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Utilising SAFeAgil8’s primary SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) trainer and SAFe Programme Consultant (SPC) Shaun Smith discusses a number of common challenges that companies face when undertaking Agile transformations at enterprise level.

Exploiting the value of re-prioritisation

Agile techniques are optimised for keeping the cost of change relatively low, allowing companies to learn and adjust what they’re building based on feedback.

This is a huge challenge in using feedback to continue to adjust and re-prioritise to keep on maximising value – and also knowing when to stop developing a product because new features are giving simple marginal returns.

So whilst there is still massive benefits in using incremental and iterative techniques for de-risking execution and building better work environments, exploiting the real value of learning based re-prioritisation remains hard.

Alignment across multiple teams

Alignment across multiple teams can be complex. For example, we might have identified the top 10 priorities, but when we ask multiple cross-functional teams to plan delivering against those priorities, we might quickly find constraints in skills and knowledge that mean we can perhaps only apply 15% of our development capacity to those priorities.

All too often this then means that teams will be selecting other, lower value work to fill their time because a particular part of the system, skills or code-base “belongs” to another team. This creates a real challenge for coaching, and ultimately the engineering manager/director to encourage cross-skilling, re-learning and ultimately ensuring their department is staffed correctly for the engineering priorities.

Overcoming (and avoiding) such challenges

Many of the principles and practices that SAFe teaches, will equip individuals and teams of teams with the skills and knowledge needed to identify such challenges, and understand how to overcome them.

If you’re currently experiencing challenges such as these, or anticipate facing similar hurdles in the near future – then join Shaun Smith or Andrea Darabos on one of our upcoming SAFe courses.

SAFe Agilist: Leading SAFe – Full course information and dates

SAFe Product Owner / Product Manager – Full course information and dates