SAFe Portfolio Uplift

Abhi Chaturvedi

The client experienced significant operational issues on implementing a Scaled Agile Framework, and I was engaged to assess how portfolio of programs was being implemented within the framework, present challenges and pain points from across the portfolio, and subsequently, provide recommendations to continuously improve and uplift the operations of the portfolio layers.

Focus

The primary focus was the identification of events, ceremonies and communication deficits across the enterprise. My approach to uplift communications was through running a series of background workshops, followed by tailored training for participants, leading to institutionalising changes.

The secondary focus was to review Portfolio Epics using Kanban, and promoting economics-based decision making, by prioritising and managing work based on the corporation’s specific economic goals.Kanban offers a holistic view of progress, bottlenecks, impediments, blockers and process inefficiencies at a single glance.

Portfolio Managers, Senior Managers, Product Owners, Delivery Leads, and other stakeholders were consulted for improved alignment of the portfolio with program and team layers.

Outcomes

The client experienced a significant increase in awareness and interest seen by Portfolio Managers & Senior Level stakeholders on ways of executing Scaled Agile, resulting in an increased understanding of the need for capability uplift.

This uplift initiative resulted in active senior sponsor advocacy of the change to their ways of working, and resulting buy-in from senior management.

The recommendations were incorporated into the operating model and a new level 4 process was introduced at the portfolio layer.Overall, the initiative delivered improvements in portfolio planning and in speed of change adoption.