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SAFe Practice Tips: CI/CD Part 1- Continuous integration

17-Apr-2018 12:19:37 SAFe How-To Agile IT CI/CD



*This post is part of the series ‘SAFe Practice Tips’, which aims to offer helpful advice to anyone using SAFe.


This is the first part to the CI/CD blog series where I discuss continuous integration, delivery & deployment, and the differences between them but also how they relate to one another. This blog will help with enabling a smooth continuous journey for your team. The first practice we discuss is Continuous integration.


Where do I start?


First of all, CI/CD is not one thing.  When people start using the term "CI/CD" they are merging different things together, and while they are related (you can't have CD without CI) they are quite different in scope.  The CD acronym further complicates things by being ambiguous (see below).

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SAFe Practice Tips: Program Increment (PI) Planning Part 3

11-Apr-2018 11:10:00 SAFe How-To SAFe 4.5 PI Planning

*This post is part of the series ‘SAFe Practice Tips’, which aims to offer helpful advice to anyone using SAFe.

Here is the final part of the SAFe PI Planning Tips series where I discuss the Planning Retrospective. This is the final activity of the Program Increment (PI) Planning event. If you haven’t checked out our previous Tips of the SAFe Practice series you can check them out here: Part 1 and Part 2


“The RTE leads a brief retrospective for the PI planning event to capture what went well, what didn’t, and what can be done better next time.”  - Scaled Agile Framework


My experience with the PI is that, whilst energising and exhilarating, it also exhausting! By the time you get to the final confidence vote, people are ‘done’! They just want to get home.

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SAFe Practice Tips: Program Increment (PI) Planning Part 2

04-Apr-2018 16:19:51 SAFe How-To SAFe 4.5 PI Planning

*This post is part of the series ‘SAFe Practice Tips’, which aims to offer helpful advice to anyone using SAFe.

Here is the 2nd part of the SAFe® Practice Tips series, where I discuss Management Problem Solving, including thoughts from other SAFe practitioners. Also, I explain confidence voting and how the team can do this to help meet their objectives for the PI. If you haven’t checked out the previous parts of the series - read Tip 1 here and Tip 2 here.


As mentioned last time, PI Planning is essential to SAFe. If you are not doing PI Planning, you are not doing SAFe. These tips will enable you to do your PI planning in a better way.

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SAFe Practice Tips: Program Increment (PI) Planning

26-Mar-2018 14:26:04 SAFe How-To SAFe 4.5 PI Planning

*This post is part of the series ‘SAFe Practice Tips’, which aims to offer helpful advice to anyone using SAFe.

As a SAFe® Program Consultant Trainer (SPCT) I can’t remember how many PI Planning events I facilitated and attended last year. However, what I do know is that this is a seminal event in SAFe, which aims  to create alignment with the Teams, the Product Management, the Architects and Business Owners.

“Program Increment (PI) Planning is a cadence-based, face-to-face event that serves as the heartbeat of the Agile Release Train (ART), aligning all the teams on the ART to a shared mission and Vision.”

PI Planning is essential to SAFe - If you are not doing PI Planning, you are not doing SAFe.

Over the last 2 years, I have been experimenting with different techniques and practices which I thought I would share with you. The first one is regarding Business Context and Team Space

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SAFe Practice Tips: The Inspect and Adapt Workshop

As a SAFe® Program Consultant Trainer, I have launched many Agile Release Trains (ARTs) over the last two years in a variety of industries and countries. Every time, I look to try something new (an experiment) to see whether there is a better way of doing things.

So, through a series of blogs I am going to share some of those experiments that I have found really useful. Perhaps try them out for yourself and let me know how you get on.

Let’s start by looking at the Inspect and Adapt workshop which, after the PI Planning, is probably the most important event; it is where we remember Principle #12 from the Agile Manifesto:

“At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes  and adjusts its behaviour accordingly.”

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The (Unofficial) Scrum Master Level Up Guide

This is a guest post by
 Samantha Webb. Samantha is an experienced Scrum Master and Agile coach working in the computer games and eSports industry. She spends a lot of time both inside and outside work mentoring professionals new to the Scrum Master role as well as coaching teams in Agile. 


Whether or not you are familiar with the world of MMOs or RPGs (that’s massively multiplayer online games and role-playing games), there are a lot of lessons that can be learned from the virtual world and applied in the real one. This is certainly true of my experience working in Agile environments as well, and this article aims to look at some of the practices introduced in online games that can help Scrum Masters improve their own practices.

One of the most common questions I hear from new Scrum Masters – and also often those with more experience under their belt – is how they can better themselves. Inspection and adaptation are two of the three pillars of Scrum, so it is no surprise that the best practitioners I know apply these pillars to their own practice. Lately I’ve found myself offering up similar advice to many Scrum Masters in different circumstances, so I thought the time had come to put quill to parchment and record my advice for other Scrum Master adventurers.

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How Scoring Mince Pies Helped Us Understand Prioritisation Better

Last year, prior to Toni and I joining Radtac, our colleague and Head of Training Alex Gray wrote a blog about “How to Prioritise Using Mince Pies”, which you can view here before reading on. So, inspired by the previous year, we went on to maintain this new-found tradition while also learning more about prioritisation ourselves.

So, at the end of November we bought our first pack, a box of M&S Star Mince Pies but had to decide on how to rank them. We agreed that we would use the same scoring system as the previous year, the story point/Fibonacci sequence – 1,2,3,5,8,13,20 - 1 being terrible and 20 being excellent, and all the pies would be scored on: Overall Flavour, Filling, Pastry, Freshness, Presentation and Price.

Now don’t get me wrong, the M&S Star Mince pies were good but they were not quite what we had hoped for from Marks & Spencer. Which is why they ended up getting what would turn out to be an only slightly below average score, especially let down by the pastry and price. However, this gave us a benchmark for the rest of the pies to live up to, or hopefully exceed.

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Plan Your Christmas With Our Festive Kanban Board

14-Dec-2017 10:25:11 Kanban How-To Christmas

Are you struggling to plan your Christmas in an efficient way? We have provided a solution for you to overcome this with a Kanban board. A Kanban board is a workflow visualisation tool that enables you to optimise and manage the flow of your work. If you are a beginner in using a Kanban board or have never used one yourself check out our previous blog on ‘How to use a Kanban board’.  There are many benefits to using a Kanban Board such as:


- Providing visibility across the team

- Reduces overburdening

- Helps with communicating better

- Encourages better quality of work


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How to Use a Kanban Board

03-Oct-2017 12:58:41 Kanban How-To

Out of the various Agile frameworks and methods out there, today’s blog post focuses on Kanban. More specifically, on how to use one of the most popular techniques for the visual management of your workflow: the Kanban Board.

What is Kanban?

Let us start with what Kanban is not:

  • Kanban is not a project management methodology.
  • Kanban is not a product development lifecycle process.

So, what is Kanban?

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Create User-Centric Products and Features with Product Discovery

11-Sep-2017 11:22:54 Visualisation Graphic templates How-To

What makes consumers decide to buy your product or service? How important is adopting a user-centric approach when planning new features? Why does solving real-life problems matter for your customers? Read this blog to find out.

On my commute into the office today I was struck by the vast array of exciting new products that seemed to flaunt themselves from every angle. The adverts that flash up on my phone whilst nosing around on Social Media, the mesmerising new gadgets that brandish themselves from the centre of the free ad paper, and the cutting edge fashion that lines the high street. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little tempted by these goods, but would it be enough to lure me into parting with my well-earned cash?

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