June 15 2018
Is Agile flexible enough to be scaled?
Agile can be a very flexible methodology. So flexible in fact that it can be used in large enterprise businesses.
The project I have just been apart of had about 200 people working at one time to develop, test and manage the build of a single software solution. The project I was on used the Scaled Agile Framework or SAFe.
The reason why I have chosen SAFe, or the similar Daikibo Agile at Scale for a topic of discussion is that even though agile is one of the most successful methods of development, it doesn't scale well for enterprise businesses. The problem is that agile does have its limits, and when many try to scale agile, they fail.
A big problem is that when teams tried in the past to explore how to properly scale agile they were stuck with the problem of risking big expensive projects on something which may fail.
In the past many large organisations who have hundreds of developers tried to create an agile environment by using the cookie cutter approach; that is to create lots of small agile scrums which somehow interact with other agile scrums. Many of these projects failed and as a result, the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and later Daikibo Agile at Scale were born.
If you want to know more you can go to http://www.scaledagileframework.com This web page identifies what the Scaled Agile Framework is, what its purpose is, and offers general guidelines for anyone who is already trained in the agile framework to fully understand SAFe.
Can you give me an example of where a large project which used the Scaled Agile Framework successfully?
Click on the following link, SAFE_case-studies. The web page contains case studies and short stories to learn how enterprises leverage SAFe to achieve better business outcomes and improve employee engagement.
What are the disadvantages of a large project using the Scaled Agile Framework?
A good article which looks at the criticisms which some members of the IT community feels towards the SAFe is titled "Facing Criticism: Is SAFe¢ī the "Fast Food" of Agile?"
Are there are similar frameworks which a large project could use?
Yes. One organisation which explored the complexities of Agile at Scale are Cognizant, and they created Daikibo, a tried and true approach to implement Agile at Scale.
You can find more about Daikibo on their website. https://www.cognizant.com/application-services/agile
What are the downsides to SAFe?
SAFe is a registered trademark of Scaled Agile framework the corporation has made SAFe knowledge publicly available throughout its website free of charge. However, all content, including text and graphics is protected by US and international copyright. Many IT professionals criticise SAFe for its use of disempowerment of IT professionals who in agile have full reign of how to solve software application problems however when you scale large projects individual creativity is difficult to achieve.