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Dungeons And Devops

It is day three of the Cerulean Moon, and the monsoon season will begin after two more nights; a mountainous trek awaits you upon daybreak, but, with a large nocturnal predator population living in these woods, there is little the party can do but rest.

Another night hiding from the rain beneath a canopy of willows; your party nestle together, wet overcoats drying above the glowing embers of a dying fire. The baking leather of the coats is making you hungry. Your rations are dwindling.

You hear the crack of a breaking twig. And see a shadowy four-legged figure looming above the smoke. What do you do?

The cleric, the paladin, the rogue, the bard, and the mage. Dungeons and Dragons has been around for decades, a table-top role-playing game, where dice influence your fate during gameplay; you may make choices, but if the dice disagree with them, you may not enjoy where things end up.

Although you may not find your agile teams slaying dragons, rescuing innocents, and casting spells, you will find your team has many roles; and your colleagues, all have a unique set of skills, with varying perceptions on their skills.

Being part of a team that focuses on Lean Portfolio Management (often shortened to LPM), you may be allocated a role similar to the following outlined in SAFe Distilled 5.0: Achieving Business Agility With Scaled Agile Framework, authors Richard Knaster and Dean Leffingwell. Of course, developing agile practice for each company may require some shifts, some wriggle room, to make sure that it works.

Sometimes you have to take a deep breath and roll for initiative.

The roles of a team of Lean Portfolio Managers are described in the book as following:

• Enterprise Executives. These senior-level leaders have financial, management, and compliance responsibilities for all or part of an enterprise.

• Business Owners. Stakeholders who have the primary business and technical responsibility for governance, compliance, and Return On Investment (ROI).

• Enterprise Architect. They work across value streams and Agile Release Trains (ARTs) to help provide the strategic technical direction that can optimize portfolio outcomes.

• Epic Owners. They are responsible for coordinating portfolio epics through the Kanban system.

• Agile Program Management Office (APMO). They are responsible for supporting decentralized, efficient program execution and for supporting standard Lean metrics, shared best practices, and communication of knowledge.

• Lean-Agile Center of Excellence (LACE). The LACE is a small team of people dedicated to implementing the SAFe Lean-Agile way of working.

And, just like the party at Willowborne, you too can find a way out of the situations of peril you may find yourself in. Just as the party are unsure of their fates, companies are too. There is nothing concrete in business other than the need for profits. What you must do, whether your team has worked together before, and are an experienced gang of heroes, or a rag-tag-group of misfits, is work together. Working as a team to manage your value streams, your portfolio and your practice, can be fruitful. After all, what would you rather be unprepared to deal with: a dragon or a deadline. I’d pick the dragon any day.

Based in London, U.K., and founded in 2016 by Arvind Mishra The Agile Works (, is an up-and-coming recruitment and Agile consulting company. Arvind is a Certified SAFe SPC and regularly delivers both private and public SAFe certification workshops.

He is a design thinking expert, Sr. enterprise, portfolio Agile Coach with over a decade of experience working as an Agile coach in diverse industries such as banking, pharma, retail, auto, oil, gas, consulting and government.

The Agile Works; a small team of three strive to help shape the leadership's mind-set and values in readiness for their business transformation journey challenges. With Arvind at the helm, we strive to provide you with the agility tools to make your company that can thrive, and not just survive.

To book a consultation, or for any enquiries, you can contact Arvind via the following email address:

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