, companies need to focus on the improvement of their departments to complete projects more quickly. To help your teams work effortlessly together, new agile frameworks might be your solution.

accelerating teams with agile frameworks like LeSS, SAFe and DAD

Modern companies competing in the market today find themselves focusing on innovation and concentrating on overhauling the way that they do business, but at times forget to improve the capabilities of their departments and teams so that they can complete their projects more quickly. We can see this happening in companies that demand results as quickly as possible, but then neglect their team’s performance, meaning that they are not operating at the most efficient and effective manner.

Scrum is the industry wide de-facto standard process model; but all too often it is poorly understood and executed poorly. Most companies lack the necessary skills to implement it correctly, and those that are able to use it often struggle to scale it up at the enterprise level, where multiple teams from different departments and companies must all work together seamlessly while completing their objectives and tasks.

It is for these reasons that people have been working out additional value points to add to their businesses on a process and framework level. There are some highly effective models such as SAFe®, DAD and LeSS, which provide a good operational framework for teams to work in. When combined with a smart sourcing approach, companies can find a massive competitive advantage over other companies, and this helps them to speed up their output, allowing their products and services to get to market first.

LeSS (Large-Scale Scrum)

LeSS is a minimalist framework that works really well in large-scale development environments. It offers flexibility and adaptable methodologies for developers and other team members to follow, making it more of a suggestive framework than a traditional mandate from management. It comes in two different flavors: the first framework is for smaller teams of around 10 teams with around seven members each, while the second type can manage up to several thousand members on a single project.

It is also suitable for smaller organizations that are experiencing rapid growth and need a Scrum implementation that does not slow down the expansion of the business. LeSS helps Scrum to scale up quickly because it is a very flexible framework, and in situations where growth is a factor, it can be much more forgiving on Scrum teams.

LeSS is so powerful because it builds on Scrum fundamentals by organizing multiple teams and by retaining a single Product Owner.  The second implementation of LeSS is sometimes called LeSS Huge, and it adds additional Product owners which allows for massive up-scaling to occur. Standard Scrum meetings are still help as per usual, but the Scrum of Scrums is not a part of it. Instead, LeSS is a coordinated and decentralized model that allows teams to act independently. There are enough boundaries and structures in place to keep the process running smoothly, so there is still order and structure to the entire process, which can lead to more efficient and faster running projects.

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®)

SAFe® has gained popularity in recent years: many big companies have adopted it, which in turn has led to many other organizations following suit. It is mostly referred to as Lean-Agile, meaning that if used correctly, it can be more streamlined and efficient than traditional Scrum or Agile thinking at larger scales.

Many traditionalists within Agile circle have stated that they believe that SAFe® lacks many of the key features that made Scrum and Agile so popular to begin with. Their main argument is that there is too much emphasis on managing teams, and managers are ultimately responsible for making key decisions. The main fault of this approach is in some cases is taking away the decision-making from the most technically knowledgeable team members. This can lead to unrealistic timeframe suggestions in some cases, which ultimately detracts from Agile’s full potential and can affect the speed of your project’s output

A good way to think of SAFe® is as an intermediate implementation of Agile within a large enterprise. This is because there are separate principals that relate to Team, Program, and Portfolio, which is not something that people do not usually deal with in Scrum. Team level implementation of SAFe® is somewhat similar to Scrum but has some added XP components and features that differentiate it from standard Scrum.

Next is the Program level, which synchronizes the teams and creates a feature, called an Agile Release Train or ART, while the next component, the Portfolio level, aligns the Agile Release Train with the organizational expectations for the project. Depending on the size and complexity of your project, you might find that the added management speeds things along for your development team, but as with all projects, there will be specifics that you need to consider before committing to just one development methodology.

Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD)

Disciplined Agile Delivery is an adaptive form of Agile that uses the term ‘Fail Fast’, which is used as a method to help members to learn and adapt more quickly. You can think of Disciplined Agile Delivery as a hybrid process framework that allows team members to innovate quickly while chasing down development goals.

Hybrid means that there are Scrum elements as well as other added process types, such as Agile Modeling, Extreme Programming (XP), and other Agile-related approaches. It is able to split the process of development into separate stages called Inception, Construction and Transition.

You will often hear that Disciplined Agile Delivery is a People First methodology, and this is because there is great emphasis on Primary and Secondary Roles. There is a Team Lead, a Product Owner, Team Members and an Architecture Owner; these are Primary Roles. Regardless of the size of your project, there will always be these Primary Roles. Secondary Roles include Specialists, Independent Testers, Domain Experts, Technical Experts and Integrators, which is quite different to traditional Scrum team layouts.

The key features of Disciplined Agile Delivery are that it is scalable and considerate towards the organization’s requirements, meaning that it can be redirected to match the needs of the business when required. It also scales incredibly well in massive projects that span across multiple teams.

Conclusion

Although Agile and Scrum purists argue that up scaling these original Agile and Scrum processes is actually very easy to achieve, we have seen for ourselves how additional dimensions can benefit a much bigger project. By leveraging self-organized teams and departments, your company can decide what would work best for themselves. Under normal circumstances, management would trust their Agile and Scrum teams to organize themselves accordingly, but when scaling up to bigger sizes, there needs to be managerial monitoring controls in place, especially in larger businesses or in big projects where speed is essential to success.

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