In 2012, James successfully introduced the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) as well as Rally within TomTom. Prior to this, only a few teams had tried Agile, and most development still occurred via waterfall projects. What started as a Product Unit initiative for 25 scrum teams organically grew into a company-wide adoption across 100+ scrum teams. Results achieved so far include drastic reduction in time to implement new products and features, as well as a corresponding increase in quality. James managed his first Agile programme in 2006 and has helped evangelise the value and benefits of Agile and lean practices ever since. Prior to his Agile “conversion”, James worked as a Senior Manager at Accenture on a variety of classic waterfall projects including a multi-year project for the U.S. Department of Defense. Finally, James holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from the University of Windsor, and a Masters of Engineering from the University of Ottawa.
Around 1400 days ago TomTom started it’s journey from waterfall development with successful and unsuccessful pockets of Agile, to the adoption of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). How did this initiative spread across all major engineering divisions. When should an organization switch from project orientation to “continuous feature flow”? When is it smart to use Agile methods and when is waterfall better suited? When should you adopt the Scaled Agile Framework, and when does it not apply? How do you “manage” multiple Agile Release trains when the work is spread across independent product units located in 10 locations around the globe? Finally what is missing in SAFe?