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A Beginner's Guide to SAFe Implementation: What You Should Expect

The road to SAFe implementation

A Beginner's Guide to SAFe Implementation: What You Should Expect

The road to SAFe implementation can vary between companies, but the routes are similar. Use this general overview as a guide for what to expect along the way.

Keyword(s): SAFe Implementation

Did you know that Agile has helped 98% of the companies that have adopted its use? Utilizing Agile has great benefits for you and your organization.

Adopting and implementing such a large change within an organization can be a difficult and stressful project. How do you make sure that everything is being handled correctly for a seamless transition?

SAFe is a framework that is designed to help with large-scale transitions like a transition to Agile. It gives you a step-by-step SAFe implementation road map to show you the way.

Keep reading for a beginner's guide to SAFe implementation within your organization.

What Is SAFe Implementation?

SAFe implementation is a framework that is used to scale Agile. It helps complex organizations to reap the benefits of switching to a Lean-Agile software and system development system.

SAFe is used by a lot of the largest and more successful businesses in the world. Some benefits that come with SAFe are faster times to market, upticks in employee involvement, and higher productivity and quality of work.

SAFe Implementation Road Map

Scaled agile framework is a very beneficial way of implementing change into your organization. The most difficult aspect of transitioning can be knowing where to start. Thankfully, the SAFe implementation road map gives you step-by-step guidance for every step of the way.

The SAFe implementation road map has proven to work and will help your organization achieve true agility. There are 12 steps within the road map that you should follow. They are:

  1. Reaching the tipping point
  2. Training lean-agile change agents
  3. Training executives, managers, and leaders
  4. Creating a lean-agile center of excellence
  5. Identifying value streams and ARTs
  6. Creating the implementation plan
  7. Preparing for ART launch
  8. Training teams and launching the ART
  9. Coaching ART execution
  10. Launching more ARTs and value streams
  11. Extending to your portfolio
  12. Accelerating

This strategy has been used to great success by hundreds of thriving organizations and businesses for implementing the scaled agile framework. It starts with a catalyst for change that leads to the decision to implement scaled agile framework.

From there, you'll want to make sure that your lean-agile change agents are trained. This ensures that the implementation will be successful across the entire organization.

Next up is making sure that the executives, managers, and leaders are all on board and trained in order to lead the transition. Strong leadership will lead to a quicker and stronger transition.

Creating a lean-agile center of excellence is another important step in implementing SAFe within your organization. This group is a team of people dedicated entirely to implementing SAFe across all levels of your business.

The next step is to identify value streams. Value streams are a series of steps that deliver value to your customers. From there, you can create your agile release trains, which ensures that you are effectively realizing the value you are providing.

After that, you will want to begin creating your SAFe implementation plan and preparing for your ART launch. This involves doing just enough to start the process but allows for you and your employees to learn as they go.

Once you've launched your agile release trains you will want to coach ART execution to your employees. At this point, the focus becomes coaching and supporting your teams to ensure you're getting the most value possible.

Now that you've successfully established one ART and value stream, you will be able to expand to new value streams and ARTs. Once you start to grow it is a good idea to extend your portfolio to accommodate the growth.

Lastly, you'll want to ensure that you sustain your growth and success while continuing to find ways to improve your processes and your ARTs.

Obstacles to Be Aware Of

There are certain obstacles that you should be aware of when following the implementation road map. Running into these obstacles can slow the implementation of SAFe and lead to a less successful transition.

You need to establish a sense of urgency about the transition. Without leadership having a sense of urgency the organization will fail to see the importance or value of implementing SAFe.

You'll also want to create a guiding coalition to make sure that leadership is bought in. If leadership doesn't buy-in, no one else will and the move to transition to SAFe will fail.

Underestimating the power of vision and the strength of your strategy can also be fatal to your organization's change. Everyone needs to know their role and where they fit into the puzzle.

You also don't want to under-communicate what you're trying to achieve. Everyone in the organization needs to be on the same page in order for the change to be implemented successfully.

