New Agile Book with SAFe Valpak Case Study

Posted on March 11, 2013 by Dean Leffingwell in Case Studies

I just finished reading a new book Managed Agile Development: Making Agile Work for Your Business, by Chuck Cobb.  This is a useful and approachable new work that describes real world applications of agile at scale at places like Valpak, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare and General Dynamics UK.  Chuck comments “the book recognizes that many companies make the mistake of force-fitting their business to some kind of canned textbook approach where the right approach is to go in the other direction and fit the methodology (or combination of methodologies) to the business.  Doing that requires a lot more skill, but it results in an approach that is  more aligned with a company’s business.  It also recognizes that a predefined framework, like SAFe,  that can be easily customized to fit a company’s business, can go a long way to make it easier to design an approach to fit the business, rather than starting totally from scratch to figure out how to put the pieces together.”

I found Part III of the book, Making Agile Work for Your Business, particularly interesting as it describes cultural, organizational and change management impacts of an agile transformation, along with strategies for implementation (which SAFe doesn’t go into). Part IV represents some new thinking also, as it describes three “Management Level Agile Frameworks” including the Scaled Agile Framework, the author’s (Chuck Cobb) hybrid Managed Agile Development Framework and Ambler’s Disciplined Agile Delivery. Here’s a summary of the applicability of these methods from Chuck’s perspective.

Figure 3

Figure 3 from Managed Agile Development

Valpak SAFe Case Study

Speaking of interesting (at least from my perspective!) Chapter 14 is a case study of the application of SAFe at Valpak (www.valpak.com). Chuck and Valpak’s Director of Agile Leadership Stephanie Stewart, have graciously allowed me to post a summary of that case study below.

 But that’s just a brief synopsis, so for more details I refer you to the book, or you can reach the authors of the book and case study via the contact data below

Chuck Cobb can be reached at chuck@breakthroughsolns.com or via his blog at http://managedagile.wordpress.com/.
Stephanie Stewart can be reached through her blog at www.iamagile.com.  (I bet she is, too!)