Improving Your Enterprise Agility With The Simple Lean-Agile Mindset (SLAM)

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Improving Your Enterprise Agility With The Simple Lean-Agile Mindset (SLAM)

24 Jun 2022 Admin 0 Agile and Scrum

Many businesses want to become agile. They do things like forming small teams, holding daily stand-up meetings, and scheduling planning sessions. But to truly embrace agility, you must understand how thinking agilely is just as important as acting agilely.

However, if you're only using these practices like stand-ups and sprints, you may be just scratching the surface. The goal is to transform your entire business into an agile-driven culture. To be successful, you must be open to change and embrace new ideas.

Gartner’s survey reveals that many organizations use the most popular and best agile methods such as SAFe, DA, LeSS, and Kanban that help them make rapid changes. Being lean and agile is essential in today's economy. So, presenting the SLAM (Simple Lean-Agile Mindset) helps to understand enterprise agility and overcome barriers.

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Introduction to SLAM

It is a conceptual design that allows you to understand how agile organizations work. This is a general overview of what agile systems and practices are trying to achieve for businesses. SLAM splits agility into four parts:

1. System Level Optimization

The eight methods collection is to improve the way people collaborate in an organization to achieve a specific goal and constantly improve.

2. Strategic Vision & Execution

A vision that unites the organization along with the three-stage process of implementing this vision: 1) break down, 2) set priorities and 3) focus work on teams.

3. Empirical Process Control

Continuous improvement system: 1) small batch delivery, and 2) feedback gathering and response.

4. Business Agility

Development of agility in the organization. While the company's agility focuses on product delivery, it makes the entire organization into lean-agile, including HR, accounting, marketing, sales, manufacturing, and marketing.

Let’s see in detail about eight steps involved in system level optimization in this post.

System-Level Optimization – Eight Ways

Simple Lean-Agile Mindset

System Level Optimization

1. Shortening Product Cycle Timeframe

All of the company's agile systems focus on shortening cycles of product development to streamline workflows, increase transparency, and ensure incremental and continuous improvement. SAFe uses a value stream concept - steps between concept and cash. You want to simplify the process so that the PI is delivered in less timeframe.

Read this: SAFe® and The Concept of Lean-Agile Mindset for more details

2. Making Clear Communication

A key area that covers all areas is open communication between everyone involved in developing products, including customers, management, team members, and leaders of the organization. SAFe has an engineer responsible for each task, including a STE (Solution Train Engineer) who transmits the solutions to different teams, and a RTE (Release Train Engineer) who focuses on train release.

3. Value Stream Budgeting

With Enterprise Agile, customers collaborate with the organization, so budgets need to be more flexible. Instead of budgeting projects, you create budget value flows and your teams gradually build product functionality based on customer priorities. SAFe offers lean budgeting strategies. You have a value stream budget and then assign that value flow to the ART. A lean budget ensures that each ART will only work on what is an added value for the customer.

4. Encouraging transparency

Transparency can be a real challenge for many organizations. Strong control cultures provide confidence and focus on accountability. These organizations want their leaders to reduce risk and provide accurate forecasts. SAFe includes ‘Transparency’ as one in its core values. Before each sprint, teams move up and report their sprint goal, and at each sprint’s end, they evaluate whether or not they attained their objectives.

5. Timeboxing

Timeboxing assigns a specific time to a specific activity. All of the company's agile systems and practices are based on a time frame to ensure predictability and reduce waste.

6. Working in cross-functional teams

Agile organizations use multiple teams to collaborate together to avoid any handoffs. However, multifunctional teams are not only about focusing on functional capability areas. Instead, they work with the product, often developing capabilities that go beyond functional boundaries of traditional methods. SAFe uses ART (Agile Release Train), long-lasting multi-purpose teams focused on value stream delivery.

7. Respecting people

The basic principle of Lean and Agile Mindset is ‘respect for people’. In practice, it means:

  • Listen and appreciate everyone's thoughts. While some have a high knowledge level in certain fields, creative ideas often emerge in conversations between people experienced in various fields.
  • Let people do their task, not micromanagement. All agile systems for enterprises are built on the basis of independent but coordinated teams. Management can dictate what needs to be done, but the team decides the way to do it.
  • Encourage people to reach their full potential through training and continual learning.
  • Reward people for being innovative and for identifying weaknesses and correcting them within the organization.

Know more by reading this: SAFe Certification – A Complete Beginner’s Guide

8. Removing Failure Fear

To foster continuous improvement and innovation, organizations need to foster a fearless culture. Here are some ways to reduce the fear element in your business:

  • Use a collaborative and problem-solving approach to troubleshoot performance issues.
  • Encourage employees by speaking openly about the organization’s shortcomings.
  • Motivate employees to take initiative and do experiments, even if it leads to failure.
  • Try to improve employee retention. In organizations where turnover is high due to layoffs, employees often feel insecure about their job, which hampers initiative and innovation.
  • Give up the general urge to pinpoint others when things go wrong.
  • Create a creative work environment where employees spend time creating great products without being fear on anything.

SAFe includes and explains in its eighth principle “unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers.”

The other three agility break up aspects will be discussed in next blog posts. We hope SLAM helps enterprises reach business agility and stay competitive in the marketplace.

Know more about SAFe Agilist Certification training program provided by LearnNow and help yourself in your lean-agile journey!

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BY: Admin

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