Over the course of three days, in a tightly quartered conference room in Melbourne, Australia, eighteen of us across Cyara were trained in SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework). If you are not familiar with the term SAFe, Wikipedia defines it as “a set of organization and workflow patterns intended to guide enterprises in scaling lean and agile practices.” This framework was designed to help companies improve their alignment, collaboration, and delivery across software development teams. We had the terrific experts from Pretty Agile, including Em Campbell-Pretty, help guide us through the various processes, concepts, and frameworks.
The training was internally championed and sponsored by Luan Tran, our Chief Technology Officer. So, if you were like me prior to the training, you might have thought that the eighteen people being trained were from engineering, QA, product management, or operations. But, that would have been incorrect.
Of course, those teams and functions were represented. However, underneath a mountain of rainbow colored post-it notes and empty coffee cups, you would have also found our President, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, and VP of People & Culture. So, why did we have many of our executives and leaders get on a 16-hour flight from San Francisco to take a training course that had to do with software development?
The reason was that we are key links in the value chain responsible for delivering new CX Assurance solutions and capabilities to our customers. The speed with which companies (our customers) need to create, deliver, and bring to market new experiences for their customers is ever-increasing, and we at Cyara need to help enable this. That being said, we also need to continually improve the speed and quality with which we deliver software.
“Every business is a software business now. Agility isn’t an option, or a thing just for teams, it is a business imperative.” – Dean Leffingwell, Creator of SAFe
The first two days of the training were filled with a flurry of acronyms, lists of core competencies and principles, and even a [Agile] Manifesto. Principles such as working code being the primary measure of progress, planning cadences being synchronized across business and development teams, built-in quality, and continuous delivery were highlighted. These concepts are applicable to every function in Cyara.
All of us coming out of the training are planning on getting our SAFe certifications. Of course, there was some fun competitive talk about who was going to get it done faster and with a better score. However, at the end of the day, it was clear that a passing score on the certification test itself was not the end goal. We are embarking on a fundamental culture change that we will undergo as a whole company.
If you would like to learn more about Agile transformations or getting trained and certified on SAFe, here are some resources for you.
And see the Cyara blog for more on the Benefits of Taking Your CX Development Agile.