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Successful Agile Implementation Starts with the 4 A’s of Scaled Agile Practitioners

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Agile transformation at scale is a challenge — especially for large enterprises with complex organizational structures, longstanding ways of work, and multi-faceted dependencies. 

Mastering Large-Scale Agile Transformation: Harnessing SAFe® for Optimal Outcomes

Agile transformation at scale is a challenge — especially for large enterprises with complex organizational structures, longstanding ways of work, and multi-faceted dependencies.

Agile adoption has only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, but not all efforts have been successful. To create a pathway for innovation and new digital business it is highly beneficial to properly implement an agile framework, processes, practices, and tools.

Scaled Agile Framework — SAFe® — is the world’s leading framework for business agility. The system for implementing Agile, Lean, and DevOps practices at scale is used by more than 20,000 organizations globally. Aggregated case studies have revealed major improvements in time-to-market, productivity, quality, and employee engagement, all of which accelerate digital business initiatives and results.

One of the essential keys to success when implementing SAFe is to engage with a strong Scaled Agile Partner with capabilities to provide thought leadership, influence leaders, drive transformation and consult across the diverse spectrum of business agility, leadership, organizational agility, technical agility, portfolio management and funding.

Altimetrik has proven such Agile Transformation capability and has supported  several enterprises deploy SAFe. Our expert Scaled Agile Practitioner team is highly experienced in consulting and leading SAFe Transformation as well as partnering with our clients on the ground to drive implementation and transform ways of work to achieve engineering excellence and value driven business outcomes.

Our “Four As” approach – Assessment, Awareness, Adoption and Accelerate – make our client’s scaled agile journey come to life quickly and with more impactful results. First, let’s start with the approach.

Define Your Approach

Our organization has helped many enterprises deploy SAFe® and we’ve seen it not only change the way technology teams work, but also enable better digital business outcomes. To achieve this, collaboration and partnership between business and technology teams is crucial to enable a holistic approach to transforming people, processes, and tools.

The Altimetrik Agile Transformation Roadmap has five key milestones for success:

  • Explore the status quo
  • Build the approach
  • Initiate agile practices
  • Scale up agile adoption
  • Extend agile maturity

Following this path, enterprises can manage challenges, demonstrate results, measure progress, and justify outcomes.

Assessment: Unlock Quick Wins

Certified scaled agile practitioners can help enterprises strategize, plan, and deliver real and sustainable results through a scaled agile transformation journey. Our practitioners use structured, data-driven tools and techniques to gain initial insights, followed by surveys, monitoring, and a deep-dive analysis. Our Practitioners then compare those insights with industry-best practices and benchmarks to determine a maturity score.

We collaborate with our clients to determine a comprehensive picture of challenges and current ways they work. This snapshot covers demand management, portfolio planning, and reveals how the current system development lifecycle supports business goals.

Our practitioners have industry and domain expertise and can tap into an organization’s technology and talent to quickly engineer and deliver incremental business outcomes. The team can identify and eliminate barriers that inhibit change, freeing organizations to rewrite rules, rewire how they operate, and respond to shifting market demands and competitive challenges.

This collaborative process is designed to envision, prototype, and implement solutions with speed and agility. Our practitioners iterate ideas and solutions with client teams to uncover new ways to create value by applying data, technology, and ingenuity. Delivering quick hit outcomes drives efficiency and innovation.

Awareness: Spread the Practice with Broad Awareness

As a scaled agile partner, we collaborate with organizational leadership to build a cross functional transformation and partnership team that spreads awareness of

. This creates the support structure for practicing agile at scale.

During this phase we support our clients to establish the Agile Project Management Office and Lean Agile Center of Excellence, settle on governance models, and develop specific transformation plans. In parallel, we recommend that the organization nominates internal change agents as we roll out agile awareness workshops and training sessions to empower them to support the transformation.

At this point, implementation is near, and it is critical to clearly articulate commonly understood value streams across the organization so everyone understands the set of tactics that will drive the change the organization is seeking.

Adoption: Springboard from Pilot to full roll out

The adoption phase invariably starts with a pilot implementation to test and learn new agile practices, followed by a continuous launch of Agile Teams and Programs (or Agile Release and Solution Trains when implementing SAFe) and introduction of Lean Portfolio Management.

Our practitioners diligently prepare leaders, key role players and teams for their new roles and expectations, including driving cultural change to shift mindsets and changes through the ecosystem to enable expected business outcomes and goals.

Accelerate: Achieve Wider, Continuous Impact

At this stage, the most difficult challenge facing leaders is maintaining the same energy they brought to the shorter sprints of incremental progress and expanding it to a wider view of implementation. Ultimately, the goal is for the culture of the organization to transform, and stepping on the gas after adoption — not relaxing — will enable relentless improvement.

The emerging operating model and culture will be Lean- and Agile-dominant, ensuring consistent measurement, reinforcement of basics, and progress toward mastery. Organizations must then apply these learning across the enterprise.

