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Scaled Agile and the (Portfolio) PMO

Scaled Agile is all about business agility – combining Lean, Agile, and DevOps principles, practices and skills. The PMO has got interested for a couple of reasons:

PMOs have been supporting the adoption of Agile and Lean approaches at the project level over the last five years or so.
DevOps – or continuous delivery, has also become a way for teams to deliver change and the PMO wants to understand and support that.
Ultimately the PMO is there to support change activities across a business regardless of what approach is used – but they need to first understand the approaches before being able to support effectively.
Finally, some business leaders have seen the benefits that scaling up agile approaches can bring – the question is, how to make it happen.

In this session, we wanted to understand Scaled Agile and a specific framework called SAFe. Out of the different frameworks available for scaling agile (LeSS, Nexus etc) – or agile at an enterprise-level – SAFe has been the most popular within our community of PMO and PM practitioners. Back in 2017 in our Agile PMO Report – SAFe – or its full name, Scaled Agile Framework, was mentioned as a good starting point for PMO practitioners:

“SAFe would be my overall recommendation, it is a good course that tells you as a methodology how it would work and I think answers a lot of the questions that have been raised around what should a PMO do and on the course, you sit in there and go, wait a minute, that’s my job.”

Three years on, we explore it further and pull out the things a PMO practitioner needs to know about and perhaps explore further. Is it SAFe? Let’s find out more.

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