• Part I: In the first part of this blog, we will explain how a high level business agility assessment is organized. This assessment will visualize how your organization scores on the 7 core competences of SAFe 5.0.
  • Part II: As a second step, your organization can conduct a detailed assessment for one or more of the 7 core competences. This provides you with the necessary insights in order to define an agile transformation roadmap.
  • Part III: Completing this specific assessment will enable you to define very precise actions that can be included in the transformation roadmap.

Business agility assessment

The business agility assessment can be competed in order to gain an idea of how your organization scores in terms of business agility. It contains 64 statements, divided according to the 7 core competences, which must be answered on a scale from true to false.

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How?

2 options can be used to complete this assessment:

  • Option 1: Each stakeholder completes this assessment individually. Afterwards, results can be discussed and analysed in group. Option 2: Thanks to a workshop with all key stakeholders, during which each statement is discussed in group and the group is able to reach a consensus.

An important condition for completing the questionnaire is that the SAFe terminology must be known. In our experience, we've noticed that when the terminology is not known or guided, completing it can be frustrating and the statements may not be answered correctly (leading to a wrong result). To solve this problem, let yourself be guided by SAFe Program Consultant (SPC), for example in collaboration with an (agile) PMO.

Result?

The result is visualized in a spider chart:

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This spider chart enables you to:

  • Visualize dimensions that score positive vs. dimensions that require some work or which aren’t yet active in the organization.
  • Identify gaps between the actual and desired agility level, more concrete in which core competences.

Important remark: A low score is not necessarily negative. It is a baseline that can be used as a starting point to start building a transformation roadmap.

When?

The business agility assessment could be redone every program increment (e.g. every quarter).

Detailed Agility Assessment

The general business agility assessment (described above) is useful because it provides a high level insight into the competences that need attention. Yet it does not provide sufficient depth to build a transformation roadmap. That's why for each of the 7 core competences, a separate detailed assessment exists. This detailed assessment provides insights into how the organization scores on each core competence (± 50 statements per core competence).

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Result?

The result is again visualized in a spider chart, one for each core competence.

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It’s recommended to start with the high level business agility assessment. Based on the discussions that follow, it can be decided to focus on one or more core competences. Subsequently, the assessments for each of the chosen competencies can be retrieved and completed.

Recommendations

Both assessments map out how the organization scores today and already provides a direction and some insights. In this third and last part of the blog, we’ll look for solutions.

Each core competences consists of 3 dimensions. For each dimension there are recommendations of steps you can take in order to grow in maturity / expertise. SAFe calls this “grows” (grow opportunities). Each grow opportunity is divided into 3 levels:

  1. Core level
    The 'core grows' support basic understanding, and adaptation of the practices outlined in each competency. This is a good starting point for enterprises that are new to a particular competency or looking to correct deficiencies highlighted in the self-assessment.
  2. Intermediate level
    The 'intermediate grows' provide opportunities to further develop skills as well as re-enforce existing knowledge and practices.
  3. Advanced level
    The 'advanced grows' support the enterprise in developing expertise across the competency.

Each level contains of a mix of videos, articles, tools & templates, training, etc. This means that there are 21 grows (7 core competences x 3 dimensions), each of which is then divided into activities on 3 levels.

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These grow opportunities are direct input for the creation of an agile transformation roadmap, tailored to your organization.

Key takeaways of this blog:

When you want to assess the agile maturity of your organization, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Start with a high level business agility assessment which visualizes how your organization scores on the 7 core competences of SAFe 5.0
  2. Select the competences on which your organization wishes to focus and conduct a detailed assessment for these competences to gather more insights.
  3. Consult the grow opportunities and use them to define an agile transformation roadmap for your organization.
  4. Let yourself be guided by a SPC in order to achieve a correct visualization of the current state of your organization and to define an achievable roadmap towards to future state
Thomas Dubois

Thomas Dubois
Agile Consultant at Threon

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