Agility at scale is one of the crucial issues for large organizations. We interviewed four experts in order to put together an ebook, allowing to understand the contributions of agility at scale and SAFe. The following article is an excerpt from this ebook and allows us to know what additional skills are needed in order to implement scaled agile practices.

jean-claude delagrange coach agile
Jean-Claude DELAGRANGE, agile coach

Mastering tools and frameworks

At present, “scale agilists” are pioneers; it should be possible to judge the expected results in the not-too distant future.

Mastery of the tools and framework used is at least as important as the management skills of the people who occupy the roles of Product Manager, Release Train Engineer, and so on: strategic vision, a manager-coach approach, fully taking on board agile values, decision-making abilities and, above all, the ability to delegate decision-making, etc.

A good deal of questionning is necessary to get rid of the reflex behaviors acquired through the use of project methods such as V-cycle, waterfall; the project owner-project manager divide, a detailed predictive vision of products, specifications before any development, keeping a distance from customers, and so on.

Laurence Hanot coach agile
Laurence HANOT, agile coach at Zenika

Giving priority to life skills over technical skills

I’d say, above all, soft skills: adaptability, humily, open-mindedness, the ability to listen, knowing how to delegate, the ability to take a global view, to take a step back so as to see the big picture (a systemic view)… And courage!

Laurent Charles
Laurent CHARLES, CEO and co-founder of Enalean (Tuleap)

Highlighting trust, a value more powerful than processes

And let’s add trust: the trust of the management team in their teams’ trust in management, and trust in one another. But again, that’s not specific to the agile approach. It’s very general, as trust is more powerful than either hierarchy or processes.

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