Category: Guardrail on lean budget spend

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Guardrail on lean budget spend

Looking for SAFe 5. Lean Budgets is a set of funding and governance practices that increase development throughput by decreasing funding overhead and friction while maintaining financial and fitness-for-use governance. When implementing Agile at scale, many organizations quickly realize that the drive for business agility through Lean-Agile development conflicts with traditional budgeting and project cost accounting methods. As a result, moving to Lean-Agile development—and realizing the potential business benefits—is compromised, or worse, blocked entirely.

Figure 3 represents the budgeting process for most enterprises before they move to Lean budgets.

guardrail on lean budget spend

In this example, the enterprise is organized into four cost centers. Each cost center must contribute budget or people the primary cost element to the new effort. If a project takes longer than planned—which it often does—many people will have moved on to other projects, causing further delays and lower quality.

Once the project is underway, the challenges continue. The needs of the business change quickly. The Cost of Delay CoD increases.

Product development requires innovation, and we cannot innovate without takings risks [3]. Often, work will take longer than planned because of new learning, insights, and opportunities.

guardrail on lean budget spend

Further, even when things go well, stakeholders may want more of a specific feature. The project model also hinders cultural change, transparency and solution development progress Figure 5. People are scrambled to different projects, resulting in adverse impacts to other projects. The ultimate result is information hiding, loss of productivity and lower employee morale. There are three main steps, as described below. The primary role of a SAFe portfolio is to fund and nurture a set of development value streams, which delivers one or more solutions applications, products, services and more.

So, the first step of Lean budgeting is to give each value stream a budget as Figure 6 illustrates. A set of guardrails support these budgets by defining the spending policies, guidelines, and practices for a specific portfolio. Guardrails, like any good governance, enable increasing autonomy to the value streams. Although funding value streams vs. Moreover, features that take longer than expected do not change the budget. As a result, all stakeholders know the anticipated spend for the upcoming period, regardless of what features are implemented.Looking for SAFe 5.

They are put there to keep a simple mishap from turning into a full-blown catastrophe. If you go a little off course, the rails help you regain the path towards your destination. Lean Budget Guardrails describe budgetary, governance and spending policies and practices for the lean budgets allocated to a specific portfolio. SAFe provides strategies for Lean budgeting that eliminates the overhead of traditional project-based funding and cost accounting.

In this model, LPM fiduciaries maintain appropriate levels of oversight through the allocation of value stream budgets and approval of Epicswhile empowering trains to make decisions quickly and enable flexible value delivery.

This way, enterprises can have the best of both worlds: a development process that is far more responsive to market needs, along with professional and accountable management of spending. However, establishing guardrails help ensure the right investments are being made within that budget. Moreover, Business Owners are continuously engaging to guide the spending over time. The first two guardrails are quantitative, guiding the allocation of investments within the approved budgets.

The last two are process related and are mainly qualitative, establishing how the budgets are governed. These guardrails are described in the sections that follow. However, it is the amount of budget that a given value stream allocates to these horizons that determines the near- and long-term health of both the value stream and portfolio.

Accordingly, LPM fiduciaries establish general, portfolio-level guidelines for investments by horizon, as Figure 2 illustrates. This may be a healthy mix for a technology business [1].

However, every portfolio and value stream has to consider its current context in making such decisions. Balancing features and enablers complicates the challenge of prioritizing work, since different people can pull the teams in different directions, as Figure 3 shows. Further, they establish an agreement to determine how the work is performed for each activity type as shown in Figure 4. Each value stream should develop explicit policies for managing capacity allocation.

While the agreed-to policies can persist for some time, the amount of capacity allocated will change periodically based on the context. Figure 5.

Business Owners who are sometimes Customers themselves are uniquely qualified to ensure that the funding allocated to value streams is going toward the right things.

Figure 6 shows the minimum activities that Business Owners should actively participate in before, during and after PI execution. They are briefly described next. Crown Business, Find it here! These can be driven by—and are drivers of—elements of the business strategy.

SAFe Lean Budget Guardrails The first two guardrails are quantitative, guiding the allocation of investments within the approved budgets. Figure 2. Horizon budget guardrails [1] Value stream leaders, in turn, should strive to ensure that planned investments are within the investment horizon guidelines—or provide clear business reasons for when they vary.

