LEAN Agile Leadership: Core Competency of SAFE

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Nader Talai

Positioning LEAN Agile Leadership 

🚀 LEAN Agile Leadership is a foundational core competency within the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). Everything starts and ends with leadership.  

Let's delve into understanding how to embody this competency and lead by example. 

Understanding the Role of Leadership in SAFe 

Humility and Knowledge Acquisition: Key Leadership Traits 

  • 🧠 Leaders must have the humility to acknowledge the need for new ways of thinking and behaving. 
  • 📚 Gaining knowledge is crucial, and it goes beyond just attending training or reading a book. 
  • 🔄 Leaders need to continuously self-reflect and improve. 


Practical Leadership: From Theory to Practice 

  • 🛠 Leaders should practice what they've learned, ideally guided by a coach. 
  • 🔄 They must ensure alignment with LEAN Agile principles and values even when things go wrong. 


Organising and Reorganising Around Value 

Understanding Value Streams 

  • 💡 Leaders must identify the value streams within their organisation. 
  • 🔄 It’s essential to keep acting on the value stream to ensure optimal organisation. 


Reducing Long Queues and Work in Progress 

  • 🚦 Leaders should avoid pushing work without understanding the delivery capability of their system. 
  • 🔄 Continuous improvement and reduction of bottlenecks is vital. 

Leadership Responsibilities: A Closer Look 

Leading by Example: More than Just Words 

  • 👀 People watch your actions more than they hear your words. 
  • 🚀 Leaders must embody the values and principles of SAFe. 


Creating a Safe Environment for Learning and Changing 

  • 🌱 Fostering a growth mindset is crucial for navigating uncertainties. 
  • 🔄 Mistakes should be surfaced, learned from, and shared. 

Navigating Decentralized Decision-Making 

Embracing Uncertainty and Continuous Learning 

  • 🔄 Leaders should be comfortable with navigating uncertainty and learning from experimentation. 
  • 🌐 Decentralized decision-making ensures quick and efficient responses. 


Coaching and Guiding Teams 

  • 🚀 Leaders must coach their teams on decision-making and foster relentless learning. 
  • 💡 Judging decisions based on sound reasoning is essential. 

Embodying LEAN Agile Leadership 

🚀 LEAN Agile Leadership is not just about sponsoring change or signing checks. It's about being an authentic leader who leads by example, fostering a learning environment, and continually improving the system of work. 


Emphasising the 'How-To' Aspect 

How to Embrace LEAN Agile Leadership 

  • 📚 Educate Yourself: Continually seek knowledge and stay updated. 
  • 🔄 Reflect and Adapt: Regularly evaluate your actions and adjust as needed. 
  • 💪 Lead by Example: Ensure your actions align with LEAN Agile principles. 
  • 🌐 Foster Decentralized Decision-Making: Encourage and guide your team in making decisions. 


Recommendations for Leaders 

  • 🚀 Prioritize value streams and customer journeys. 
  • 🔄 Be open to learning and adapting your leadership style. 
  • 💡 Encourage a culture of transparency and continuous improvement. 


Interested in learning more about the key roles of a Scrum Master in SAFe?

At Value Glidethrough the application of SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework), we are able to offer agile consulting, agile coaching, and agile training specialists who work with organisations to align business objectives with customer needs and wants.

As deeply experienced agile coaches and practitioners, our team is invested in continuous learning through our training, coaching, and consulting services.

In a nutshell, empirical process control or empiricism.

If you are thinking of adopting agile within your organisation and have identified SAFe as a great agile framework to adopt, implement and improve your business agility, visit our SAFe Quickstart ART Launch program page or view our SAFe Consulting Services page.

If you have identified a need for an agile coach and SAFe coach to help your organisation adopt and implement SAFe, visit our SAFe Coaching Services page. We are committed to equipping organisations with the tools and knowledge to thrive in this ever-changing digital age, and achieve business agility through the Scaled Agile Framework.

Sounds good to you? Then sign-up today, and learn more about this transformation and revolutionary framework that is changing the game in the world of Agile. It is truly remarkable what can be done when we put our heads together and decide to work as one.

If you want to know more about SAFe and how to lead SAFe, visit our SAFE Training page for a host of options, from Leading SAFe to a SAFe Release Train Engineer course.

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