Home Scaled Agile The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe): How I learned to stop worrying and give it a try

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe): How I learned to stop worrying and give it a try

by Srinivas Saripalli

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is by all accounts one of the interesting issues in the Agile community nowadays. Love it or disdain it, everybody’s discussing it.

SAFe (or possibly a few practices suggested by SAFe) has been executed in numerous associations with hundreds to thousands of individuals, in both gathered and disseminated conditions, and I’ll share some of my experiences as a specialist.

That being said, my true viewpoint on SAFe is more sensible than the common strict discussions that emerge while talking about it.

As an issue of total honesty, I am a SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) and a SAFe Program Consultant Trainer competitor (SPCT). Over the most recent couple of years, I’ve likely worked in SAFe conditions a fraction of the time. Notwithstanding, my sober mindedness and confidence in observing the right device for the right work totally dominate this. I’ve moved toward this blog entry as an Agilist from a down to earth (rather than closed minded) point of view.

What’s going on right now?

While Scrum, Kanban, and XP aren’t really the default strategies for overseeing and further developing software projects, they’ve acquired a great deal of foothold as of late, and their application is expanding at a quick speed.

Throughout the most recent couple of years, the quantity of Certified Scrum Masters (only one marker) has expanded from 100,000 of every 2010 to more than 300,000 in the Scrum Alliance part catalog. Agilists who haven’t taken ICAgile confirmation or an elective like ICAgile are probable out there.

An ever-increasing number of associations are embracing Agile practices no matter how you look at it, including promoting, confinement, deals, and surprisingly legitimate offices, rather than simply the group level. Deft is presently utilized at all levels of the association, not simply improvement groups.

Bigger and more confounded associations have carried out it. Thus, as we apply Agile to various spaces of work, various businesses, and begin scaling our executions, new difficulties show up (or are featured).

The issue is 

Our ability to effectively deliver in new and unfamiliar environments can be impacted by a wide range of factors, including new or previously unknown challenges.

From lack of management support to concerns about losing management control, VersionOne’s ‘State of Agile’ report highlighted a wide range of barriers to scaling Agile. The biggest obstacle was the inability to change the culture of the organization. All these issues have been dealt with by me personally.

As a result of these issues, organizations often only make weak commitments to Agile or avoid implementing Agile at all. It’s not surprising that many people in more traditional organizations are resistant to change because they’ve heard the message that Agile doesn’t need managers a million times before.

At the team level, many organizations have successfully implemented methods such as Scrum, but they struggle when it comes to working with other teams. Several other executives have confided in me that there is a lack of coordination among the various departments as well as among the highest levels of management.

Organizational leaders have a difficult time guiding the organization when everyone is unsure of what is expected of them in the short, medium, and long term. In their minds, it’s difficult to find the right balance between long-term planning and short-term delivery. To compound the distrust and scepticism they already have, they have difficulty communicating the new approach effectively to the various stakeholders they must deal with.

Lack of trust, alignment (enterprise-scale) quality, ability to deliver working software as well as lack of clearly articulated vision make it difficult to make change happen.

Organizations that are trying to improve their work often find themselves in situations like this. Identifying and addressing these problems is a top priority for us. Helping these organizations succeed, build trust, and deliver high-quality work is what we need to do.

Recommended Reading: Things You Need to Know Before moving into Agile Transformation with SAFe

Scaled Agile Framework
Scaled Agile Framework- Challenges and notes

Is this a possible solution? 

For these issues, there is nobody size-fits-all arrangement. No single change we can make will take care of every one of our concerns.

What we can do, notwithstanding, is started to focus on and separate these enormous (and regularly apparently impossible) challenges into more modest, scaled down pieces and start addressing them each in turn, beginning with what we can handle. Placing one foot before the other, slowly, and carefully is the best way to walk 1,000 miles.

Our validity and impact develop as we start tackling issues, and we at last accomplish a lot of positive change in our association, therefore. Clearly, this will take some time, so we really want to set our assumptions fittingly. In like manner, I accept SAFe can assist us with separating these difficulties, fabricate validity and start on the way to incredible outcomes by giving a few devices. For instance, the following are a couple:

The issue is that there is a lack of alignment (particularly as we scale) 


Starting with a group of senior leaders, we come up with strategic themes – specific, but long-term goals for the company. We use a Kanban system to prioritize and validate our light business cases (basically portfolio epics) based on our company’s priorities.

Following the validation of these ideas (and keeping in mind that saying no to unnecessary work is a great talent), we distribute them to our delivery teams, which are organized into groups of teams known as “release trains.”. If we don’t miss the current train, we can always hop on the one that’s coming up in the next few minutes.

In our release trains, we break down the work from Epic to Feature to Story to Task as it gets closer to completion. There will always be a bond between the smaller pieces of this family and their parents and grandparents, though. When all the smaller pieces below it is rolled up, the senior executive can see the overall Epic’s progress. This is a very open process for everyone involved.

The senior executive responsible for the Epic, as well as the product management group that guides it through to delivery, briefs the delivery teams on the ‘what’ of the work to be completed and ensures that the delivery teams have the context surrounding the work, that they can understand the purpose of what they are delivering and understand how it fits into the bigger picture of what the business is trying to achieve.

