Lead the Change
The work of steering an organization toward Lean and Agile behaviors, habits, and results cannot be delegated. Rather, Lean-Agile leaders:
- Exhibit urgency for change
- Communicate the need for the change
- Build a plan for successful change
- Understand and manage the change process
- Address problems as they come up
They have knowledge of organizational change management and take a systems view while Implementing the transformation.
Know the Way (Emphasize Lifelong Learning)
Create an environment that promotes learning. Encourage team members to build relationships with Customers and Suppliers and expose them to other worldviews.
Strive to learn and understand new developments in Lean, Agile, and contemporary management practices. Create and foster formal and informal groups for learning and improvement. Read voraciously from the SAFe recommended reading list and on other topics. Share selected readings with others and sponsor book club events for the most relevant texts.
Allow people to solve their own problems. Help them identify a given problem, understand the root causes, and build solutions that will be embraced by the organization. Support individuals and teams when they make mistakes, otherwise learning is not possible.
Employ a Lean leadership style that focuses on developing skills and career paths for team members rather than on being a technical expert or coordinator of tasks. Create a team jointly responsible for success. Learn how to solve problems together in a way that develops individual capabilities and increases engagement and commitment. Respect people and culture.
Inspire and Align with Mission (Minimize Constraints)
Provide mission and vision with minimum specific work requirements. Eliminate demotivating policies and procedures. Build Agile Teams and trains organized around value. Understand the power of self-organizing, self-managing teams. Create a safe environment for learning, growth, and mutual influence. Build an Economic Framework for each Value Stream and teach it to everyone.
Establish a decision-making framework. Empower others by setting the mission, developing people, and teaching them to problem-solve. Take responsibility for making and communicating strategic decisions—those that are infrequent, long lasting, and have significant economies of scale. Decentralize all other decisions. (See Principle #9 for further discussion)
Unlock the Intrinsic Motivation of Knowledge Workers
Understand the role that compensation plays in motivating knowledge workers. Create an environment of mutual influence. Eliminate any and all management-by-objectives (MBO) guidelines that cause internal competition. Revamp personnel evaluations to support Lean-Agile principles and values. Provide purpose and autonomy to help workers achieve mastery of new and increasing skills. (See Principle #8 for further discussion)
Solution Architect Specific Expectations
- Participate in planning, definition, and high-level design of the solution and explore solution alternatives
- Actively participate in the Continuous Exploration process as part of the Continuous Delivery Pipeline, especially with Enabler Epics
- Define subsystems and their interfaces; allocate responsibilities to subsystems; understand solution deployment, and communicate requirements for interactions with solution context
- Work with Customers, stakeholders, and Suppliers to establish high-level Solution Intent; help establish the solution intent information models and documentation requirements
- Establish critical Nonfunctional Requirements at the solution level; participate in the definition of others
- Operate within the Economic Framework to validate the economic impact of design decisions
- Work with portfolio stakeholders, particularly the Enterprise Architect, to develop, analyze, split, and realize the implementation of enabler Epics
- Participate in PI Planning and Pre- and Post-PI Planning, System and Solution Demos, and Inspect and Adapt events
- Define, explore, and support the implementation of value stream and program Enablers to evolve solution intent; work directly with Agile Teams to implement, explore, or support them
- Plan and develop the Architectural Runway in support of upcoming business Features/Capabilities
- Work with Product and Solution Management to determine capacity allocation for enablement work
- Support technology/engineering aspects of Program and Solution Kanbans
- Supervise and foster Built-in Quality
Architect exhibits the traits of Lean-Agile Leaders in specific ways listed below:
- Collaborate with, enable, and empower engineers and subject matter experts with decision-making
- Educate team members in design-related disciplines; lead technical Communities of Practice that foster open exchange of ideas with practitioners across ARTs
- Demonstrate Lean and Agile principles, as applied to system design, by example
The Lean-Agile Architect demonstrates a mindset with an empirical approach to solution development by the following the actions below:
- Fact-based governance, where the facts are produced by frequent integration and objective evidence
- Continuous exploration to identify alternatives for enablers necessary to support Minimal Marketable Features (MMF) included in the MVP of an epic
- Set-based engineering, where a spectrum of possible solutions to a problem is considered, instead of a single idea picked early
- Learning Milestones that are planned and executed with the specific purpose of validating the technical and business hypotheses
- A bias toward economic decision-making, where trade-offs between architectural capabilities of the system and economic outcomes are made continuously and in collaboration with business stakeholders