Figure 3. Figure 4. Capacity allocation for a single PI Each value stream should develop explicit policies for managing capacity allocation. Following is an example policy statement that many ARTs and Solution Trains have found useful: At each PI boundary, we agree on the percentage of resources to be devoted to new features or capabilities versus enablers, and tech debt and maintenance.

We agree that Product and Solution Management have the authority to prioritize program and solution backlog items We agree to prioritize the business and enabler features based on economics We agree to collaborate on sequencing work in a way that maximizes customer value and minimizes technical debt While the agreed-to policies can persist for some time, the amount of capacity allocated will change periodically based on the context. Guardrail 4: Continuous Business Owners Engagement Business Owners who are sometimes Customers themselves are uniquely qualified to ensure that the funding allocated to value streams is going toward the right things.

Figure 6.Clear explanations and actionable guidance. SAFe Distilled 5. When implementing Agile at scale, many organizations quickly realize that the drive for business agility through Lean-Agile development conflicts with traditional budgeting and project cost accounting methods.

As a result, moving to Lean-Agile development—and realizing the potential business benefits—is compromised, or worse, blocked entirely. Every SAFe portfolio operates within an approved budget, a fundamental principle of financial governance for the development and deployment of business Solutions.

The SAFe approach to budgeting is significantly different than traditional methods. SAFe lean budgets provide effective financial control over all investments, with far less overhead and friction, and supports a much higher throughput of development work. Figure 2 illustrates the transition and highlights the three main step s in implementing Lean budgets. Figure 3 represents the budgeting process for most enterprises before they move to Lean budgets.

In this example, the enterprise has four different cost centers. Each cost center must contribute a budget or people the primary cost element to a project. Once the project is underway, the challenges continue as the business change needs and the resulting project change. Often, work will take longer than planned because of new learning, insights, and opportunities. Further, even when things go well, stakeholders may want more of a specific feature.

Using OnePlan to Implement Scaled Agile Framework Portfolio Management

Many organizations manage change through a Change Control Board CCBadding even more delays and decision-making overhead. The project model also hinders cultural change, transparency, and solution development progress Figure 5.

People are scrambled to different projects, resulting in adverse impacts on other projects. The ultimate result is information hiding, loss of productivity, and lower employee morale. Solution development also requires innovation, and we cannot innovate without takings risks [2]. At worst, organizations tend to minimize investments in innovation, eroding the value of the solutions they create.

In contrast, thinking about the ongoing investment in innovative solutions promotes a growth mindset, where fast-failure is considered rapid learning. With this new way of working, portfolio personnel no longer plan the work for others, nor do they track the cost by discrete projects. There are three main steps to lean budgets, as described below. The SAFe portfolio budget funds a set of Value Streamseach delivering one or more business solutions.

The first step of Lean budgeting is to give each value stream a budget, as Figure 6 illustrates. A set of Lean Budget Guardrails support these budgets by defining the spending policies, guidelines, and practices for a specific portfolio.

Guardrails, like any good governance, enable increasing autonomy to the value streams. Figure 7 shows that the expenses across a Program Increment PI are fixed or easy to forecast in most cases. Moreover, features that take longer than expected do not change the budget.How well can you define the following core values of SAFe? Even if you have no idea what this is, these flashcards can help.

Using Guardrails to Guide Decision Making

SAFe is based on three main bodies of knowledge: agile development, lean product development, and systems thinking, and this makes SAFe entirely scalable. At its heart, SAFe places the highest value on four things: configuration, quality, simplicity, and program execution. Read and study these flashcards to learn more. View Flashcards. Number of cards: All 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 Changes are done, please view the flashcard.

Lean Budget Guardrails

Shuffle Cards. Related Flashcards Navy Core Values. Core Values Siv. Achieve the sustainably shorted lead time with: 1 Best quality and value to people and society 2 High morale, safety and customer delight.