Getting this final step right means business agility will spread faster across the organization with recognizable benefits strewn across the company’s portfolio.

Summary

To achieve your business outcomes and goals, ensure you’re partnering with certified scaled agile practitioners with a track record of results. When you do, you can optimize operations and customer experiences faster and be better positioned to capitalize on market opportunities.

Picture of Carol May

Carol May

Head-Agile Transformation

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Michael Woodall

Chief Growth Officer of Financial Services

Michael Woodall, as the Chief Growth Officer of Financial Services at Altimetrik, spearheads the identification of new growth avenues and revenue streams within the financial services sector. With a robust background and extensive expertise, Michael brings invaluable insights to his role.

Previously, Michael served as the Chief of Operations and President of the Trust Company at Putnam Investments, where he orchestrated strategic developments and continuous operational enhancements. Leveraging strategic partnerships and data analytics, he revolutionized capabilities across investments, retail and institutional distribution, and client services. Under his leadership, Putnam received numerous accolades, including the DALBAR Mutual Fund Service Award for over 30 consecutive years.

Michael’s dedication to industry evolution is evident through his involvement with prestigious organizations such as the DTCC Senior Wealth Advisory Board, ICI Operations Committee, and NICSA, where he served as Chairman and now holds the position of Director Emeritus. Widely recognized as an industry luminary, Michael frequently shares his expertise with various divisions of the SEC, solidifying his reputation as a seasoned presenter.

At Altimetrik, Michael plays a pivotal role in driving expansion within financial services, leveraging his expertise and Altimetrik’s Digital Business Methodology to ensure clients navigate their digital journey seamlessly, achieving tangible outcomes and exponential growth.

Beyond his corporate roles, Michael serves as Chair of the Boston Water & Sewer Commission, appointed by the Mayor of Boston, and is actively involved in various philanthropic endeavors, including serving on the board of the nonprofit Inspire Arts & Music.

Michael holds a distinguished business degree from Northeastern University, graduating with distinction as a member of the Sigma Epsilon Rho Honor Society.

Anguraj Kumar Arumugam

Chief Digital Business Officer for the U.S. West region

Anguraj is an accomplished business executive with an extensive leadership experience in the services industry and strong background across digital transformation, engineering services, data and analytics, cloud and consulting.

Prior to joining Altimetrik, Anguraj has served in various positions and roles at Globant, GlobalLogic, Wipro and TechMahindra. Over his 25 years career, he has led many strategic and large-scale digital engineering and transformation programs for some of world’s best-known brands. His clients represent a range of industry sectors including Automotive, Technology and Software Platforms. Anguraj has built and guided all-star teams throughout his tenure, bringing together the best of the techno-functional capabilities to address critical client challenges and deliver value.

Anguraj holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Anna University and a master’s degree in software systems from Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani.

In his spare time, he enjoys long walks, hiking, gardening, and listening to music.

Vikas Krishan

Chief Digital Business Officer and Head of the EMEA region

Vikas (Vik) Krishan serves as the Chief Digital Business Officer and Head of the EMEA region for Altimetrik. He is responsible for leading and growing the company’s presence across new and existing client relationships within the region.

Vik is a seasoned executive and brings over 25 years of global experience in Financial Services, Digital, Management Consulting, Pre- and Post-deal services and large/ strategic transformational programmes, gained in a variety of senior global leadership roles at firms such as Globant, HCL, Wipro, Logica and EDS and started his career within Investment Banking. He has developed significant cross industry experience across a wide variety of verticals, with a particular focus on working with and advising the C-Suite of Financial Institutions, Private Equity firms and FinTech’s on strategy and growth, operational excellence, performance improvement and digital adoption.

He has served as the engagement lead on multiple global transactions to enable the orchestration of business, technology, and operational change to drive growth and client retention.

Vik, who is based in London, serves as a trustee for the Burma Star Memorial Fund, is a keen photographer and an avid sportsman.

Megan Farrell Herrmanns

Chief Digital Officer, US Central

Megan is a senior business executive with a passion for empowering customers to reach their highest potential. She has depth and breadth of experience working across large enterprise and commercial customers, and across technical and industry domains. With a track record of driving measurable results, she develops trusted relationships with client executives to drive organizational growth, unlock business value, and internalize the use of digital business as a differentiator.

At Altimetrik, Megan is responsible for expanding client relationships and developing new business opportunities in the US Central region. Her focus is on digital business and utilizing her experience to create high growth opportunities for clients. Moreover, she leads the company’s efforts in cultivating and enhancing our partnership with Salesforce, strategically positioning our business to capitalize on new business opportunities.

Prior to Altimetrik, Megan spent 10 years leading Customer Success at Salesforce, helping customers maximize the value of their investments across their technology stack. Prior to Salesforce, Megan spent over 15 years with Accenture, leading large transformational projects for enterprise customers.

Megan earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Marquette University. Beyond work, Megan enjoys playing sand volleyball, traveling, watching her kids soccer games, and is actively involved in a philanthropy (Advisory Council for Cradles to Crayons).

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