Preparing for ART Launch
Updated: Jan 12
“Small victories help to achieve a big target.”
In implementing SAFe, launching the first ART is a small win towards larger goals. By this step, the enterprises are well aware of their value stream and also established an implementation plan along with defining the first ART. Now the team is moving forward in implementing the change and in this situation first ART is considered the important step as it will define the direction of success. The reason for such importance to first Art is, it is the very first material change giving a first short-term win building momentum to the enterprise.
To achieve this short win there are almost 9 activities required to be prepared for the first ART launch. In today’s article, we will learn about these nine activities in detail to make every first ART launch a Success.
Define the ART
Before the preparation of ART launch brief defining of ART is done in the previous step of ‘create implementation plan’. But defining ART is also included in this activity of implementation where a detailed process is followed for accurate definition and implementation. Here the parameters and boundaries are decided with the help of local context or ART canvas.
Set a Launch Date and Rhythm for the Program Calendar
Once the definition is final then comes the time for the next activity of setting a date of PI and establishing a rhythm for PI and iteration length. This finalizing of date helps in putting a deadline for an activity creating some pressure for a launch as a timeline. In the bigger picture, there is a 10 week PI in which 4 regular and 1 innovative iteration are included. As there are not any fixed rules for PI no specific time is decided for PI but the cadence should be fixed on the said time and not move along the upcoming PI. This will help for prior booking and schedule of stakeholders resulting in cost-cutting and maximum presences. In the PI calendar below activities are included
ART or PO sync events
Inspect and Adapt workshop
Training ART Leaders and Stakeholders
There may be some ART leaders or stakeholders who are unfamiliar with SAFe. This will make them unclear of their goals and motives of SAFe or their role in this change. For them, it is necessary to arrange a leading SAFe class to educate and motivate them. To arrange these workshops and their content will be decided by the SPCs.
Start Agile Teams
The formation of an agile team can be done in two ways firstly let the members of ART organize themselves into teams with minimum constraints. Secondly, let management make the initial selection. In some cases, a mixture of both can also be done providing better options. The initial role of scrum master and product owners must be already established in this activity along with deciding the practitioners in a cross-functional team before PI planning.
Train Scrum Masters
The success of ART depends mostly on the scrum masters and their ability to coach the team members for improving the performance of a team. Scrum master supports value delivery through scrum events. It is always beneficial if the scrum masters are given proper training in their roles and activities.
Train Product Managers and Owners
Well-trained, a product owner and product manager is the critical aspect in the success of ART. They are the ones who have content authority over features and stories. They are also responsible for developing the program backlog. It is always the best step to provide them training as per their requirements. A course named SAFe product owner product managers will be best to be done for a better understanding of SAFe and their use in SAFe.
Train System Architect/ Engineers
The role and responsibility of system architecture or engineer is also a tough job to complete as it involves communication with higher management, team members, and also development. A training of ‘SAFe system and solution architecture course’ will help them to ease their job with much clarity.
Access and Evolve Launch Promptness
Training the involved people is one part of the preparation of ART the other one includes various activities. As we know “There is no such thing as perfect readiness, there is no final frontier.” So delaying the launch for readiness will only delay learning, transformation, and its benefits. So it is better to work for certain readiness and bring more success to a first-time event. To achieve this, Plan-Do-Check-Adjust (PDCA) and other checklist points of activities are carried out before launch.
Prepare Program Backlog
The scope of PI is mainly built by the program backlog defining the future of the system. The SPCs and LACE along with ART stakeholders prepare a common backlog. This avoids the multiple options for the future system and lets the team focus on the required and more beneficial opinions only.