The issue: a lack of managerial backing 

Change is often resisted by (middle) management, which is something I’ve seen time and time again. Because they don’t see how they fit into the Agile model and are frequently told that they are no longer needed, this is one of the most common reasons for this.

Solution: In Agile, a manager’s job is critical. As a result, their role and responsibilities may be quite different from those they are used to. ‘Lean-Agile Leaders’, as defined by SAFe, are expected to demonstrate the following:

  1. Take the lead: Serve as a change agent by demonstrating the importance of change and assisting teams in resolving problems that are preventing them from succeeding.
  2. Emphasize lifelong learning: Establishing and encouraging a culture of ongoing learning and improvement. Assist individuals in finding solutions for themselves. When teams make mistakes, help them grow and learn from them.
  3. Invest in your team’s future by assisting them in their professional growth. Educate the team on the fact that they can either succeed or fail as one unit. To achieve success, you need to help talented individuals.
  4. Aim to inspire and align: Minimize restrictions. Set the scene. Get out of the way and allow them to accomplish great things on their own, then.
  5. Take charge of the decisions that need to be made centrally and communicate that information to the rest of the organization. What’s more important than empowering your team to make their own decisions?
  6. Daniel Pink’s research suggests that intrinsic motivation is derived from a combination of three factors: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. It’s important to create an environment that encourages this and provides context for people to grow and improve.

Not every manager is a natural fit for this new way of working, but they are certainly more open-minded when they can understand how they fit in. A supportive environment, not just for Agile, but for truly high-performing teams, can be created by providing context and support for the team members.

I saw this first-hand during a large-scale transformation involving over 3000 people. As a result of their dissatisfaction with the previous waterfall method of development, the senior executives decided to implement an Agile approach. Middle management, on the other hand, was not consulted or even included in the process. ‘Tomorrow we will become Agile.’ That was all they were told. The good news is that you’re not in any way involved…’ As a result, the team members had to deal with multiple managers – people managers, dev managers, QA managers, and so forth. The managers, meanwhile, we’re unable to see or comprehend how they might fit in.

SAFe’s “Lean|Agile Leader” role was introduced to the managers as part of a combined training and coaching approach. This helped the managers better grasp their new roles and how they could maximize the value they provided. We provided them with a road map that they could use to guide their groups toward mastery of their respective skillsets. With our help, they were able to see how their work fit into the larger context of the organization and share that information with their colleagues.

Great results quickly followed a new focus on mastery, with the freedom to deliver great work and the purpose of what it was aiming to accomplish There was a significant reduction in staff turnover and an increase in team engagement, but more importantly, people were happier and the quality of the work they produced was better because of the new role. a fantastic outcome

Buy-in can happen quickly when good managers see the results they can produce. Managers who are dissatisfied with their current situation are more likely to jump on board with the new initiatives, based on my personal experience.

Problem: Concerns about Agile’s ability to scale


In the end, SAFe has produced some compelling case studies that make it much easier to bring into large (political) organizations.

First-hand experience has shown me that quality, speed, employee engagement, and overall mojo can all be improved when a company reduces defects by 80%, reduces delivery time from three months to as little as one day, and even to continuous releases (based on an intangible, happy feeling).

Using SAFe isn’t career suicide because it’s easy to understand, provides enough guidance for large companies to feel comfortable trying it out, and is widely available so that companies can find the right people with the right skills to help them scale up successfully anywhere. There is a sense of security that comes from all of this.


SAFe is an adaptable framework that can be utilized to instruct workers at all levels of an association and give them the certainty they need to carry out Agile at a bigger scope. By zeroing in on scaling, scaling enemies of examples are uncovered, and normal issues are addressed.

SAFe is, in any event, an exceptionally supportive beginning stage for scaling Agile and, for some associations, an extremely valuable advance on the way to authority that gives solid direction on the most proficient method to start accomplishing incredible outcomes, considering that each enormous association has various difficulties and openings.

Be that as it may, numerous associations I’ve worked with have tracked down incredible accomplishments by beginning with each group, in turn, to get everything rolling with Agile. When you raise the group to an acceptable level, work with them to fix any issues that might be holding them back from accomplishing their best work. Add a couple of more groups whenever you’ve arrived at a decent level and perceive how it functions for you.

Once more, deal with any issues that might emerge during the venture. SAFe can be considered whenever you’ve arrived at this point. Discharge arranging and framework groups are frequently exceptionally accommodating at this level. It could be that taking on a couple of SAFe examples will get you where you should be. Follow a system that is demonstrated to be fruitful. Permit it to develop normally, and possibly get SAFe when it’s a good idea for your association.

Try not to scale awful code, as Dean Leffingwell exhorted. Lithe groups have a similar issue. To effectively scale your business, you should first establish a strong framework. Having troublesome discussions with colleagues and executives can be a vital piece of managing fundamental issues. Consider it along these lines: If you put in the energy and assemble a strong establishment, your endeavors will pay off eventually. Make each stride as it comes.

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