Scaled Agile Framework, SAFe® is the world’s leading framework for Business Agility. SAFe® is built around seven Core Competencies with Customers as a focal point in the center. The seven core competencies each have three dimensions making it a total of twenty-one dimensions to enable Business Agility. These dimensions contain some of the practices, patterns, and guidelines to Scale Agility across the enterprise.
Develop on Cadence; Release on Demand
One of the Dimensions of Agile Product Delivery is a core competency. Customer-centric enterprises seek to create a continuous flow of value for their customers. The timing of these releases is determined by market and customer needs, and the enterprise’s own motivation to provide value. Some enterprises may release extremely frequently, while others may be constrained by compliance or other market requirements that motivate less frequent releases. Collectively, SAFe® refers to these capabilities as Release on Demand.
Release timing, however, does not coincide with the workflow of the people creating solutions. Teams apply a process model that is optimized for highly variable knowledge work. In SAFe®, this is known as Develop on Cadence, a coordinated set of practices that support Agile Teams by providing a reliable series of events and activities that occur on a regular, predictable schedule. Decoupling the events and activities that support the organization in creating value from how that value is delivered further promotes Business Agility.
Agile Team and Agile Release Train Cadences
SAFe®’s cadence structure supports Agile Teams and Agile Release Trains (ARTs) in creating and delivering value.
Iterations are the basic building block of Agile development. Each iteration is a standard, fixed-length timebox in which Agile Teams deliver incremental value. For Agile teams, these are typically working software and hardware, while business teams will provide other aspects of value. A typical timebox duration is two weeks. However, slightly shorter or longer timeboxes may be useful. Iterations are well structured and follow a consistent cycle of Iteration Planning, Iteration Execution (which includes a daily stand-up and backlog refinement), Iteration Review, and an Iteration Retrospective.
Program Increments (PIs) are a larger timebox, a set of iterations during which a group of Agile Teams organized into an ART delivers incremental value, in the form of working, tested software and systems. PIs are typically established as a fixed 8 – 12 weeks period, comprised of 3 – 5 development Iterations, followed by one Innovation and Planning (IP) Iteration.
Program Increments are further organized to include additional cadence-based events and activities that promote Business Agility.
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Release on Demand
Release on Demand captures the mechanisms and processes by which new functionality is deployed into production and released immediately or incrementally to customers based on demand. Enterprises vary regarding when they release functionality.
In conjunction with stakeholders, Agile Product Management determines when a release should happen, what elements of the system should be released, and which end-users and customers should receive the release. Some products serve markets in which releasing new functionality as soon as it’s available is the optimal choice. Notable examples are modern SaaS software and service providers who have created sophisticated DevOps capabilities that allow them to release value multiple times per day.
Additional factors that influence when an enterprise may wish to release functionality are: Regulatory deadlines Responding to product defects and security updates Responding to competitive market pressures
Your search for a career change or an understanding of the field is over! Leading SAFe® is what you need, and there are lots of benefits to SAFe® certifications. Please let us know if you have ever considered how you can scale agile practices to improve businesses because we hope that this article has helped you learn how to do that. Good luck on your DevOps journey!
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