I recently watched an incredibly brilliant NASA scientist talk about requirements in a way that is so far from where many companies believe they can get to, that I had to share.
By Scott Barnes, PEDCO
For me his talks resonated incredibly well because this is exactly one of the ways that we help engineering companies bridge the challenging gaps between requirements, agility, lean, governance and process.
People, Process, Product…. this is always what we hear. It’s not so simple. Throw in some agile transformation, some scaling, some governance, oh and make those multiple standards you must adhere to, then add a touch of lack of capacity – you get where I’m going with this.
Applied SAFe is a great way to bridge the gap between scaling agility and having to adhere to multiple regulated environments. One of the conversations we inevitably have with our customers starts with a simple question: “What is your flow unit?”. If a company is moving towards agility or is already well under way, what we often get is conflicting information about stories, features, and epics.
Applied SAFe helps us in many ways, including operationalizing how we handle things such as requirements and the governance that goes into producing them. Often, we make it too difficult as we transition to agility though. We tend to make way too many additional documents about how we are going to do this work with “new” work products, draw up too many different processes to meet governance needs, etc. Let’s change our approach, our mindset about how we work with others and together and at the same time intentionally build the governance into our agility.
How we think about requirements today is important. Dr. Dan Rasky has a set of videos we want to share with you that illuminate how “modern” requirements can be thought about.
According to NASA, Dr. Dan Rasky worked as a Senior Scientist for NASA on COTS. Commercial Orbital Transportation Systems (COTS) was a NASA-industry partnership to develop safe, affordable, reliable space transportation access to Low-Earth Orbit. NASA was the lead investor in the COTS project, much different from traditional government-owned and operated systems. The COTS lessons are applicable to similar capability development projects and may not be suitable for traditional government contracts.
We have taken the spirit of Dr. Rasky’s ideas, SpaceX’s working principles, and other inspiring concepts and turned those ideas into Applied SAFe’s process design principles, which we use ourselves everyday for the application of Applied SAFe with our customers.
Watch these videos in order. They are small chunks of a great interview. If you have enjoyed this, please share this with others.