Enhance the Portfolio
- Reaching the Tipping Point
- Train Lean-Agile Change Agents
- Create a Lean-Agile Center of Excellence (LACE)
- Train Executives, Managers, and Leaders
- Lead in the Digital Age
- Organize Around Value
- Create the Implementation Plan
- Prepare for ART Launch
- Train Teams and Launch the ART
- Coach ART Execution
- Launch More ARTs and Value Streams
Adopt and Improve LPM practices
- Strategy & Investment Funding – ensures the entire portfolio is aligned and funded to create and maintain the solutions needed to meet business targets.
- Agile Portfolio Operations – coordinates and supports decentralized ART execution and operational excellence.
- Lean Governance – provides oversight and decision-making of spending, audit, compliance, forecasting expenses, and performance measurement.
- LPM training – The two-day LPM course helps portfolio leaders understand LPM practices and how they differ from traditional approaches.
- Getting Started with LPM workshop – This one-day workshop helps the team of change agents who will guide the LPM implementation to begin the practical planning for launching LPM within the organization’s context.
- LPM Adoption Roadmap – This set of practical online ‘how to’ resources compiled by a large team of experienced LPM practitioners gives the implementation team the critical tools and best practices to guide the organization’s adoption of LPM. Figure 3 summarizes this guidance:
Improving existing LPM implementations
- evaluate the health of existing portfolios,
- identify the areas of greatest opportunity for improvement, then
- devote the people and resources required to implement the most valuable enhancements.
- Use the LPM competency assessment – The LPM competency assessment consists of approximately 50 statements describing the best practices for strategy and investment funding, Agile portfolio operations, and Lean governance. Identify the right stakeholders with the knowledge of these practices in your organization, conduct the assessments, analyze the results, and then prioritize the list of potential improvements. (Refer to the enhanced guidance article Facilitating SAFe Assessments for detailed instructions.)
- Engage stakeholders for each improvement – Some areas of improvement may need the support of stakeholders who have not been engaged in LPM and may not fully understand or be on board with needed changes to legacy practices. LPM advocates must invest the time required to identify these stakeholders, cultivate positive connections, socialize the assessment findings and recommendations, and build urgency and buy-in for change.
- Add improvement items to appropriate backlogs and prioritize – Improvement requires real work and real capacity from the stakeholders with authority to evolve legacy systems, policies, practices, and roles. Adding improvement work to the backlogs where the work is needed provides visibility, builds alignment, and helps balance competing priorities. As a result, the work to enhance the portfolio will follow a Plan-Do-Check-Adjust cycle like any other work in a Lean-Agile enterprise.
Optimize Portfolio Flow
- epics moving through the portfolio encounter bottlenecks
- the portfolio takes on too much WIP, exceeding the capacity of its value streams
- portfolio leaders continue to apply legacy waterfall governance policies to Agile development
- shifts in solution strategy are not validated with customers through fast feedback
- Capture data on current portfolio flow. Start by measuring the flow time of epics through the portfolio Kanban. Understanding average flow time is a good beginning, but dive deeper to understand the value stream map and where delays are occurring. Basing improvements on empirical data and analysis will help build support for changes necessary to improve flow.
- Connect challenges to portfolio flow with impacts on teams and ARTs. Delays in flow at the portfolio will have greater urgency for improvement when the negative implications to teams and trains are clearly identified.
- Create backlog items for portfolio improvement work. Capturing improvement work in backlogs improves visibility, prioritization, alignment, and capacity planning.
- Measure and re-assess. As backlog items to improve portfolio flow are completed, periodically re-assess portfolio flow to determine if the improvements have created measurable increases in flow.
Reorganize Around Value
- Solutions have evolved
- Markets have evolved
- Agile teams and ARTs have matured
- New ARTs have been launched
- New technologies have been introduced
- Analysis of value flow has revealed bottlenecks