Organizational Agility With SAFe in Turkcell IFTS Directorate
To reach organizational agility, it is important to transform team agility into organizational agility. Let's read one of the organizational agility stories.
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In today's business world, companies need to be in continuous development and continuous integration as learning organizations in order to catch up with the developing technology and stay ahead of the competition in the market.
This article is about organizational agility and converging the learning Agile teams in the same department to make them work on the common backlog when it is needed with aligned know-how.
Let’s start with some definitions of “scale” and its relation to organizational agility. Scaling something is changing the size in certain measures, obtaining large-scale structures from small-scale parts. Being scaled is in case the number of requests and data increases, the system can be expanded without any disruption. When the number of requests and data decreases, the system can be reduced without any disruption.
To reach the organizational agility, it is important to transform the team agility into the organizational agility. However, organizational agility does not mean that just bringing the Agile teams together to create an organization with many Agile teams. Organizational agility means;
- Being Agile in the organization related topics
- Expanding or reducing the system in case of need
- Suggesting Agile solutions for the problems
- Creating learning organizations
Figure 1. Organizational Agility
Have a look at the organizations all around the world about which framework they use while scaling the Agile. In the pie chart, the highest rate belongs to Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) with ~37%. The following highest rate belongs to ~19% with unnamed methods. The remaining rate belongs to many other methods, about 5-6% for each.
SAFe is built around seven core competencies of “Lean,” which are;
- Lean-Agile Leadership
- Team and Technical Agility
- Agile Product Delivery
- Enterprise Solution Delivery
- Lean Portfolio Management
- Organizational Agility
- Continuous Learning Culture
SAFe in Turkcell IFTS Directorate
Turkcell is the leading telecommunication and technology company in Türkiye. The two specific Agile teams mentioned in this article take part in the Industrial and Financial Technology Solutions Directorate (IFTS) in Turkcell. They use SAFe for both converging themselves and contributing to organizational agility. They get the benefits of mostly three of these core competencies, which are Continuous Learning Culture, Organizational Agility, Team, and Technical Agility.
Both of these teams work on the mobile offer solutions. Furthermore, one of them works for the products (service and tariff and campaigns) intended for corporate customers, and the other one for individual customers. Infrastructure and the tools are the same for both of them. On the other hand, the product type and the scenarios differ related to the necessity of corporate and individual customers. Product owners are also different for each segment. Related to this, their backlogs and some processes are different from each other.
With the benefits of SAFe, these two teams come together to discuss how to converge as one team. They made plans. Their starting point is implementing the Continuous Learning Culture. All members of these teams (analysts and quality assurance members) scheduled training sessions about their specific scenarios. Approximately these training sessions lasted 3-4 months as a theory. After that, they started to pull the production tasks from each other’s backlog, and they did this in pairs. These tasks are related to these training subjects. While one of them is working on a task, the other one controls it and checks whether it is compatible or not. The same process worked for both analysis and test periods. Then, they started to become experts on each other’s scenarios. Team and Technical Agility stepped in at this point by discussing their process of working on the same technical infrastructure. They organized retrospective meetings together named “Converged Retro.” They talked about which process is more effective than others while working on the same tools for the same infrastructure. This opened the door for the lean process. After all, they converged their analysis and test process. They started to pull the tasks from each other’s backlog when it is needed. Moreover, they come together every Monday to talk about each other’s backlog. This becomes a new ritual for them to manage their backlog in common. They aligned themselves in terms of process, backlog, and rituals.
Figure 2. Convergence Method of Agile Teams with SAFe in IFTS
The benefits of these two teams get from the SAFe:
- They work in a more Agile way.
- They increase their competencies and their know-how.
- They increase their productivity as one team spirit.
- They meet the demands faster.
- In case the number of tasks in the backlog increases, the system expands without any disruption.
This practice set an example in the organization for the other Agile teams. Other Agile teams using similar infrastructures and the same tools got inspired, and they also started to work on convergence. In this way, Organizational Agility came to life.
To sum up, SAFe brings Organizational Agility for Agile teams with its basic principles and core values. Alignment, quality, transparency, and respect for people are significant concepts. IFTS includes the Agile teams in MOS (Mobile Offer Solutions) and FSOS (Fixed and Smart Offer Solutions) units. These practices belong to these Agile teams, and they are ready to inspire all other Agile teams to align and contribute to organizational agility.
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