Setting The Stage for Business Agility

This chapter sets the stage for using some of FLEX’s concepts with SAFe. For organizations with more than one business stakeholder, it is essential that work be provided to the technology group with the work being in small batches of work sequenced by order of importance.  If small batches of work aren’t used, it will be difficult for them to complete work items coming in and they will end up working on too many too large items. The key to this lies in three main concepts:

  1. what is important for the company to be investing in?
  2. how do we break our work down into small chunks so that we can sequence them?
  3. how do we sequence the work in a manner that people across the organization will agree to?

The first one clearly is used to define our strategies.  Even the companies that have clarity on this at the top levels often do not create visibility on this at the worker bee levels. This connection is critical if we are to push decision making down.

This part of the book presents three mechanisms for accomplishing the above. The next part will show how to use them in an coherent, effective, manner.

This part has the following chapters:

  1. The Business Case for Agility presents Agile from an executive point of view and explains why we need to focus on value delivery and lowering risk.
  2. Why We Need More Than MVPs presents a new way to look at our product backlog so that we can properly sequence it.
  3. Sequencing  the Work To Be Done. While WSJF is a good tool, SAFe has over-simplified it which weakens some of its value. This over simplification also makes it less useful when attempting to use it as a portfolio management tool.