Jun 2020

Leading SAFe Geekbooks Simulation in Mural

Is the future of SAFe Training Online?

Recently I was pondering if the future of SAFe would be remote? My hypothesis was that the global “work from home” regime introduced by various Governments as a response to COVID-19 may well continue once the pandemic has passed. Which raises the question what does that mean for Agile Release Trains? It also raises questions for me about the future of SAFe training; will we ever return to the classroom to deliver SAFe classes? In the short term I suspect the answer is no. Well at least for those in the land down under, I see no reprieve on the ...
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May 2020

Will the Future Be Remotely SAFe?

As we all adjust to a truly new way of working, where physical distancing is the new norm, it seems more and more likely that many knowledge workers will be continuing to work from home for some time. Even as time goes by, and hopefully the need for physical distancing is reduced, will knowledge workers prefer to work from home? If you know me, you would know, I have never been a fan of distributed Agile teams. Quite simply, I have never gotten my head around how a team that never spends any time together can team. I also have ...
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Apr 2020

SAFe Training Online? How on Earth Does That Work?!

SAFe Training Online? How on Earth Does That Work?!

Over the past few weeks we have been building out content so that we can deliver our favourite certified SAFe classes online, while still offering the engaging and informative classes we are known for. So how does a live online SAFe class with Pretty Agile work? We use Zoom video conferencing technology for our virtual classroom with cameras on so we can all see each other and leveraging breakout rooms for virtual table discussions and activities. We ask students to register for the call in advance, to help us keep those Zoom-bombers at bay! We have re-created the physical class ...
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Jul 2019

Baseline Metrics Before You Start

If you do nothing else before you launch your Agile Release Train (ART) baseline your metrics! At some point, in the not too distant future, you are going to be asked, how do you know your Agile Release Train is making a difference? For you the answer might be obvious - it just feels better. It was very much that way for me with my first ART. Metrics weren’t the first indicator that things were getting better, it was the changes in behaviour. When I first took over the EDW delivery organisation, my days were spent dealing with escalations, trying ...
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Jun 2019

Understanding Cost in a SAFe World

In a textbook SAFe implementation, Lean Portfolio Management allocated a budget to each Value Stream and consequently each Agile Release Train (ART). The ART’s Product Manager works with the ART’s stakeholders to priorities the work that consumes that budget. The ART plans and executes against these priorities and no one worries about how much it costs to deliver any specific feature. However, there is often a difference between the ideal SAFe implementation and your current reality and one of those differences can be an expectation that the ART can articulate the cost of delivering a given feature. This is especially likely ...
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Jan 2019

Weighted Velocity: An Approach to Addressing the Impact of Planned and Unplanned Leave on Yesterday’s Weather

Over the past few years much has been written and tweeted about the evils of agile estimation (#noestimates). There has also been much consternation amongst agilists with respect to SAFe’s normalized estimation approach. However, for most of my large enterprise clients the need to estimate for the purposes of planning is a practical necessity and SAFe’s normalised estimation is a useful tool, when used as intended.  Given this, I have chosen to put the debates about the evils of estimation and normalized story points to one side and instead focus on how we might be able to help teams and Agile ...
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Aug 2018

Podcast: Why Agile Transformations Fail

At the inaugural SAFe Regional Summit in Frankfurt, I was luck enough to chat with Gez Smith about Why Agile Transformations Fail (and what you can do to prevent it...) We discuss whether lean is Japanese, the role of discipline in an agile adoption and the tension between discipline and autonomy, the potential inter-relationship of liberalism and agile, the need for an initial suspension of disbelief, and how every compromise you make at the start you are doomed to repeat forever.Check it out the podcast here.
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Aug 2017

SAFe from the Trenches @ Agile Australia

In June, Pretty Agile partnered with Scaled Agile Inc. to sponsor the 9th Agile Australia conference. Included in this sponsorship arrangement was an opportunity to deliver a product demonstration to conference attendees. Given Scaled Agile Inc. are the creators of the Scaled AgileFramework and Pretty Agile are their premium implementation partner in Australia, what better “product” to demonstrate than some of Australia’s most successful SAFe implementations? So, we gathered together executives from the Australian Tax Office, Yarra Valley Water, ANZ, Attache and Westpac to discuss their warts and all experiences with the Scaled Agile Framework. Here is what happened... Moderator: ...
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