Project Management

How Disciplined Agile and FLEX Improve SAFe

From the Manifesting Business Agility Blog
This blog concerns itself with organizations moving to business agility—the quick realization of value predictably and sustainably, and with high quality. It includes all aspects of this—from the business stakeholders through ops and support. Topics will be far-reaching but will mostly discuss FLEX, Flow, Lean-Thinking, Lean-Management, Theory of Constraints, Systems Thinking, Test-First and Agile.

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How Disciplined Agile and FLEX Improve SAFe

The Disciplined Agile/FLEX 2-step Approach. Part IV of VI – When have small to medium size organizations with well-defined teams

Why Disciplined Agile Uses Work in Process and not Work in Progress

I'm working on a 2-day subset of the DA Value Stream Consultant workshop called Disciplined Agile for SAFe. Here's a list of main changes & additions:

  • The goal is not coordination of teams but decoupling of teams
  • Focus on creating a network of semi-autonomous, cross-functional team or groups of teams (dedicated product team - DPT)
  • Use flow/kanban to manage work between teams
  • Use dedicated product teams instead of ARTs
  • View SAFe from a value stream (Lean's definition) perspective
  • How to improve value streams
  • Use MBIs and MVPs (Ries’ meaning) as MVPs can't be done in a 3 month cycle
  • Use FLEX's simpler budgeting, portfolio & product management method aligned around products (true project to product shift)
  • Middle-up-down management
  • calculate cost of delay on MBIs, not epics or features
  • take a systems-thinking perspective
  • one size does not fit all - look where to start
  • attend to culture
  • Use Big Room Planning to identify dependencies and to guide DPT creation - BRP deals with symptoms not root cause so don’t have it be your central method of planning
  • Agreements to make across the organization
  • Why you must start your improvements with test-first methods
  • Use Goldratt's inherent simplicity to deal with complexity
Posted on: April 10, 2020 05:53 PM | Permalink

Comments (3)

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Hi AI,

It's curious, how this is applied, having DA it's own lifecycles , more specifically the program lifecycle when you have the case of multiple teams, in the process goal evolve your wow , in the decision more lifecycle we can choose lifecycles that are not DAD lifecycles like SAFe Less ( or you are already limited to what is implemented) etc...

I suppose that in this particular cases we are limited only to improve all that is not pescrived by SAFe or Less etc...


Great question. I'm in the process of writing this up.

Basically, you could say DA is creating a new lifecycle to use based on FLEX - one of improving SAFe.

One of the key aspects is to go beyond the large planning events and decompose the ARTs into dedicated product teams with fewer dependencies between them.

I've opened up a study program on DA/FLEX with 2 Q&A sessions on it. You can learn more at:

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