At Enfocus Solutions, we’ve adopted much of the Scaled Agile Framework®, the premiere scaling framework for scaling agile developed by Dean Leffingwell and Scaled Agile, Inc. One of the many aspects of the framework that makes it such a useful tool is Leffingwell’s concept of Inspect and Adapt Workshops.
Building on one of the principles taken from the Agile Manifesto that, “at regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective,” SAFe® incorporates the Inspect and Adapt (I&A) workshop at the end of a release or Program Increment (PI). According to SAFe®, “I&A is to a Release Train what the sprint demo and retrospective are to a team—a regular, programmatic, time to reflect, problem solve, and take on improvement actions [to] identify actions needed to increase the velocity, quality and reliability of the next increment.”
When discussing the Inspect and Adapt workshop, the Scaled Agile Framework® describes I&A activities occurring only on the program level. However, at Enfocus Solutions, we like to take it a step further and carry out Inspect and Adapt activities at every level: portfolio, program, and team. This way, we review the solution constantly, making it more likely that we catch problems and issues as they happen, instead of during a demo with a stakeholder.
At each level in the organization, there are activities that can be performed that will help ensure your teams are continuously inspecting and adapting, not just during program level events:
- Portfolio—A formal Performance Evaluation (or, inspection) should take place to ensure the Program Portfolio achieves the desired performance by measuring business outcomes against predetermined KPIs. There may be some required course corrections (or, adaptations) based on the evaluation.
- Program—I&A workshops are still a valid event for inspect and adapt activities; the program level is just not the only level at which I&A events should occur.
- Team—The individual development team (usually a Scrum team) should inspect what went well and what needs to change, adapting to any changes as necessary. While at the program level we focus I&A activities on finding solution changes, at the team level we’re focused on what needs to change to help the team collaborate and communicate better and increase team velocity.
Using Enfocus Requirements Suite™, Enfocus Solutions’ premiere solution for scaling agile to the enterprise, issues that would normally be found during an I&A workshop are identified at any point in the project and documented as individual issues to be assigned to specific team members, speeding up project velocity and increasing solution quality.
For more information on what should be going on at the portfolio, program, and team levels, download the Enterprise Agile Project Management Pocket Guide below.