Short-term wins are also a crucial aspect of organizational change. Short-term wins will show your employees and any doubters that you're on the right path. They also help to continue building momentum.

On the flip side of that, you don't want to become overconfident. Once you have things up and running you don't want to believe that you've figured everything out. It is important to stay the course to ensure that SAFe gets fully implemented.

The last obstacle to be aware of is that you'll want to be sure that SAFe takes a stronghold within your organization's culture. Reinforcing your organization's goals goes a long way towards building that culture.

You're Ready to Implement SAFe

Scaled agile framework can take your organization to the next level. It creates a more efficient and flexible work structure so that you get the most value out of your value streams.

It also helps you build the culture that you want within your organization and creates a sense of oneness where everyone feels valued and knows their role.

Click here and start your organization's SAFe Implementation today.

Is a Lean Portfolio Management Course Right For You?

Is a Lean Portfolio Management Course Right For You?

Is a Lean Portfolio Management Course Right For You?

Learn how a certification in lean portfolio management can accelerate your career and perfectly position yourself for success

Keyword(s): portfolio management

Have you ever wondered how you can clean up your mistakes, especially when you invested your money and time?

What you need is to organize your thoughts and check the details to improve for the better. Here's where lean portfolio management helps you.

You can align your strategies to make the best decisions for you and your customers. Many businesses want to stick to the idea of planning projects. They also move development teams to reach one goal through the waterfall-style approach.

However, you'll only concentrate on the end goal rather than how to approach the work. Lean Portfolio Management is the best strategy you can use to boost yourself for success. Read on to understand why we encourage trying out Lean Portfolio Management.

What Is Lean Portfolio Management?

Lean portfolio management or LPM uses lean principles to combine execution and strategy. You learn about enterprise strategies to assign a budget to achieve your goal. An LPM certificate represents a high-level of financial accountability and decision-making.

Portfolio management is one of the Lean Enterprise's core competencies. It helps you cut waste to improve your decision-making process for fewer quality issues. The primary goal of LPM is to align strategy to development to give value to customers.

Getting professional certificates for LPM proves that you are a good servant leader. You can also learn about managing speedy deliveries with high-value brand opportunities. Learning this course will help you think of agile and flexible long-term strategies.

Lean Portfolio Management Approaches

There are two main types of approaches for portfolio management. They both offer benefits and downfalls in speed, leadership, and progress. Below is an explanation of both approaches and what they can do for your career.

Traditional Approach

The traditional approach is all about hierarchies to increase stability and maximize efficiency. It's an approach the puts pressure on employees to deliver solutions faster. This type of approach establishes a system to avoid a chaotic workplace.

People get organized in temporary project teams and functional silos in the traditional approach. However, people can get overloaded by projects due to unlimited work intake. Your progress gets measured by its task completion and governed by phase gates.

Lean Approach

The lean approach prioritizes the highest level of decision-making for brand changes. Everything must be part of a network system with Agile Release Trains or ARTs. This is a group of multi-disciplinary teams who organize value streams.

You have to create a development flow to make value stream budgets more dynamic. The lean approach has visibility with current and upcoming works to limit demand and intake. This approach of project management offers more realistic goals and learnings.

You create a guide that helps you in investment for each value stream, either the short, medium, or long-term solution. The lean approach encourages you to validate your hypotheses and reduce your uncertainty. This approach allows gradual progress without you having to give a full investment.

Why Should You Take Portfolio Management?

Lean portfolio management is the best way to optimize your customers' flow of value. Although the process may take a while since it's difficult to change over, it offers great benefits. Why should you invest in learning this approach for your career?

Below are some reasons you should get professional certificates to learn portfolio management.

Better Customer Interactions

Lean portfolio management started with the primary customer's viewpoint in mind. As you cut away wasteful practices, you improve the way you interact with your customers. You get to improve the way you respond to their concerns and improve their experiences with your products.

