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The IP Iteration: It may be SAFe but is it Agile? (Part 1)

"But this just isn't Agile!  Why can't we just keep Sprinting?".
"We don't have time for this, we've got too much work to do!".
"Planning together is worthless because everything changes soon afterwards."
"It is boring and a waste of my time, I'm here to write code".


These are just some of the things we regularly hear from clients who are learning the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®). The part of SAFe they seem to struggle with most is the IP Iteration (sometimes called the 'bridge') that handles the switch between two adjacent PIs (Program Increments). This is probably the most misunderstood part of SAFe and the one that is abused the most in practice.


Let's start by unpicking why SAFe works like this - because there are good reasons that cannot be trivially dismissed.


The Plan Do Check Adjust/Act (PDCA) Cycle


First of all, most Agile methods are based on the PDCA cycle. (Note that there are alternatives to PDCA such as John Seddon's Check-Plan-Do.  However they are all ultimately variations on the same activities, just with different emphasis.)


PDCA is a basic improvement cycle that can be applied individually, to a team, to a programme or a wider organisation.


Planning - planning work/activity to do.
Doing - doing the work/activity.
Check - evaluating how we did.
Adjust(/Act) - improvement actions to get a better result next time.


Sports work like this. Before the game, we plantactics and strategy. Then we play the game (do).  After the game, we review our performance: what went well and badly and why (check).  Finally, we take learnings from this review and work to improve for future games (adjust/act).

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Organisational Culture And Agile Frameworks: How To Create An Alignment

Culture impacts all areas of our lives. Some are obvious such as religion, family values. Many, however, fall below the radar but still have lasting effects. In this article we will look how you could create an alignment between your organisational culture and the Agile framework you choose to adopt.

What is Culture?


I don’t think you can go far wrong with William Schneider’s definition of Culture: How we do things around here to succeed.


Schneider describes four distinct cultures summarised below in his model, as illustrated by Michael Sahota in his book ‘An Agile Adoption and Transformation Survival Guide’.

 

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#InsightThursday: 29 Agile Blogs for Your Reading List

We’ve compiled a list of 29 blogs around Agile, that you can check out and ultimately add to your reading list, so that you can keep up with news and insights from others.

Reading list tip: Use a tool like Feedly to add the sites/blogs you would like to follow. Feedly then lets you see all the posts/articles feeds in one place - your Feedly dashboard.

Back to the list: have a look at the blogs and sites below and see which ones grab your attention. Please note: the order is not necessary relevant to the blogs’ importance or ranks.

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The Times They Are a Changing

When the FT.com starts recommending agile approaches you know it’s time to sit up and take notice.

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