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 if we can implement SAFe without having used Scrum techniques before.
The difficulty will be more important, but it remains possible if one knows the agile values
Yes, absolutely. Provided you’re fuly aligned with agile values, it’s possible to acquire the basis foundations quickly, for the smooth rollout of events, of Scrum milestones, of the language and the concepts: certification training is available, which should be completed by a good coaching team.
The difficulty will be greater for those taking the roles of facilitators, coaches and, of course, RTEs (“Scrum Master of Scrum Masters”). Personally, I’d never used the agile Scrum method before developing my skills as an agile coach.
It is better to get used to agile practices before scaling up agile
It’s a question I asked the trainer during my SPC training since, in the Roadmap Implementation, “Waterfall / ad hoc agile” is written in the very first bow (and therefore seen as a strating point). I don’t know what “ad hoc agile” means, but that was the only time in four days of training that I felt that Andrew (who was otherwise an absolutely brilliant trainer) was expressing doubt, as he answered that starting with purely waterfall-oriented teams seemed difficult to him and that deploying a minimum set of agile practices for a few months before starting would be better.
I believe that too, as it seems to me that it’s too big a step to embark on everything at once and such an approach risks being abandoned or rapidly reversed. I would say that getting started with agile practices within teams for at least four to six months before scaling up is a minimum requirement.
It is important to prioritize the experimentation of agile approaches before implementing agility at scale
Because agility, at scale or not, is primarly a culture, I feel that implementing SAFe without having experienced agile approaches – whether Scrum or anything else – is more complex. The important thing is to have practiced the principles and values beforehand.