Utilizes Push and Pull

Your business expenses can start to inflate if you don't watch how your inventory piles up. Lean portfolio management can help you take advantage of the "push and pull" strategy. It will prevent overproduction issues to avoid higher carrying costs.

Increases Product Quality

This course will teach you how to pay attention to details to decrease defects and reworks. You get to understand how to optimize the processes to avoid making mistakes. This saves you time since you don't have to remake and pay your employees overtime.

Going Over Pain Points with Lean Portfolio Management

To further understand why you need lean portfolio management, here are common issues in large organizations. Below are a few issues where lean portfolio management can help you.

Long Cycle Times and Lack of Synchronization

When making a cross-functional team, you need to remove dependencies. This helps take away any delays and frictions to your products' delivery value. If you want to improve your customer value, you also need to maintain good communication.

Good communication between teams will clear misunderstandings for the best ideas. Ensure that when you plan, you have to place value in customers' hands. Don't make it your goal to finish the product as soon as possible.

Difficult to Change Budgets

When you face uncertainty in the marketplace, you can utilize a lean start-up mindset to help you "think in bets." With that, you can explore cost-effective ways to fund experiments. You can build plans that align with your strategic goals to get the best ideal model speeds.

Undefined Solution

It's always good to engage with design leads to access and gain insight into your solution. Engaging with your design leads helps you provide a more accurate solution for initial decision points. It will guide you to align your priorities with business and service owners.

Is a Lean Portfolio Management Course Right For You?

Now that you know a few things about portfolio management, are you willing to try? If you want a continuous flow of value for your customers and brand, consider the LPM approach. It will help you formulate strategies to ensure the best work for the right time.

Try taking our Scaled Agile Framework training courses, which are available for countries all around Europe. Contact us for more information about the LPM and other courses.

Agile vs. Scrum: The Key Differences to Know in 2021

Agile vs. Scrum: The Key Differences to Know in 2021

Agile vs. Scrum: The Key Differences to Know in 2021

Are you looking to be certified in Agile or Scrum? Learn about the key differences between Agile vs Scrum in 2021 and which is best for you!

In the world of development, it is important to ensure you have the best methodology available to move as fast as possible and not waste money. With that in mind, many companies have taken up the Agile methodology in the past couple of decades. As many as 97% are now practicing Agile development.

But with 54% also using Scrum, what does that mean? What is the overlap, and are there any differences in Agile vs Scrum? Read on to find out more about these two processes and decide for yourself which to choose for your company.

What Is Agile?

The Agile methodology was developed over the early 2000s. Its developers created it in response to the complaints of several software groups. They believed that development culture had become a heavy-handed and micromanaged process.

Agile now holds itself to four core values which were later expanded in detail in the Agile Software Development manifesto.

These values include:

  • Focusing on individuals and interactions instead of processes and tools
  • Building working software is more important than having comprehensive documentation
  • Engaging in customer collaboration is more important than negotiating contracts
  • Being able to respond to change is better than rigidly following a plan

Agile methods focus on working in small increments (often called “sprints”). After each of these, the team should seek to introspect on the time spent working. They do this to iteratively improve their process.

What Is Scrum?

Scrum was first discussed in the mid-’80s onwards from research done in the physical production industry.

Rather than a method for iterating on development processes, Scrum focuses on shipping a product. Its aims for each sprint are to present incrementally more-complete builds of the product to the customer. Through both Agile and Scrum, a team should improve and evolve their process to get work out the door in a better and more stable state.

Scrum formalizes the creation of a “Scrum team”. This includes multiple roles including:

  • A product owner who represents the product’s stakeholders
  • The product developers, who create the deliverable
  • A scrum master who has the role of preventing the team from encountering impediments.

Sprints in Scrum are far more formalized than they are in Agile development. They intend to have a workable and complete version of the product shipped out at the end of each iteration. This could be in the form of a piece of software, or in the early sprints could be the implementation of a new process.

Agile vs Scrum: Differing Principles

While these systems often overlap in use, they have several different principles. These show they can make up for one another’s differences in several ways.

