Roadmaps for Discovery and the Rollout

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Before undertaking any major Agile adoption, it is important to ensure you both understand your challenges and the best way to solve them. There is not only no one-size fits all, but even when you know what “size” to use, the order of its adoption may vary based on your culture, who is leading and the extent of certain challenges.

The following are appropriate for virtually all companies about to undertake an adoption of Agile methods.

Phase 1: Assessment and leadership/management training

  • Perform a two day to two week assessment of challenges and create an initial challenge-response map.
  • Have the sponsor and their key stakeholders and influencers, take a two hour introduction to the approach being undertaken and how it fits into the challenge-response map.
  • Have leadership, product management, and the PMO, take a one day leadership overview of Lean-Agile Product Management and how it fits into the challenge-response map and discuss the Lean-Agile practices that should be adopted.

Phase 2: Strategies, initiatives and funding

It is best to work from the top but this level is often not interested in participating in an Agile adoption. If they are, there is a great opportunity to create clarity on:

  • What the company should invest in.
  • H to use this to create strategies and initiatives

Doing this will help resolve conflicting requirements that occur further down the value stream.

Phase 3: Product Management

  • Provide three days of product management workshop/coaching starting with the selection of a pilot initiative that will affect most of the teams, and working with Product Managers, business analysts, and Product Owners, as applicable, to craft thin-slice requirements from the initiative-level all the way to team-level stories.

Phase 4: Workshops for managers, Scrum Masters and the team

Phase 5: Kicking off the real work with a planning event

FLEX will support an iterative model where teams plan separately, or an iterative model where teams plan together (like SAFe) or even a pure flow model. To get things started, a two day planning event focusing on collaboration, identifying depedencies and making agreements with each other is important.

Phase 6: Post planning coaching

Provide three weeks of follow-on coaching for the development teams and for product management to do the following.

  • Coach on crafting sprint-level scenarios and stories, and on estimation
  • Coach on a full cycle of Scrum or Kanban ceremonies as appropriate
  • Help to implement these items.
    • A multi-tier Kanban board (such as Initiatives → MBIs → Features → Stories)
    • Team-level sprint kanban boards
    • A cross-team dependency board for planning and forecasting

Conduct a one day pilot review workshop for leadership, product management, and the PMO to demonstrate outcomes, retrospect the effort, and discuss next steps.

Phase 7: Technical skills (optional)

Provide Agile Software Development training (Design Patterns, TDD or Emergent Design) for architects and team leads who develop code. In addition we include our online, self-paced course Foundations of Sustainable Design for all developers in the pilot at no additional cost.


If your organization is already doing SAFe, you can learn more about how FLEX can help both simplify SAFe while making it more effective. For more, see Using FLEX to Enhance SAFe.

Roadmaps need to be adjusted for who is driving, who is involved, what the culture of the organization is and where they are. The following figure shows a starting roadmap before being tailored for these factors.

Figure 2. Roadmap for dev group with business