Taking 'Agile at Scale' to the Next Level: Improving Your SAFe® or Other Large Scale Adoption

Course Tabs

Course Overview

Success with Agile at Scale has varied from little to dramatic.  The reasons for this are many. The common themes however, are no one defined Agile at Scale approach (e.g., SAFe, LeSS, Nexus, …) include advanced practices we’ve found essential.  Furthermore, all take a “one-sized fits all” approaches when it comes to many of their key practices and how to apply them   in the context of your company’s culture. This course consolidates the decade plus experience Net Objectives has accumulated doing Agile at Scale.  It provides several key practices that we have found essential.  It also discusses how to address your situation and problems when attempting to implement any transformation at scale. Although this course is specifically designed for those doing SAFe, practitioners of any Agile at Scale approach will find benefit.

Net Objectives is not only a contributor to SAFe, but many of SAFe’s practices are based on concepts we’ve pioneered. We bring over a decade of experience in Agile at both scale and mid-scale to our SAFe implementations. This “course description” explains both why a “one-size fits all” implementation of SAFe can be risky and what must be attended to in order to avoid that.

Note: This course is neither authorized by Scaled Agile Inc., nor provides any certification related to SAFe.

Address Common Challenges with Adopting Agile at Scale

We find that most companies have the following challenges with adopting Agile at Scale:

  • how can we best organize our trains when the organization is highly siloed?
  • how do we get alignment across multiple portfolios and programs?
  • how to have a consistent approach across the organization while allowing teams to adapt as needed?
  • what is the role of management?

Address the Challenges to Adopting Agile at Scale With SAFe

SAFe is described as a framework; however, too often, organizations try to implement it as a complete solution. One of its mantras is “all-in, all the way,” which is great if you can get a 100% buy-in, can adopt all of it at once without creating massive resistance, and if the prescribed practices of SAFe are the correct ones for you. Rarely is this the case. More often, implementations of SAFe ignore three key challenges:

  • The difficulty of establishing buy-in
  • Whether SAFe should be implemented all at once or transitioned to in order to adjust to the current situation and culture
  • How to adapt the framework to meet your own needs

Our deep experience enables our clients to go beyond these challenges. In fact, the BMC case study was based on the work of two of our consultants: Dr. Israel Gat and Iqbal Singh. It effectively describes our general approach and is where Dean says “they cut their eye teeth on Agile at Scale.”

Building on this and earlier experience, our approach to implementing Agile at Scale specifically addresses the aforementioned challenges. We have developed a set of patterns of success that incorporates what we have learned and that address the key challenges to implementing Agile at Scale. 

Addressing These Challenges to Increase Your Rate of Success

Taking 'Agile at Scale' to the Next Level: Improving Your SAFe® or Other Large Scale Adoption provides a new perspective on how to make SAFe easier to implement and on  how to improve and extend its practices so as to make it more effective.

It begins with the understanding that SAFe is a framework with embedded practices to provide a full solution for companies undertaking Agile at Scale. This framework with embedded practices provides a potentially great starting point with the ability to adjust to the organization adopting it. It describes how to apply SAFe to  your own context and to avoid treating SAFe as a one-size-fits-all solution.T

The course provides the following:

  1. A deeper understanding of Lean-Agile methods and product management using minimum business increment and Lean-Startup concepts
  2. How to create a customized adoption plan for SAFe based on your organization's culture and needs
  3. A selection of advanced practices that improves on standard SAFe practices
Course Objectives: 

Intention of Course

Enhance the understanding of SAFe® Agilists and SPCs in how to do adopt SAFe in a more effective manner and avoid many of the pitfalls that plague SAFe adoptions.

Net Objectives is Ideally Suited to Deliver this Course

Net Objectives has been doing Agile at Scale since 2004. We have pioneered dozens of practices that have now become commonplace in the Agile community. Some of have become integrated into the SAFe framework and other have not yet; for example, in the area of ATDD and architecture. Al Shalloway, CEO and creator of this course, has incorporated our deep experience in Agile at scale, emergent design, and implementing SAFe to create this advanced course on SAFe.

Target Audience:

Primary Audience: 

Transition agents considering adopting SAFe® or looking to improve their current SAFe adoption.

Learning Objectives: 

By the end of this course, attendees will be able to:

  • Apply Lean, Agile and product development flow principles to improve productivity, employee engagement, time-to-market, and quality.
  • Apply the Scaled Agile Framework® based on lecture, real-world examples, and insights by Scaled Agile experts.
  • Understand the skills necessary for an enterprise transformation based on the information and examples presented, and additional recommended readings and resources.
  • Gain the insights into the leadership skill most effective in unlocking the intrinsic motivation of software development knowledge workers, and begin applying them in your context.

Any Certifications/PDUs

8 PDUs

Maximum Number in Class

60 (Approximate. Depends upon make up and experience level of team.)
Room Setup and Equipment Needed

No computer equipment is needed for this course.
Students need to sit at tables, 4-6 students per table.
One flip chart per table and a flip chart or whiteboard for the instructor.
A projector with screen.