A slimmed-down SAFe provides solution for small company facing big-growth challenges
Founded in 2011, and active in more than 30 countries, Seamless handles more than 3.0 billion transactions annually, making it one of the world largest suppliers of payment systems for mobile phones. Perhaps best known for its flagship mobile wallet product, SEQR (se•cure), the fast-moving Stockholm-based company has grown from 50 to 200 employees in 2 years, and is pursuing an expansive growth strategy that has presented challenges both technical and organizational.
- Multiple environments
- Feature requests coming from different markets
- Synchronizing work between teams (Software Engineering department spans 4 countries)
- A way to deal with inevitable change of culture due to fast growth
Wanting to avoid the unnecessary bureaucracy that often comes with expansion, they turned to a scaled-down version of SAFe—along with major technical investments in the deployment pipeline—to provide a structure that would provide a solution for current challenges, and accommodate growing complexity.
“To sum up, the case study of Seamless is evidence that small or medium-sized companies can benefit from a scaled agile framework with custom modifications.”
The story of this SAFe transformation is published in InfoQ, and comes from Agile and Lean Product Development Expert, Mikael Lundgren, and Seamless Payments’ Software Engineering Manager, Tomek Pająk. They provide an account of the experience that is rich with detail, and goes beyond tactical execution to include the strategical thinking behind this scaled-down transformation. They recount:
- How they down-scaled SAFe while maintaining its core ideas
- Tools utilized for managing backlogs of features, epics, and stories
- Recruiting Scrum Masters to act as Agile coaches for entire organization
- Establishing new roles to better support working environment
- Introducing WIP-limited program execution where work is planned in Agile Release Trains
Many thanks to the study authors, Mikael Lundgren and Tomek Pająk, for sharing your story and providing inspiration for small to medium-sized companies seeking scalable solutions as they face similar growth challenges.
Link to the case study here: http://www.infoq.com/articles/downscaling-SAFe