Common issues arising from team’s rapid growth

Common issues arising from team’s rapid growth

The Author:
Alyona Lubchak
Alyona Lubchak,
SAFe program consultant

Common issues arising from team’s rapid growth

Is your project/product growing and the number of teams is increasing? Congratulations on that! It means you now have a need and capacity to make even more of your product and of a better quality. Such a growth does not always happen according to your plan and naturally by allowing PMs and Leads to adapt to the new reality and commence utilizing other tools. We often witness a situation when “now there are suddenly 50 – 100 more of us, and, as a result, we now don’t work as efficiently”.

How to deal with that when

  • It’s unclear who is responsible for what, and the decision process is very lengthy.

It seems obvious that everybody is clever enough, and yet, nobody wants to take the responsibility to decide; key decisions are being postponed and delayed and, as a result, the work is being bogged down. Surely it is essential to appoint clear roles and responsibilities as well as to stick to them. To illustrate, in SAFe there are 2 extra roles to coordinate teams: RTE (Release Train Engineer), System Architect and Product Management; their areas of expertise and responsibilities are fixed, so that now it is clear whom to address the issues on the product and on priorities (Product Management), whom to address on refactoring and research (System Architect), and on the issues with inefficiency of the process (RTE).

  • No Vision on the product. The requirements are unclear and hard to comprehend. The prioritisation process is a nightmare.

To create a product is an art. And if you are capable of establishing it, it is a huge leap forward. SAFe framework allows to distinctly describe the process with the requirements, Portfolio Kanban. Not only does it provide with visualisation of all the stages of developing an idea, but also clearly demonstrates which part of work should be completed on every stage.

  • No predictability. Everybody is overloaded and are like a hamster in a wheel, however, no releases are being provided on a regular basis.

It is impossible to find time for planning, retrospectives, or to even react to the ever-changing priorities in a flexible manner. Certainly, it is unachievable without an in-sync work between the teams, and implementation of identical cadence. And, of course, it is not just the team retrospectives, but allocating the time framework for innovations and improvements, for instance, IP sprint, Inspect & Adapt workshop, etc.

  • In the absence of synchronisation between the top management and the teams, it feels that the two interact like parallel universes.

We are all aware of the fact how busy top management is and how hard it is for them to get a chance to interact with the teams. However, without this indispensable part of their communication no cascading of the goals, and no levelling of plans happen. And here is when a healthy balance should strike in such meetings. PI Planning is a real chance for such teams to find out directly from the business how the company is doing, what their short and long-term plans are, how it feels like on the market now; and for the business it is a chance to share its vision and get the feedback on their current reality.

Undoubtedly, it is not the whole list presented here. The issues arising especially due to the fast growth are numerous. Hence, the biggest advantage of Scaled Agile Framework is in its precision in giving you the most detailed and proven practical tools to solve all the issues regardless of whether you need to optimise the work of 50 or 20 000 people.

We are looking forward to your participating in our Certified Training Leading SAFe 5.1 to help you immerse into the practical tools of Lean, Agile и DevOps.

If your company also needs to transform or build effective processes, but you don’t know where to start just contact us – [email protected] or choose a time for a free consultation: