Staying SAFe

The concept of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) includes several facets for business agility, delivery, and management. It can extend from development teams, through a variety of disciplines and can be applied across the enterprise to achieve mission agility. While the value of SAFe has been well understood in the Commercial sector for years Federal agencies have been slower to adopt the Lean Agile principles at the core of a SAFe implementation. Let’s set the stage for Federal Agencies to achieve mission alignment using SAFe.

How does SAFe Provide Value to Federal Agencies?

While Agencies have unique challenges in the implementation of LEAN agile transformations, the effort is not without significant reward. The demand to provide modern, secure, efficient services to both agency employees and citizens (both internally and externally) is increasing and many similarities can be drawn to the commercial market experience. As the government is increasingly dependent on technology the need to align components of the technology workforce around Operational Value Streams facilitates the necessity for the ability to rapidly update and maintain software and systems, as well as modernizing legacy environments to maintain the operational mission. Agile practices have repeatedly proven themselves effective in the sustainability of new technologies through the ability to scale those agile practices to meet demand require the expansion of agile principles outside of Software Development organizations.  

As government agencies and the industry as a whole continue to seek efficiency and quality they turn their attention toward SAFe and lean-agile focuses to provide maximum transformation with minimal implementation time.

According to the benefits of implementing safe include:

  • 20-50% increase in productivity
  • 25-75% improvements in quality
  • 30-75 % faster time-to-market
  • 10-50% increase in engagement and job satisfaction

The Adoption Process

Federal technology programs are large and complex due to the nature of the mission so where should Federal CIOs start when thinking of adopting SAFe? SkyePoint recommends identifying a small to medium-sized service area that has a high value to the customer, and where the customer/business owner is engaged with IT in the improvement of the service and then implement the following best practices:

  1. Create a SAFe leadership team to support the transformation and provide cover for the staff
  2. Establish and communicate the Vision and Strategy for the transformation
  3. Empower the staff to take broad-based actions (within the parameters of the vision and strategy)
  4. Train the leadership on Lean-Agile principles
  5. Establish the Operational organization rallied around the Essential SAFe principles, ceremonies, and practices
  6. Establish early and frequent feedback loops with the team and to stakeholders
  7. Generate, and celebrate short term wins
  8. Measure, Adjust and Improve

In order to find success in the agile solution space, there needs to be education and a shift across the government space that allows for a value-mindset versus a project-based mindset.

Next Steps

As Federal agencies discover the value and adaptability of SAFe guidance they’ll need to know what to do next. The action items we recommend at SkyePoint involve linking up with a knowledgeable resource for solution opportunities that know the landscape for implementations such as these.

A business will need to take the following (and more) into consideration:

  • Education surrounding best principles and practices
  • Budget and Net Impact
  • How to transition their leadership to a value flow mindset
  • Team creation, of high-performing individuals
  • Compliance

Through the process of education, building, and implementation, businesses can transform their legacy models into agile frameworks for growth, sustainability, and success. Let a SkyePoint expert know how they can provide you with valuable information regarding your business’ SAFe/Lean-Agile plans by filling out the form below.

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