To start with, the core measure of whether a process is succeeding is different on each side of the coin. In Agile, developers measure this by repeatedly releasing working software. Agile holds to the belief that a trusted team can move towards the completion of a project.

Scrum, however, focuses on its sprint. It has firm timelines after which developers release the next software version. Scrum considers failure to release on time a failure of the team.

Other comparisons include the fact that Agile encourages face-to-face interactions between team members. It suggests that this should happen as often as necessary to get the job done.

On the other hand, Scrum attempts to fit its person-to-person interactions into daily stand-up meetings. Scrum intends these meetings to compress all communication into one short interaction. Both of these have their benefits and drawbacks, requiring a level of cunning to operate with success.

One other difference is that the Agile process focuses on the idea that any designed product should be simple in its creation and execution. It intends to create a minimum viable product and iterate on it. The Scrum process, on the other hand, encourages experimentation and innovation to a far greater degree.

Who Leads the Team?

While Scrum teams consist of a product owner, scrum master, and various developers, there are no inherent leaders in scrum methods. This format is not strictly rigid, and a hierarchy is implementable if required. This allows for senior and junior roles or managers as need be.

Agile methodologies, on the other hand, encourage the idea of self-organizing teams. These groups tend to structure themselves around problems. They then iterate towards finding solutions to those problems.

The Agile process often looks far too chaotic for many management groups. Unfortunately, this means management often encourages more traditional group structures.

In both these systems, it is often very common to have “bolted-on” individuals who get involved but are not officially part of the team. In the pig and chicken metaphor, they are the chickens. An example of these assets would be a testing team that takes part only in the post-development build.

On one hand, a lack of defined leadership in an Agile team can end up in a mess of priorities. On the other, Agile teams have a boon if they self-select respected individuals to lead them. In this situation, they can end up with a strong and capable figurehead with Agile certification at their forefront.

This often means that Agile teams are far more comfortable with their leadership. As a result, they often have stronger morale due to greater buy-in to the team’s vision.

A scrum team does not tend to have a singular head. Everybody in the team assumes equal responsibility for the release of the software. This means the entire team is part of the process of addressing issues and problems.

This can be wonderful for the scrum team's sprint transparency but is also a danger to the speed of a product.

Where To Get More Information

Now that you have a better understanding of how Agile and Scrum can both help your company, you might want to look into implementing them.

With that in mind, you will need a company that already knows the ins and outs of Agile vs Scrum to make the best of this new training. Agile Center can provide everything you need in this regard, so just check out our range of online courses and find out how we can help you be the company you always wanted to be.

Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Scrum Master

Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Scrum Master

Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Scrum Master

Are you trying to become a Scrum master? Learn everything you need to know to get on the path to Scrum success and mastery!

Did you know that 70% of US Fortune enterprises have SAFe-trained professionals? This means becoming a scrum master could lead you to bigger and better opportunities. The path to success is right around the corner once you read our guide.

Read on to learn about everything you need to know about becoming a scrum master.

How to Become a Scrum Master

The learning path for a scrum master includes taking Scaled Agile courses and getting an Agile certification. Through training, you can enhance the understanding of the scrum framework and get prepared for the Scaled Agile exam. After passing this test, you will receive a Scaled Agile certification.

Licensed Scaled Agile Framework training courses only take a few days to complete. This is where professionals in the project management world can learn how to use Scrum to optimize the cost of ownership, value, and productivity.

Even Agile online courses can provide activities and simulations that can prepare you for becoming a scrum master. Although anyone can take online courses at Agile Center, some prerequisites are recommended. You should be familiar with the Agile concepts, be aware of Scrum and another programming, and have a working knowledge of the hardware and software development processes.

Scaled Agile Exam

Classes that get completed online are instructor-led and include the exams. After attending the required courses, you should have the knowledge it takes to pass the exam. Keep in mind that attending the course does not guarantee you pass the exam - you must work at it.

