New Lean-Agile Architecture Toolkit for SPCs
Momentum is critical as you launch your Agile Release Trains (ARTs), and one of the biggest momentum killers is having people on the team who don’t understand their role or their contribution, or who do not have clear expectations of how their lives will change as a result of a SAFe implementation.
Every participant in SAFe deserves to understand their role and the benefits they bring to their colleagues, but perhaps software and solution architects have not received sufficient attention in Agile circles. As you reach the SAFe tipping point and prepare to launch trains, it’s critical to engage the people in architectural and technical steering roles. That’s critical to gaining their advocacy and it also reduces the risk and uncertainty of new ART launches. (And, after all, its really hard to build big systems without them!)
Recognizing this need, we are excited to share our newest toolkit offering to our SPC community, further improving your ability to improve enterprises and deliver better results. The Lean-Agile Architecture Toolkit provides a SAFe orientation workshop focused on the expectations and responsibilities of architects as members of Solution and Release Trains. The first five segments focus on the key mindsets, collaborations and activities surrounding Essential SAFe, followed by the additional interactions involved with Large Solutions and the Lean Portfolio. The workshop contains engaging activities focused on helping architects explore how their roles will change in the SAFe environment. It is targeted as a half-day workshop, but we expect that it will trigger many deep discussions and may often take a full day to satisfy the desire to learn and engage.
This workshop has been designed with the needs and perspective of architects in mind. The key focus is on the System Architect role, easily extending to provide similar insights and value to Solution Architects and the various team-level architecture contributors found in the enterprise. We also believe it will be quite useful for Enterprise Architects to understand how technology will be implemented with SAFe, as well as for highly-specialized roles like data, infrastructure, and security architects that frequently interact with an ART as a shared service. We think this will be most useful for SPCs helping their organization reach the tipping point on the Implementation Roadmap, as the architecture function often has a strong voice in any major decisions. SPCs will also find the orientation quite useful just before or after launching the ART, as additional architectural collaborators beyond the System Architect are frequently discovered as the Features are identified and their dependencies better understood.
SPCs will find it most useful to deliver the workshop to a small group of 5-10 architects who will need to work together around a small number of related ARTs. Wherever possible, SPCs should pair with an architect that already has Agile and SAFe experience, as this will make the stories and approach far more relevant and engaging. As always, the tool is freely available to all current SPCs.
Download the toolkit from the SAFe Community Platform and use it with your architects to create engagement and prepare this key stakeholder group to engage in ARTs. This will help make previously frustrating collaborations far easier, freeing up energy and capacity to focus on your customers and the delivery of value.
Please feel free to post your comments below. FYI, SAFe Fellow and contributor Eric Willeke is the PO for this toolkit, so you can also send your comments directly to Eric. (Eric@ericwilleke.com)
– Dean, Eric and the Framework team