The importance of quality and having a single source of truth for your processes

With the rise of new players on the market, the competitive pressure for companies has been increasing exponentially. They are needed to have high innovation levels and high efficiency while maintaining low time-to-market.

To make this even harder for organizations, the regulatory and organizational environment is becoming ever more demanding. Therefore, processes and environments must ensure that all the relevant regulations are complied with while still having a low time-to-market with high quality. 

There are people that think that if you are working in an agile manner you should not have processes and that it goes against the principles. However, this is absolutely not the case. From practical experience teams that have defined processes outperform ones that don’t. A good process never puts you in a straightjacket, but rather, it helps clarify uncertainty and paves the road in which you can accelerate faster in your agile journey.

So, how do you build and establish agile processes while increasing quality? 

First, we need to look at why it is important to have processes in an agile environment. 

    • People will leave and join your company
      People in their role need to be able to contribute to the value chain as soon as possible; as a company, you are responsible to avoid knowledge drain.
    • Organizational learning and Innovation
      A company need to learn as a system, not as individuals. This can be also achieved with the help of defined metrics and proven best practices. Best practices help to share available knowledge.
    • Respect for people and culture
      Defined roles and responsibilities foster transparency and enable people to excel at their best level. Avoid useless discussions about already defined topics e.g. how to perform KANBAN.
    • Flow within compliance boundaries
      Allow assisted tailoring of processes to level-specific needs and achieve the highest efficiency and compliance.
    • Relentless Improvement
      Ensure that knowledge doesn’t get lost and inspire people to question the status quo. Ensure feedback cycles and structured improvement of PAL.

Now, imagine if you are an organization who has everything scattered in Excel spreadsheets, Google Docs, ALM tools, and more. How do you ensure that everyone has the same understanding? It’s important to have one single source of truth to make sure that everyone is on the same page and any new employee can ramp up and have the same understanding as someone that has been on a team long term. 

With a platform like Applied SAFe, you can ensure that your team not only has the same understanding of the SAFe terminology but also understands the processes and actions they need to take in order to be SAFe. 

At the end of the day, it is also about having quality processes for agile organizations. As quality becomes more of a competitive differentiator, the opportunity exists for organizations to measure the financial impact of quality on their business. Additionally, setbacks and challenges are always going to be part of the quality industry; however, minimizing those setbacks and capturing the lost efficiency and financial impact associated with them, seems to be a lost opportunity among many respondents.

In order to have this, it is important to:

  • Pilot, train and verify and processes improvements and process changes.
  • Learn as a system, not as individuals.
  • Share available knowledge.
  • Use defined metrics.
  • Work with proven best practices.
  • Ensure that knowledge doesn’t get lost
  • Inspire people to question the status quo

Capturing that knowledge and training up-and-coming quality leaders will separate leading organizations from laggards.

About Applied SAFe

Applied SAFe serves as your own customizable instance of SAFe®. It includes all roles, activities, templates, guidelines, milestones, and phases as defined by the SAFe® methodology in order to bring the framework to life; including metrics and tailoring. Applied SAFe is a comprehensive implementation of SAFe as a process model with a sophisticated customization mechanism that allows instantiating each SAFe level independently but in line with the intended new SAFe configurations. For each of your endeavors just select the chosen SAFe configuration (e.g. Essential SAFe) and Applied SAFe tailors all elements accordingly.

Want to tailor Applied SAFe? Over 460 pre-built tailoring options give you the flexibility you are looking for besides of engineering your individual extensions. Share your knowledge via the integrated practice library and benefit from additional capabilities to reach compliance requirements like Automotive SPICE, HIPPA, CTR-180 (FDA), SOX, CMMI and many more while executing your lean-agile SAFe endeavor.

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2020-03-02T15:04:08+01:00

About the Author:

Renata Sandor is the Marketing Director of PEDCO AG and an SPC. She is a data and purpose-driven marketer with B2B, B2C, and start-up experience.