The course will provide you with the necessary study materials you should use to prepare for the exam. You should also follow the study guide and take the practice test first. To even qualify for the exam, you must attend both days of the course.

The exam is multiple-choice, web-based, closed book, and timed. You will have access to the exam once you have completed the course. You will have 90 minutes to complete 45 questions and must get a passing score of 73% to receive your certification.

If you do not pass the exam, you are eligible for a retake after the first attempt. If you need to take it a third time, you must wait 10 days. Those who don't pass after the third attempt can retake it for the fourth time after 30 days.

Upon passing the exam, you will receive a PDF certificate, an online digital badge, and access to groups filled with other certified professionals. The certificate you receive will expire one year from the date it was earned.

Certification Benefits

A scrum master certificate is often sought after by recruiters. Having this shows your commitment to the advancements in the scrum world.

Completing courses and earning a certificate will ensure you are relevant in the job market. This is a major benefit as it can help you get to better opportunities.

Above all, you will become a great asset to your organization by becoming a scrum master. You will gain the knowledge to guide a team through the scrum framework.

Should You Become a Scrum Master?

Knowing if you should go through courses to become a scrum maser involves understanding the role you have to fulfill. As the scrum master, you will collaborate with members in every category and team.

To a product owner, you will be the guide that formulates techniques for effective management. You will also help team members understand the goals and scope of any product domain. As always, you will be facilitating scrum events when necessary.

To help the development team, you remove project impediments that could stand in the way of a good performance. This helps create products of high-value and teaches the team when something is not completely understood.

The service a scrum master puts into the entire organization includes helping stakeholders and employees add scrum practiced into work. By leading and caching the team to success, you will also be increasing team productivity. You will also be working closely with those in the organization who are scrum masters as well.

Scrum Master Characteristics/Skills

Licensed Scaled Agile Framework training courses will give you the necessary skills you need to succeed in your organization. The four main skills that will benefit you in your role include knowledge, patience, collaboration, and transparency.

Knowledge

To be effective as a scrum master, you must be knowledgeable. Through courses, you can learn how to understand the technical issues your team needs to handle. You also need to understand the technology everyone will have to use.

Patience

A team will not succeed if you give them all of the answers. A scrum master should be patient enough to allow their team to come up with the right response on their own.

In some cases, you may not need to step in as a scrum master. All that may be necessary is overseeing how the team deals with a certain issue and seeing how they deal with it without support.

Collaboration

As a scrum master, you must have collaboration skills to work with every member, including the product owner. Even those who aren't involved with scrum may need to be collaborated with from time to time.

Transparency

For proper communication among the organization, a scrum master must be transparent. A scrum master should not work a hidden agenda because you are considered a servant leader. Without the skill of transparency, an organization cannot expect to achieve the wanted business results.

Start Training Courses Today

A scum master has a lot of roles that involve ensuring everyone is on track to increase the success of an organization. As a huge communicator, the scrum master will work with everyone to develop and streamline high-quality project results. Becoming a scrum master gives you more opportunities and keeps you high up in the industry.

Is becoming a scrum master the right path for you? If so, begin live online courses now.

Benefits of Scaled Agile Courses For Architects

Benefits of Scaled Agile Courses

Benefits of Scaled Agile Courses For Architects

What are the benefits of scaled agile courses for architects? The scaled agile framework is a large knowlefge base of proven principles.

It's the moment that you've finally been waiting for: the day of your SAFe 5 Architect Exam.

Scaled-agile runs through your blood and this is your chance to finally prove it!

Will you flop or fly?

I'm sure everyone would love to pass with flying colors. You can hope and wish for all the good luck you want, but ultimately whether or not you pass one of the many SAFe exams is up to you. So, let's rewind.

Taking scaled agile courses from the industry's top professionals before you attempt your SAFe certification puts you back in the driver's seat. Making sure you're well informed isn't only for the newbies, though. If you're already an executive in your field, staying up to date on the latest modules and framework within scaled-agile software will allow you to run a business that's as advanced as the technology itself.

