How to Create an Agile Software Factory in the Enterprise

For Agile and DevOps transformation, what may have worked for a small co-located team working on fairly simple software has proved not to adequately scale to the complex software systems modern corporations rely on. Instead, an Agile Software Factory utilizing a mature scaling framework such as the Scaled Agile Framework or Disciplined Agile as your “franchisable” process system will deliver better results.

In our preceding blog, What Is an Agile Software Factory? we discussed the three dimensions of a modern Agile Software Factory, which are:

  1. Application Modernization & Containerization
  2. Agile & DevOps Transformation
  3. CI/CD Automation

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a knowledge base of proven, integrated principles, practices and competencies for achieving business agility using Lean, Agile and DevOps methodologies. The latest version, SAFe 5.0, is built around seven core competencies that are critical to achieving and sustaining a lean enterprise and competitive advantage in an increasingly digital age.

The seven core competencies are:

  1. Lean-Agile leadership: Adopting an Agile mindset and leading by example
  2. Team and technical agility: Your team’s skills and understanding of agile principles necessary in order to deliver high-quality products and services
  3. Agile product delivery: A continuous delivery pipeline that is customer-focused and provides value-adding solutions
  4. Enterprise solution delivery: Cooperation and alignment of processes
  5. Lean portfolio management: Applying Lean-Agile thinking to the way projects are planned, funded and executed
  6. Organizational agility: The ability to quickly adapt to changing markets and customer needs
  7. Continuous learning culture: Creating a set of values and principles that encourages individuals to continually increase knowledge

Disciplined Agile (DA), recently acquired by the Project Management Institute, is another recommended approach and is a process-decision toolkit that provides straightforward and practical guidance to help individuals, teams and enterprises optimize their Way of Working (WoW) in a context-specific way.

Key principles of DA include customer centricity, pragmatism, flexibility in methodology (supporting a range of Agile and Lean options), and the application of context-based practices that optimize workflow across the entire enterprise. Applying the DA toolkit allows organizations to customize any method or framework—including traditional, Scrum, or SAFe—to drive outcomes that differentiate them from their competitors.

Adopting a powerful Agile software factory process system such as SAFe or DA is not trivial. It takes time, effort and training to get the entire organization on the same page, and to focus leaders and management on working on the system, not in it.

We provide a full range of services to help you implement an Agile software factory including consulting, training, mentoring/coaching, organizational transformation, staff augmentation, and supporting automation tooling.

If you would like more information on how to establish an Agile software factory in your organization, please contact us.

By |2020-09-10T14:21:23-05:00September 10th, 2020|Blog|Comments Off on How to Create an Agile Software Factory in the Enterprise

About the Author:

Rolf is an Agile/DevOps/Cloud Strategy and Transformation IT Consultant for Sirius.