True agility is not just a process attribute. It is also a by-product of the architecture and design of your software system. But, what does an agile architecture look like, and how do we measure it? The crux of more honest measurement is to quantify design quality. If you can quantify and then minimize growth in architectural complexity, you can free-up your software teams from playing defense (mired in late scrap and rework and unnecessary overhead), and unleash them to play more offense by increasing value, quality or responsiveness. Measurably improving design quality earlier in the life cycle and continuously thereafter can help enterprises achieve breakthrough economic outcomes.
Many have discussed, and some have questioned, how Scrum and agile principles apply to non-software disciplines. Can they apply? Will they provide benefits? We’ve been working with a large program that has gone “all in” scaling and applying agile. They build complex defense systems with hundreds of mechanical, electrical, and embedded software engineers and significant compliance demands. This program is completely organized around delivering value through dozens of cross-functional agile teams, strongly influenced by SAFe LSE for alignment and coordination.
We’ve helped many of these customers adopt and scale agile using the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®). In doing so, we met with Dean Leffingwell (creator of SAFe) and the team at Scaled Agile (SAI) to discuss some of our perceived challenges using SAFe in an engineering environment. We were looking for support for engineering work (requirements, designs, modeling, simulations, trade studies), different role names, support for supply chains, and inclusion of manufacturing and production — just to name a few. Our plan was to become a Scaled Agile partner and deliver SAFe-based training that 321 Gang would supplement with our expertise on engineering. At the same time, SAI was also looking for ways to serve the needs of the large system builders, and invited us to collaborate on a version of SAFe for Lean Systems Engineering…and so it was that SAFe LSE was born.
In this 46 second video excerpt of Harry Koehnemann’s interview, he discussed how 321 Gang helped one the three major US car manufacturers to modernize their engineering life-cycle and system development process to allow them to focus on the driver experience.
Here at 321 Gang we have seen many engineering organizations adopting Rational Team Concert’s (RTC) work and planning features for better adaptive planning and cross-discipline collaboration (see our webcast on Applying Agile Principles in Complex Systems Development ). As the next step, these organizations are looking at RTC’s configuration management (CM) capabilities to manage their engineering artifacts, including Rhapsody models. […]