At Agile Center, we're waiting for you to join us in one of our scaled agile framework, training, or certification courses!

So, are you ready to learn what benefits are awaiting you?

Do Scaled Agile Courses Actually Work?

We wouldn't invest our valuable time into something that isn't proven and practical, so why would you?

At Agile Center, we've composed a team of highly experienced and knowledgable individuals trained in the fast-paced world of SAFe. Our training courses, such as SAFe for Architects, Leading SAFe, SAFe Scrum Master(to name a few), are accredited and licensed so you know that you'll be learning every bit of important, relevant information.

Before we get down to the details, let's hear from some of the over 850 satisfied clients.

Jibril knew he needed to take a course to help him with an upcoming SAFe exam, but hadn't decided on a provider. When he found us, he realized it "was a more competitive option in comparison to the other providers and included the same materials, if not more." We couldn't have said it better ourselves, and congrats again on passing that exam!

Anna was another satisfied trainee who passed her exams because of the Scaled-Agile courses offered at Agile-Center. At first, she was apprehensive that such complicated material being taught would be a snooze-fest. She commented later that she "enjoyed the training as it was a combination of different types of activities with the primary focus on the certification exam."

Their success speaks for itself.

The Benefits of Taking a Scaled Agile Course Online

Career Benefits

We'd love to help you take your career to the next level, no matter where you're at in your professional walk.

Taking a training or framework course and passing certification exams will not only make a difference in the success of your business, but it could also add some bulk to your wallet. In fact, experts say certified professionals earn about 20% more than professionals that lack the same certification.

The SAFe methodology has been tried and true, and since it has generally been used on larger-scale, intricate projects, thorough knowledge of its properties is necessary within the global market.

Becoming a certified SAFe 5 Scrum Master or SAFe Lean Portfolio Manager will set you apart from the crowd of people claiming to be SAFe professionals. The only way to gauge one's abilities is through certifications.

Agile Center's wide variety of course options ensure that no matter which certification you're still lacking, you can find the tools needed to prepare.

Our consultants and trainers have worked alongside some of the biggest industries across the globe, including Euro Bank, United Nations/WHO, IT advisor, and Sitech. By becoming certified you also become a part of the legacy that these companies have left, and begin the journey towards your own legacy.

Exam Benefits

As we know, many of the certification exams consist of 90 questions to be taken in a little over half an hour - a feat which in and of itself is difficult enough. It is highly recommended to have at least five years of active experience in a relative field of software programming.

These high standards matched with the price of the exam itself help to field out those who truly belong within SAFe architectural fields.

Luckily, the registration fee of courses taken at Agile Center includes the cost of the exam for which you are being prepared for!

Our courses not only prepare you for every exam but enable you to deliver exceptional value through Agile practices. Among the topics you could cover are:

  • How to lead a Lean-Agile transformation at enterprise scale (Leading SAFe Live Online)
  • In-depth understanding of the Agile Release Train (SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager Live Online)
  • How to successfully plan and execute the Program Increment (SAFe Scrum Master Live Online)
  • How to establish Value Stream Budgets and Lean Budget Guardrails (Lean Portfolio Management Live Online)

The courses are taught by a live instructor so you can go at your own pace and receive help and guidance along the way.

Are You Ready to Succeed?

As an architect, it's clear that scaled agile courses could quite literally change your life. If you're ready to take that step, we're ready too.

Check out the hundreds of training courses available at your fingertips on our website, and register today!

Have more questions? Don't worry, feel free to call us at any time or shoot us an email and we promise to get back to you as soon as we can. With regional offices across Europe and the US, there's always someone waiting to help out.

Agile Center

Agile Center provides consultancy and training services in the following areas: Lean-Agile Transformation, Agile Strategy audit & implementation and Agile Program/Portfolio management.

Agile Center is a brand of Advised Skills Ltd.

© 2021 Advised Skills Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Agile Center is a brand of Advised Skills Ltd.

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