​​Common Challenges and Solutions in Achieving Enterprise Solution Delivery

​​Common Challenges and Solutions in Achieving Enterprise Solution Delivery

One of the seven key areas of focus for SAFe is Enterprise Solution Delivery, which helps to provide guidance on how to best utilize lean and agile practices and principles during deployment, operation evolution, and development processes for software applications, networks or systems. Unfortunately, many enterprises struggle with solution delivery, due in part to inefficient processes and a lack of understanding of how to best apply lean and agile practices. As a result, they often experience common challenges that can impede their ability to achieve success. This article will explore some of those challenges and provide potential solutions to help you overcome them.
 
Why Do Organizations Need Enterprise Solution Delivery?
 
Software developers and engineers have long embraced lean and agile practices to increase their productivity, optimize resources, and deliver better quality products.  In recent years, these same principles have been adopted by many enterprises in an effort to improve their software development processes. Lean and agile practices can help organizations shorten delivery cycles, improve quality, and better respond to customer demands.
 
In the context of enterprise solution delivery, SAFe helps to provide guidance on how these practices can be applied at scale to software application development, network operations, and system deployment. When done correctly, enterprise solution delivery can help organizations improve their overall efficiency and quality while reducing risk.
 
Furthermore, Enterprise solution delivery is made up of nine practices that are divided into three sections. By understanding and utilizing these dimensions, enterprises can more effectively manage and deliver their solutions. The three dimensions are:
 
  • Lean System and Solution Engineer
  • Coordinating Trains and Supplies
  • Continually Evolve Live Systems
 
Dimension 1: Lean System and Solution Engineer
 
The first dimension of enterprise solution delivery is lean system and solution engineering. This dimension focuses on applying lean principles to the development and deployment of software applications. In particular, it helps to reduce waste and optimize resources throughout the software development process. Practices of this dimension include:
 
  • Continually refine the fixed/variable Solution Intent 
  • Apply multiple planning horizons 
  • Architect for scale, modularity, releasability, and serviceability 
  • Continually address compliance concerns
 
Dimension 2: Coordinating Trains and Supplies
 
The second dimension of enterprise solution delivery is coordinating trains and supplies. This dimension focuses on ensuring that all the necessary resources are available when they are needed. In particular, it helps to optimize the use of resources and minimize waste. Practices of this dimension include:
 
  • Build and integrate solution components and capabilities with Agile Release Trains (ARTs) and Solution Trains 
  • Apply “continuous” integration 
  • Manage the supply chain with systems of systems thinking
 
Dimension 3: Continually Evolve Live Systems
 
The third dimension of enterprise solution delivery is continually evolving live systems. This dimension focuses on ensuring that software applications are always up to date and meet the ever-changing needs of customers. In particular, it helps to reduce risk and improve quality. Practices of this dimension include:
 
  • Build a Continuous Delivery 
  • Pipeline Evolve deployed systems
 
Common Challenges in Enterprise Solution Delivery
 
Despite the many benefits of enterprise solution delivery, many organizations struggle to implement it effectively. This is often due to a lack of understanding of how to best apply lean and agile practices. As a result, they often experience common challenges that can impede their ability to achieve success.
 
Some of the most common challenges include:
 
1. Inefficient processes
2. Lack of understanding of how to apply lean and agile practices
3. Poor coordination between teams
4. Lack of visibility into the development process
5. Limited resources
6. Inflexible dependencies
7. Poorly defined roles and responsibilities
8. Inadequate testing
9. Lack of communication
 
A clear trend can be seen in these challenges: many of them are related to a lack of understanding or application of lean and agile practices. As a result, organizations often find themselves struggling to improve their software development processes. Lean and agile practices can help organizations shorten delivery cycles, improve quality, and better respond to customer demands. Let’s take a look at a case study that illustrates how one organization was able to overcome these challenges and achieve success with enterprise solution delivery.
 
Case Study: SAFe Implementation For A Large Aerospace and Defense Company
 
Problem
 
A large aerospace and defense company needed to establish eight ARTs (agile release trains) focused on SAP value streams and one ART organized around Salesforce in order to deliver a new “green field” system. However, the inflight waterfall program started with approximately 300 people and quickly grew to an agile effort targeting over 1,000 people.
 
Solution
 
The company implemented a recurring Solution Planning event scheduled four weeks prior to each Program Increment (PI) Planning in order to allow the ERP Solution Train to synchronize across the ARTs and collaborate on the dependencies that impacted each ART independently. This alignment between the larger tactical and strategic activities of the “super-sized SAFe” effort ensured that the ERP system didn’t diverge from the overall vision of the broader enterprise transformation.
 
Key Lessons:
 
1. Establish clear roles and responsibilities for each team member.
2. Hold regular planning events to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
3. Focus on delivering value to the customer.
4. Improve quality by continually evolving your live systems.
 
By understanding and applying the key principles of enterprise solution delivery, organizations can improve their software development processes and better meet the needs of their customers. Lean and agile practices play a critical role in this effort, and organizations should focus on applying these practices in order to achieve success. At Agileseventeen, we provide expert agile coaching and consulting services that can help your organization overcome common challenges and achieve success with enterprise solution delivery. Contact us today to learn more: talkagile@agileseventeen.com.
 
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