What are the stages of the SAFe implementation roadmap? Describe ways SAFe achieves business results. What are the 8 big mistakes when implementing a change? Allowing too much complacency Failure to create a sufficiently powerful guiding coalition Underestimating the power of vision Under-communicating the power of vision by X Permitting obstacles to block the new vision Failure to create short term wins Declaring victory too soon Neglecting to anchor changes firmly in the corporate culture.

What is at the top of the house of lean? What are the pillars of the House of Lean? What is the foundation of the House of Lean? What does leadership mean in the House of Lean?

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Lead the change Know the way; emphasize life-long learning Develop people Inspire and align with mission; minimize constraints Decentralize decision-making Unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers. What are components of agile economics? Deliver early and often Delivery value incrementally with fast feedback loops. Understand tradeoff parameters: Cycle Time, Product Cost, Value, Development Expense, Risk Sequence jobs for maximum benefit Do not consider money already spent Make economic choices continuously Empower local decision making If you only quantify one thing, quantify the cost of delay.

Describe the differences between waterfall and incremental delivery. Incremental delivery provides value early and builds upon it over time, with opportunity for feedback and course correction throughout. Describe the concept of "a system that builds things". It will not manage itself. Left to themselves, components become selfish, independent profit centers and thus destroy the system. The secret is cooperation between components toward the aim of the organization.

Edwards Deming. The solution itself is a system The enterprise building the system is a system Optimize the full value stream. Why is it important to optimize for the system and not the team? Optimizing a component does not optimize the system For the system to behave well as a system, a higher-level understanding of behavior and architecture is required The value of a system passes through its interconnections A system can evolve no faster than its slowest integration point.

What is the best way to optimize the full value stream? Focus on delays Most problems with your process will surface as delays Most of the time spent getting to market is a result of these delays Reducing delays is the fasted way to reduce time to market. Share the flashcard by embedding it on your website or blog. Describe the mission of SAFe. What are the SAFe core values. Identify elements of systems thinking.Guardrails are designed to keep people from unintentionally straying into dangerous territory.

They are usually placed in the trickiest areas, where it is easy to take a wrong turn. Just as guardrails along the roadway keep drivers safer, decision—making guardrails can protect businesses from taking unnecessary risks.

We were discussing how we could provide our employees with the independence they needed to make business decisions, while ensuring that their efforts were aligned with our business needs.

The bulk of business opportunities lie in the daily decisions of individual contributors IC. When control is centralized, ICs have to constantly ask permission for their decisions, resulting in a system that is tightly coupled and highly inefficient. However, when management provides their ICs with the tools they need to safely make independent decisions, the organization can simultaneously reduce risk and speed up value delivery. For services running in production, the Cloud Services Team guidelines include:.

This freedom comes with responsibility for solving issues resulting from poor decisions.

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Problems across the company are managed with context, not authoritative control. Managers share business context with their teams and give their people the freedom to decide how to solve each business problem.

In addition to decision-making guidelines, Netflix also uses tools that help employees self—correct. Guardrails help smart people make high—quality decisions faster and with less risk. Companies see greater alignment across the organization when they provide employees with context for understanding business needs, guardrails for decision—making support and responsibility for the decisions they freely make. Guardrails can help all employees identify and avoid danger zones.

Dominica teaches Kanban to DevOps enthusiasts. As an Executive Consultant at LeanKit, Dominica combines experience, practice and theory to help organizations level up their capability. She is keen on providing visibility and transparency across teams to reveal mutually critical information. Follow her on Twitter at dominicad. Enterprise Agile Planning. Published January 19, By Dominica Degrandis. Establishing Boundaries for Better Decision Making Guardrails help smart people make high—quality decisions faster and with less risk.

Related Posts. Close modal.Budget need subscription to read. I probably will not get much argument from people on this: budgeting as it is currently practiced is probably one of the most universally unlean processes that can be found.

It's fraught with every single one of the seven wastes and at the end, doesn't produce something meaningful or useful to most of its intended customers. I don't believe budgeting is inherently bad. Jack Welch has been known to chime in on the practice before and did so in this week's column.

Here are a couple excerpts from his statement:. It hides growth opportunities. First, what you see: an orchestrated compromise. More important, what you don't: a rich, expansive conversation about growth opportunities, especially high-risk ones. So, what's a manager to do?

