FAQ: ETF with SAFe, DAD and large frameworks

ETF and SAFe a Useful Combination

The agile42 Enterprise Transition Framework™ (ETF) supports the adoption of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) and other scaled agile frameworks. The ETF enables structured and strategic organizational change, and will help you deploy SAFe, DAD or any other framework.

agile42 recognizes that organizations are complex systems. We also know that in a complex system, no best practices or even good practices exist. Instead, practices must be created or emerge to fit the needs of the organization. Agility rises from emergent adaptive behavior, initiated locally by people close to the problem, and scaled globally through experimentation and adaptation. The ETF fosters and supports this agile journey, helping organisations to become resilient and anti-fragile to market changes.

Agility Means Improving Both the Process and the Product

There are two sides to the “agile coin”: you need to continuously improve both the product and the process. By working together with hundreds of different organizations, we have come to recognize that continuous process improvement is a prerequisite for sustainable agile product development.The Enterprise Transition Framework helps employees to develop processes in a self-organised, structured manner, towards a common strategic goal. The ETF emphasises:

  1. Process over product: ETF gives you a structured method for continuous improvement, on the grounds that if you are capable of changing your processes, you can always work towards product agility. Depending on external forces for change is not sustainable.
  2. Self-organization: In order to fully commit, employees must feel that they have been able to influence the new processes. In this way the process improvements automatically get buy-in from the organization. There is no longer a need to run heavy process deployment projects or to enforce process compliance.
  3. Strategic direction: A shared vision such as “improve the time-to-market” gives the teams a common strategic direction, and helps them optimize the whole value stream rather than their own limited workflow.
  4. Theory-informed practice: A working understanding of e.g. economics and queueing theory helps the teams draw up relevant and helpful improvement actions and make informed decisions about them.

The Enterprise Transition Framework gives you process agility and kickstarts you on your path towards product agility. It gives you tools, theories and methods for effective organizational change. Using these tools, deploying one of the “big models” like SAFe or DAD becomes much simpler and easier. You can reduce the dependence on “big model” consultants, and drive the implementation in a way that makes sense to you, in your own timeframe and on your own terms.

Understanding how Control works in an Agile Environment

Centralized control over the process comes out of a vicious loop that commonly occurs in complex projects where real outcome (e.g. running tested software) is not measured early and often enough. Without reliable up-to-date outcome the development process is impossible to control. The result is that teams find it very difficult to deliver on time, and managers find it difficult to trust the teams. To solve this problem managers assume ownership of the processes and address the lack of direct metrics by using indirect, secondary metrics like hour tracking, earned-value analysis and defect statistics.

Agile methods break this loop by providing up-to-date empirical validation of the product throughout its life cycle. Because agile teams work at high frequencies and high levels of transparency, all stakeholders have direct visibility into the actual state of the product as often as they want.

Agile understands that outcome is the primary measure of success. Anything else is secondary, and central process control is an illusion. This is the reason why Agile is so successful, and another key success factor for the ETF.

The Change Needs to be Driven by You, not by External Consultants

Change, if it is to be sustainable, must be driven by your own employees. An external consultant cannot change on your behalf, and when the consultant is gone the changing will drift to a stop.

The ETF helps you build sustainable change in two distinct ways. Firstly, agile42 will give you the theory and show you in practice how the ETF results in structured and strategic change. Secondly, agile42 will train your trainers and coach your coaches, so that they can spread the knowledge and methods across your company.

This allows your coaches to quickly take the lead, resulting in a sustainable agile transition.

The ETF Creates a Modern and Motivating Environment

Using the ETF is a win-win. It gives you the organizational capability to change in a structured and directed manner that the “big agile” frameworks do not provide [1]. It is framework-agnostic, allowing you to work towards any of the “big agile” frameworks or choose the components that are most suitable to your own organization.

Choices are not based on opinions (“I think this will work for you”), anecdotes (“It worked for them”) or even worse on a blueprint (“It’s what the book says”). The ETF allows you to make well-researched and motivate decisions using the scientific method, based on empirical data from your own organization and on solid mathematical models of finance and workflow management.

Moreover, the ETF respects and involves your colleagues, improves their knowledge and motivates everybody to reach your business goals.

Read more about the agile42 Enterprise Transition Framework™.