What is Scaled Agile Framework also called as SAFe?
It is a means to bring Organizational Agility. In today’s digital economy, the only truly sustainable competitive advantage is the speed at which an organization can sense and respond to the needs of its customers. With more and more transformations happening from bespoke application to packaged applications, the organizations are looking at SAFe as the means to achieve faster time to market.
What strengthens this transformation further is diverse ecosystem with multiple tools and technologies that allows continuous development, continuous integration, and continuous testing.
This is where Automation is meant to play a key role in keeping up with the organizational agility.
However why automation is at times difficult to be achieved in SAFE.
Now SAFE is hierarchical model with – Program Increment – Iteration – Epics – Features – User Stories and embedded within Agile Release Train(s) or ARTs. As per SAFe “Iteration goals are achieved by completing backlog items, even though it may not be necessary to finish every story to meet the goals. In other words, the goals for the iteration override any particular story. On occasion, it may even be necessary to add new stories to achieve the iteration’s goals.”
There are three areas where automation has failed
- ESTIMATION: While considering the story points do, we estimate automation efforts? The answer most of the times is ‘No’.
- IN-SPRINT: This principle makes it difficult for automation engineers to continuously automate the new additions to the applications and/or revisit and modify the existing scripts within a shorter window making insprint automation next to impossible
- REGRESSION: Since the features are developed as stories, creating scripts for a feature furthermore is difficult and so the business functionality is not developed in totality but components. This beats the objective of automation to perform regress testing of a business functionality.
Now that we know the problems, we need to identify a solution on how to overcome these problems and make automation successful in SAFe adoption quickly.