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SAFe Methodology

Chris Armes - Chief Technology Officer.
 

SAFe Methodology Powers Fast and Flexible Growth

As the gaming industry expands and new markets are regulated, the need for faster product development techniques and growth strategies becomes increasingly prevalent. Players expect a cohesive experience, customers expect seamless integration, and suppliers must exceed expectations in these categories and others. Scaled Agile Framework Enterprise (SAFe) Methodology can power growth on the supplier end to create viable and innovative solutions that bring the entire industry forward.

Ideation Seeds Future Growth

In a pre-SAFe world, organizing multiple agile teams was challenging. It was easy to run with an idea from inception to delivery in a single team only to realize a missed opportunity late in the process. Ideas evolve as they’re developed, and they should be nurtured as they move from early stages to a tangible and (hopefully) profitable product. SAFe helps us better execute and synchronise at a portfolio and program layer using Program Increment (10 weeks or 5 sprints) cycles. Under the SAFe Methodology umbrella, adaptation becomes a habit ignited by any number of factors: market need, customer requests, changing technology, and other outside influences.

With SAFe methodology in place, product manufacturers can better understand the health of product development and timelines, allowing them to pivot when needed and seize inventive opportunities when they arise. New ideas and requests don’t throw a wrench in the plans like they might have in the past. At SG Digital, we find that SAFe brings about a better path to product success by enabling us to welcome change and work toward a polished and complete product even when the landscape alters.

Far-Reaching Solutions

SAFe creates a virtual machine of innovation that can expand to reach entire industries. Ideas can come from anywhere, enter the process smoothly, and emerge as an effective solution that services many stakeholders. The methodology can condense bespoke projects into a more workable model—instead of developing one sweeping change at the request of a single customer or consumer, SAFe empowers us to create products or tweak them in ways that will work for the whole market.

To put it simply, we may have three customers asking for three slightly different solutions. We’d put those three solutions through a steering committee that determines which would work best, or if a combination of key aspects would give us the best path forward. By allowing for combined or most viable solutions, we allow our teams to focus heavily on the projects that will benefit a wider range of customers and, by extension, players or punters.

The Product and People Journey

SAFe culture places responsibility in the hands of those best equipped to handle it. The journey begins with the idea, which can be continuously altered as discussed above. From there, the idea funnels through the process, always hitting key points along the way. Executive and commercial experts steer the idea into a workable solution that will provide the best ROI for all involved before handing off the development work to the engineering and product teams. It’s an important milestone in the process, because placing trust in skilled employees encourages a culture of reliability and motivation. When an employee is trusted to fulfill a request with only the minimum necessary oversight, they’ll inevitably feel better about accompanying the product along its journey to completion. It’s cyclical, too, meaning the rewarding experience of working on the product can repeat itself as further iterations move down the pipeline.

When the number of teams delivering the solution grows, it can be very difficult to see the big picture. SAFe allows us to see the overall picture, how the features work together and how all the deliverables are dependent on each other. This dependency map and feature understanding allows all the teams to efficiently navigate their environment while being sensitive to the impact they have on others. It’s this awareness and understanding that lets a large team move together in an efficient manner.

Long Term Benefits

Instead of the roller-coaster approach of other methods, SAFe produces an ongoing work cycle that ensures work is always underway. There’s no big dip in motivation or production once a sprint is complete. Instead, the teams are given new opportunities to solve new issues every time a sprint starts. The long-term benefits here are invaluable; there’s no development fizzle or exhaustion, at least not enough to stall the development of a key product.

SAFe and the Gaming Industry

At SG Digital, our adoption and adaption of SAFe Methodology to our market has opened new doors and surfaced new opportunities for long-lasting product improvement. In gaming and sports, technology moves quickly, forcing us to constantly adapt and create in order to keep up with the changes. SAFe allows us to welcome this change and work with it rather than against it. The path to innovative and revolutionary products in the digital space has never been easier.