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Scaling Agility Without Time Delay and Increased Costs

Organizations are finding significant benefits in transitioning to agile ways of working. Sometimes the benefits are as much as a 50% improvement in time to market, a 30-40% reduction in defects, and improvement in value and quality. However, one common question is: “How can we scale this success across other teams, divisions, and other organizations?”

This question often leads to researching various scaling approaches from LeSS, Scrum at Scale, Scaled Agile (SAFe), and Nexus, as examples. Right now, Scaled Agile (SAFe) is the most popular approach to scaling. Not surprisingly, implementing an expansive scaling solution such as SAFe can be costly, time-consuming, and slow down delivery at first.

Some of the pain points of delivering a full-scale SAFe implementation include lengthy up-front training for the entire organization, hiring of new roles including Release Train Engineers and Solution Managers, as well as the exorbitant cost of onsite 2-day Program Implement Planning for the entire Solution Train.

Time and Money Saving Best Practices

Many organizations do not have the time or money to implement a full-scale implementation of SAFe. In these cases, they can borrow best practices from the Scaled Agile framework and implement them organically. This is one way to dramatically reduce and nearly eliminate the cost and time frames that can disrupt delivery.

Here are some of the approaches that work, bringing most of the same benefits:

  • Delivering 2-hour training or coaching on the fly on scaling instead of 2 days intense training sessions.

  • Using the concept of nimble, short virtual Big Room Planning events to achieve greater collaboration, better planning, and predictability.

  • Keeping agile events nimble and strategically remove many of the old meeting cadences.

Scaled Agile best practices do not have to come in a one-size-fits-all approach. Tailoring the scaling of an agile practice across an organization should be custom and done in a way that is not disruptive to the business nor to the speed of delivery.

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