Updated: Oct 28, 2021
Having roles and responsibilities enables not only finding the right person for the job but improving the employee’s experience and job satisfaction. Ultimately it supports the efficiency and effectiveness of your organization.
“Highly effective teams have clearly articulated roles and responsibilities.”
If organizations have well-defined roles and responsibilities they are entrusted to advancement towards success. Even if a team or project has self-organized members assigning responsibilities according to roles will help in avoiding time waste and provide efficiency and effectiveness within an organization.
While implementing SAFe its very important to understand the accountability and responsibility of specific actions that needs to be taken to make success story.
In SAFe the specialize roles are defined mostly around three key areas.
1. How do we ensure that the organization is moving in the right directions - Like how can we be effective and do things that delivers the maximum economic benefits to us and our customers.
2. How can we ensure to have the right working culture and are eliminating waste in our processes. - Like how can we be efficient in what we do?
3. How can we ensure that we are using the right technology? How can we have Technical agility in addition to team agility?
Lets explore these roles and see at each level who are the people accountable for the above three outcomes, flow and technical excellence.
Specialized Roles in Agile Team
Agile Teams are the basic building block for the SAFe enterprise. The structure and growth of an organization are dependent on members of the team level as they are the ones executing the task and projects. They are the ones generating power for the Agile Release Train and hence for the organization. The team level consists of two specialized roles.
The Scrum Master role is unique in an agile team. They are mostly responsible to handle the workflow and ensure the work is completed within time following the process. The SM is about being efficient in what we do with help of team members.
The Product Owner's role is as a customer proxy in a team. They ensure the requirements of the customers are met with the best quality by communicating and making team understand those requirements. They are known as value maximizes. They care about being effective.
SAFe Roles for Agile Release Train
The Agile Release Train is team of teams consisting of 5-12 Teams or 50 to 125 people working together on a common cadence of a PI ( 4-6 Iteration) on a common program backlog. Together they commits to the PI objectives and deliver them every PI. We need the below additional roles to operate and govern the ART.
Product Management has to collaborate with various members of the organization and customers. They are responsible to prioritize features in a product as per the customer's desire, requirement and ensure they are feasible, sustainable. Product management has to define the road-maps and vision of the projects. They are the one who are accountable for maximizing the economic benefit by ordering the features.
Release Train Engineer needs to coordinate the agile release train working together and ensuring a integrated solution is delivered providing value to the customers. They are responsible for facilitating ART events and communicate with stakeholders, escalate impediments, help manage risk, and drive relentless improvement. RTE is the Servant Leader on the train and mostly we have one RTE per train. They ensure a coordinated delivery is done for the solution the trainer is working towards in an efficient manner.
System Architect/Engineer are entrusted for designing and sharing architectural vision and for any technical guidance for the train. i.e ensuring work delivered is fit as per the purpose.
Business Owners are responsible for the final business outcomes. They are the key stakeholder on the train and also work in collaboration with the Lean Portfolio Management for strategic and investment funding and lean governance.
Customers have the final say on the view of the product value. They can be also considered as Business Owners as they too are stakeholders.
SAFe Roles at Portfolio Level
It is the highest level in SAFe. It manages the organization's staff. It has to manage the value stream budgeting and manage the implementation of it in an organization. It consists of two role types:
Epic Owners define an epic and articulate its benefits. Once the epic is approved they are the ones who implement it by working with the agile teams.
Enterprise Architect creates a road-map and strategies to improve current and future business capabilities.
Though the SAFe big picture does not shows all the roles at the portfolio level, there are many others like executives, business owners, people from Agile PMO (APMO), Portfolio Mangers etc who helps in Strategy and investment funding, Lean Agile Operation and Lean Governance at portfolio level in SAFe.
Other Roles in SAFe
Other than these basic categories, some roles cannot be categorized but are important in driving an organization a successful SAFe.
SAFe Program Consultants are responsible for advancing the organization’s system with their technical knowledge in SAFe.
Solution Manager prioritizes well-defined and understandable capabilities.
Solution Architect ensures solution provided is fit for purpose i.e. designs architectural vision.
Solution Train Engineer guides the workflow to assure timely and quality work delivery.
In Agile and especially in SAFe the roles and their responsibilities play a vital role in the adaptation and success of this system. These develop the personality of every member of an organization making a difference in the organization following agile. If roles and responsibilities mentioned above are implemented by learning its benefits will help in achieving organization portfolio and customer satisfaction at the same time.
About Advance Agility
We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.
Connect with us at advanceagility.com to learn about SAFe and SAFe Implementation. Write to us at email@example.com for any agile training or consulting needs. We are always looking for competent agile trainers as well. So if you are a good trainer or want to become one, do get in touch with us to that we can learn, grow and achieve together.