Multi-ART Management: Challenges in the management of different agile organizational units

Currently, many companies have converted their organizational structure and processes in parts or comprehensively to an agile model in order to achieve more flexibility and a value-maximizing focus of budgets and resources. Our experience is that at a certain scale of scaled agility, some particular challenges and pitfalls arise.

In particular, planning for dependencies and reliable delivery of mutual provisioning services between larger scaled agile organizational units create delays and inconsistencies. This can be remedied by introducing SAFe Solutions or Solution Trains. However, to avoid a costly and comprehensive implementation of these Solutions, we have derived a leaner NTT DATA method Multi-ART Management - MAM for short.

Based on the SAFe term Agile Release Train (ART) for scaled agile units, MAM provides a structured solution approach for managing overarching dependencies while maintaining the greatest possible autonomy of the individual ARTs.

The management of dependencies in scaled agile working methods must answer one question in particular: who must schedule what for which time period and how precisely must the functional, technical description for this be available considering the respective planning ceremonies. Experience shows that even small differences in the processes, the cadences and the tools used can lead to seemingly insurmountable hurdles. In practice, this results in the problem that many teams do not plan a buffer for additional services at the beginning of their iterative planning of the upcoming sprints or do not recognize which dependencies must be taken into account for the upcoming iteration with which higher priority in terms of capacity.