Lean-Agile Centre of Excellence
Updated: Jan 12
“Learn from the experts, you will not live long enough to do everything by yourself.”
‘Lean-agile center of excellence’ (LACE) is a small group that is completely dedicated to implementing the SAFe way of working. Many companies adopt the lean-agile framework in their working but many of them are just for the name and not have practiced or committed to it. This way they will always be incapable to get the best business outcomes from going agile. To such an organization comes LACE as a savior which is the third element of guiding coalition.
The topics described in our previous article i.e. ‘Train Lean-Agile Agent to SPCs’ and ‘training executives, managers, and leaders are all about how an organization can develop the mindset and gain the knowledge and necessary skills required for leading the transformation. Whereas, this article will explain how LACE will help the organization in implementing the change. They will explain how the implementation will be driven throughout the organization.
Team Size of LACE
“Tough times don’t last, tough teams, do.” The size of a team is not the only thing to achieve goals but their mindset and actions are also important. While assigning the talented individual to the new charter with the size of the team, organizational and financial impact must also be taken into account by the leaders. The team size must be related to the organization size. In SAFe, a group of four to five individuals is enough for the organization of a few hundred people. The team in SAFe are more effective as they are decentralized and unwieldy.
Responsibilities of LACE
Like every other body in SAFe LACE also have some responsibilities they need to carry such as
Communicating urgency, vision, and business need of the change
Designing and managing implementation plan and transformation backlog respectively
Guide in creating persistent improvement
Promoting continuation of lean-agile education
Conducting training for executives, managers, leaders, such as scrum masters, product owners, product managers, release train engineers, and agile teams, etc.
Guide for defining and launching ARTs.
Provide training to stakeholders and teams
Participating in critical events of SAFe like PI planning and Inspect and adaptation.
Adopt SAFe communities of practice (CoP)
Implement lean-agile development days with speakers and present case studies.
Connect with external community
Extend Lean-agile practices throughout the organization wherever they will be beneficial.
Considering the few members of Lace the list of responsibilities seems a bit large but as there are SPCs connected them to share this task it is enough to handle.
Organization and Operations
LACE whether working as a part of organizational APMO or as an external independent unit, in both cases work as an important point of activity or source of energy that powers the organization during changes. As change is a continuous process the LACE work also works as the long-term center for improvement.
As seen from the operations LACE typically works as an ARTs team but as exerting in their working they are seen as an example for the agile team behavior.
The mission of LACE generally includes
Leadership and team training
Launching ARTs and coaching
Consulting and training management
Through the responsibilities and mission seen of the LACE, it seems that they are working on every aspect of SAFE but that is not the case they exclude working on
Organizational structural changes
Outsourcing strategy changes
The LACE teams are generally distributed in below three types
Decentralized- Where ever there area few hundred people organization the team size is small and decentralizing is the best option.
Centralized- For smaller enterprises centralized team is enough to handle the implementation.
Hub-and-Spoke- For a few hundred i.e. 500-1000, decentralized or Hub-and-spoke both are the better options considering the change strategy of an organization.
“Do not try to do everything, do one thing at a time.”
Working on and removing all the impediments at the start will slow down the process. Instead, with the support of a guiding coalition LACE empowers an organization to generate small wins at a time. They launch and define ARTs at the start, once gained consolidation they launch additional ARTs. This style provides the confidence to tackle large organizational issues.