Imagine if a company that lived with budgets just took them away cold-turkey. People set themselves up to be able to get what they need in order to game the system.

I remember my own gaming of the system. I was a young supervisor and needed some new cabinets for parts that was critical to my strategy of improving parts availability and hence uptime.

The absolute amount was greater than my signing authority and I could wait for the system to put it through, so I broke it up into small chunks just shy of the ceiling limit since I would still come under the overall budget and would have dramatic approval. As they say, it is easier to ask for forgiveness than approval. If people are used to gaming the system and you take the system away, there will be no balance. That leads to a second key issue.

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Budgeting is not just a system. It is wrapped in the blanket of the corporate culture. What's the culture of an organization? How do people behave in regards to the budget and its supporting processes? If you have the right culture, the system hardly matters. In one company in which I am an investor, there is a culture of frugality, top to bottom. Don't fly when you can drive. Don't get separate rooms when you can bunk up. Don't buy a new piece of equipment when you can refurbish the old one.

To this company, which does have a budget, people are much focused on their performance in regards to provide, down to the individual, than gaming the budget. Who uses it, and for what?

guardrail on lean budget spend

Is it the baseline for incentives? A tool to plan your actions?

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A guideline for those making incremental investments? If you don't have a clear customer, or have too many, it will be impossible for you to have a system that delivers something of value.

But instead, apply lean principles to the accounting process. Who is the customer?When the Agile Process first came onto the software development scene it created quite a stir. Before Agile, business owners and IT departments had to make decisions that would affect the entire project while still in the discovery phase, before they fully understood the problem.

After starting a new development project, the team then had to wait until the very end, until launch day, to find out whether the solution met all of their needs or not. Clearly, this methodology was not only slow and clunky but also ineffective in many cases.

The Agile Process, on the other hand, boasts both flexibility and efficiency. Since the Agile Process is iterative, introducing new functionality about every two weeks, developers gain the ability to address the highest priority needs at all times.

All of this sounds really great—and it is. At Kopis, we use the Agile Process because we believe it produces the best results. However, there are cases where Agile can be less appealing, and even frightening, for some companies. For example, if you are the owner of a business that sells a software product, Agile is likely your best friend. It is simple for you to set a fixed budget. Two developers per year budgeted to create your new product line, perhaps.

If you are the owner or CTO of a business that provides services, or of a larger company, it suddenly becomes much more difficult to estimate both the cost and the benefits of using Agile Process.

Kopis works with large companies like BMWfor instance, and it can be nearly impossible to determine whether the redundancy or the inefficiency caused by the software quality problem is costing more or less than a custom software solution.

In the end, this is the biggest drawback of Agile Process: Businesses often need a more definite price and timeline upfront than true Agile Process is able to provide. The short answer is that Agile With Guardrails is exactly what it sounds like. This phase of Agile With Guardrails combines processes from both the Agile and Waterfall methodologies.

We meet with you regularly to understand the problem, collaborate on possible designs and get comprehensive feedback. In addition, we prototype risky or unknown aspects of the system. Now we flip over more towards the Agile methodology. All of the standard Agile practices come into play here — sprints, stories, demos, feedback, and adjustments. So where do the guardrails come into play?

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Just like in standard Agile, we use stories to describe what the users should be able to do in the system and provide an estimate to complete the tasks for that story. We believe that we can keep you within your budget if we stay within guardrails:. The first guardrail is typically pretty straight forward. Adding approved stories new scope adds time to your project and increases the total budget of the project by the amount estimated for the newly approved story.

Stories added to the backlog but not approved for development are estimated by the team, but are not included in the project budget until approved.

Similarly, removing stories, if early enough, has the opposite effect on total budget. The second guardrail has more nuance. The effort to complete the tasks for a story includes time for initial development, fixing bugs found by QA, and a few small adjustments after a demo.

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So, for each story we have set an allowance. Now, over the. Just choosing the fixtures, paint, and any other allowance based decisions for a house, exceeding the allowances for a stories can put the total budget and timeline in jeopardy.

While Kopis will remain flexible and happy to work with you.


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