The concept of Agile Release Train is central to understanding the constructs of SAFe and to implement them. So, what is an ART? Is it a set of teams working in tandem with each other following a common release calendar and Sprint timeline?
Essential SAFe 4.0 was launched by Scaled Agile Inc. in 2016 as a method to help organizations scale up their existing agile practices. But isn’t that also the reason behind organizations adopting Scaled Agile framework in its glorious entirety?
Many industry experts have come out and pointed possible flaws in the Scaled Agile Framework. For instance, Ron Jeffries has expressed reservation over SAFe’s approach to resolve inter-team dependencies by holding a multi-team meeting comprising of over 250 people.
I was part of a very interesting discussion at a Silicon Valley high-tech giant a couple of weeks back that focused on doing Agile with distributed teams. We discussed several aspects of Scrum/ XP practices in distributed teams – and it turned out one of the main (some said “the only!”) challenges was the ability to run a Daily Standup meeting well! Having been part of conference calls, WebEx meetings and other virtual gatherings for the longest time, this surprised me somewhat. So, in the last week’s Kaizen Camp Seattle Un-conference, I decided to do a session on that exact same topic.
For long, we have heard complaints about Waterfall, CMMI, etc. The complaints vary from too much process to too much documentation to too much overhead, etc. The fact is that like everything else that has been around for a while, the spirit behind these standards/ certifications/ methodologies has been diluted over time. I know of instances where tons of backdated documentation is generated before the day of the CMMI audit! Much worse, we have all heard of instances where certificates are “bought” out.
My introduction to the Agile world goes back about 3 years. Charged with the new buzz of Agile, a team at Digité attended an Agile workshop conducted by a local Agile/ Scrum trainer. The first part of the workshop was really very exciting where the coach educated us on the Agile Manifesto. In the second half, we learned of various Scrum characteristics. At the end, the coach made a remark – 'You will be an Agile Organization only if you follow ALL of the Scrum methods described in the workshop'.