SAFe, or Scaled Agile Framework, is a popular method for managing large, complex projects. It is designed to help organizations implement agile practices at scale, and it provides a structure for organizing and coordinating work across multiple teams. To be successful with SAFe as an organization, it is essential to have a deep understanding of flow metrics and WSJF (Weighted Shortest Job First).
Flow Metrics: Understanding the Flow of Work
Flow metrics are measurements of the flow of work through a development or manufacturing cycle. In SAFe, flow metrics are used to measure the speed and efficiency of work as it moves from one stage to another. These metrics provide valuable insights into how work is progressing, and they can be used to identify bottlenecks and other issues that may be slowing down the delivery of value to customers.
There are several flow metrics used in SAFe, including:
- Lead Time: The time it takes for work to move from the backlog to delivery.
- Cycle Time: The time it takes for work to move from start to finish.
- Throughput: The amount of work that is completed in a given time period.
Flow metrics are critical for SAFe because they provide a clear view of the flow of work. They allow organizations to identify areas where improvements can be made, and they help to ensure that work is being delivered in a timely and efficient manner. By tracking flow metrics, organizations can also identify trends and patterns, which can be used to make data-driven decisions about how to optimize their SAFe implementation.
WSJF: Prioritizing Work for Maximum Value
WSJF is a prioritization technique that is used to prioritize work items in SAFe. The idea behind WSJF is to ensure that the most valuable work items are completed first, which will result in maximum value being delivered to the customer.
WSJF stands for Weighted Shortest Job First, and it is based on the following formula:
WSJF = (Value) / (Duration + Cost of Delay)
Value refers to the benefit that will be delivered to the customer when the work item is completed. Duration refers to the estimated time it will take to complete the work item. Cost of Delay refers to the cost to the organization of delaying the completion of the work item.
By using WSJF to prioritize work items, organizations can ensure that they are focusing on the work that will deliver the most value to the customer. This is especially important in SAFe implementations, where multiple teams are working on different work items simultaneously. By prioritizing work items based on their WSJF score, organizations can ensure that work is being completed in the most efficient and effective manner possible.
Flow metrics and WSJF – Your keys to the SAFe
It’s daunting to take on SAFe as an organization. What you need to remember is that at heart, SAFe is just Agile wrapped in several levels of Agile. Rather than getting overwhelmed about all the arguably prescriptive rules of SAFe, you must understand that the same guidelines apply to SAFe as every other major Agile framework. And when you boil that down to the essence of Agile, you need to understand that if you’re not quickly delivering quality product to the market, you will fall behind the competition. Flow metrics and WSJF are two of the best ways to do this with SAFe, so you should start there when tracking your success.