Scaled Agile – Operating Model for a Cloud COE

In the Cloud COE introductory article Milin Patel describes a key action to: Scale and Reorganize – Build on this expanding momentum to extend the DevOps culture and tools across the organizations”.

This captures the essence of the main overall challenge – Many organizations successfully adopt DevOps practices, but this only addresses one dimension of the enterprise IT landscape, the software development process.

What is needed is a holistic framework that addresses it in entirety.

In her DZone blog Tatiana Lavrentieva very succinctly captures the nature of this challenge and articulates how Scaled Agile (SAFe) is an ideal framework for meeting it, defining an Operating Model for a Cloud COE.

As Tatiana describes:

“Using a Scrum-based delivery framework fixes Waterfall shortcomings in one part of large-scale delivery processes, but falls short in another. These frameworks do not provide much help when it comes to alignment with enterprise business objectives, handling dependencies outside of Scrum teams, and complex requirements. Frequent re-designs associated with Scrum techniques are very costly for cloud initiatives.”

She then goes on to describe how SAFe takes the success of Scrum achieved on small, less complex projects and adds a wide array of Agile, Lean, and System thinking practices to improve the outcomes of large, high value, mission-critical initiatives.

Practice elements like ‘Strategic Themes‘ allow for clear links between business objectives and differentiators with Portfolio Epics and Program Visions provide context for decision-making and budgeting.

Features and Capabilities are used to define the components common to Enterprise Cloud initiatives and provide for enabling organizational structures. For example the Cloud Governance Enabler Epic typically includes an RBAC Model, a Resource Tag Model, and Cost and Asset Management Features, and tools to address the challenges associated with establishing new Cloud services SLA’s and Cloud Security models.

This SAFe model offers enterprise organizations a way of expanding and building upon their existing Agile expertise to flesh out a complete Enterprise Cloud COE.

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