Scaling Agile: How To Overcome 3 Common Challenges?

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Scaling Agile: How To Overcome 3 Common Challenges?

01 Jul 2022 Admin 0 Agile and Scrum

Agile was mainly created keeping in mind the software development teams as they needed it the most for delivering quality products and services to customers and that too in a much lesser time. Many organizations experienced the benefits after implementing it but it had its limitations as agile works best in small teams. This was addressed by the scaling agile frameworks like SAFe.

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The big enterprises implementing it underwent an agile transformation in true sense. The process of scaling agile enabled all the teams in the enterprise to utilize agile methodologies, thus changing the way of working across the entire organization. This resulted in faster delivery of high-quality products and services.

Also, a recent study showed that about 40% of the total time spent on tasks can be lessened if an organization underwent an Agile transformation. And it not just creates a high-performing team but also makes your business stand out from the crowd.

Moreover, an effective scaling agile transformation is possible if the leaders involved possess the right knowledge, which can be gained by obtaining credentials such as a SAFe Agilist Certificate. This is evidence of the knowledge of a scaling agile framework that the professional holds.

Scaling Agile is the process of spreading the principles of Agile throughout the business in a top-down and bottom-up way and not just in the IT and software development departments. No doubt it fetches spectacular benefits for the organization. However, at the same time, it also gives rise to a set of challenges while implementing it as opposed to the other simple agile frameworks meant for small and single teams.

SAFe®: A Popular Scaling Agile Framework

SAFe® is a “knowledge base of proven, integrated principles, practices, and competencies for achieving business agility using Lean, Agile, and DevOps.” SAFe is one of the most commonly used scaling agile methodologies that involve planning at the program, portfolio, and team levels. It is one of the most preferred frameworks around the globe for its simplicity and transparency yet powerful enough to create solutions for large and complex projects. Some other popular scaling agile frameworks are Disciplined Agile (DA), Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS), Scrum@Scale, etc.

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How to Overcome Three Common Challenges When Scaling Agile?

It’s easy to apply a new framework to a small team. But when it’s about implementing it in a large enterprise, the process would not only become tenfold tedious but would also bring a set of challenges. And these challenges are the same for everyone, regardless of whether the software development teams are experts or newbies. Even the most established enterprises would fail to avert these constraints if they decide to scale agile.

Scaling Agile challenges are often classified into three types; they are culture, work management, and technology shift.

Scaling Agile Challenge #1: Culture Shift

Agile is not just a mere set of practices. It is mostly recognized as a methodology that promotes a common mindset and culture across organizations. However, this has both good and bad aspects when the process of scaling agile is involved. In this case, the framework that is used to scale agile is secondary, the primary being the common mindset involved behind it. However, establishing that mindset is a challenge in itself.

Scaling Agile necessitates that whole business thinks, performs, and reacts differently across the board, from work planning, management, and completion to employee engagement. That transformation takes time and focus, but most critically, requires leadership commitment.

The leaders of the organization should take charge of an effective scaling agile procedure. They must understand Lean-Agile thinking from the core. This involves emphasizing quality, flow, and constant improvement ahead of deadlines and demands, as well as accepting the concepts of learning fast from failures and staying in line with the dynamic market.

Scaling Agile Challenge #2: Work Management Shift

Another challenge that is posed by scaling agile is change in work management. This change is for good as it promotes the concept of an aligned mindset and working style in the entire organization. It makes the whole organization strive for the same objective and that is to enhance customer value. To bring those concepts to life, firms must change their work management systems to allow a flow of value.

Conventional frameworks begin with a predetermined goal and evaluation of the resources and duration required to accomplish that goal. One might presume from this concept that prior assessment of objective, time, and resources can lower risk and improve chances of success. On the contrary, such projects are more likely to face losses as the end product might not satisfy customers.

In contrast, the Lean-Agile methodology changes that perspective. Time and resources become more set when iteration windows and teams of people are created, but the goal becomes more flexible due to continuous learning with the change. Teams experiment and get comments rapidly, modifying the goal accordingly, allowing corporations to react swiftly.

Scaling Agile Challenge #3: A Technology Shift

Last but not the least, organizations undergoing the process of scaling Agile must revamp their technology. More transparency, visibility, and flow of information are the vital requisites of scaling agile to create the same. This means an updated and greater quality of technology is needed to implement. "Silos" in technology are the adversaries of Agile scalability.

Ending Lines

Scaling Agile not only promotes Agile beyond software development to the entire organization but also broadens its influence. When the entire organization is integrated under the same methodology, they can execute the change in true terms and more effectively at all the stages. Employees become more involved and productive and organizations can witness real success.

No doubt, scaling agile comes with its share of challenges but a perfect scaling agile framework like SAFe can be instrumental in bringing phenomenal results to the organization. Obtaining a certification in SAFe opens doors to unexpected career opportunities.

Also read: Scaling Agile Practices To The Enterprise

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BY: Admin

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