Developing an Enduring Internally Maintained Agile Coaching Capability for WA Police

ZXM coach lean-agile change agents to drive their scaled agile transformation across the enterprise.

The Situation

WA Police was on a journey to be more digitally connected, more responsive to community needs and to deliver more valuable outcomes faster, at less cost. 

Having recognised that their waterfall approach for ICT project delivery struggled to meet rapidly changing needs, WA Police explored Lean-Agile frameworks, starting with their PMO.

Zen Ex Machina was engaged to assist them in tailoring the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) to support their unique portfolio delivery needs, while not jeopardising work vital to the support of critical frontline policing activities.

The Solution

Drawing on our deep knowledge of government and experience with SAFe®, ZXM supported WA police as they took their first steps along their implementation roadmap.

Training Leadership and Change Agents

ZXM provided SAFe® training by accredited SAFe® Program Consultants. We used a collaborative and hands-on approach to train over 100 participants in the underlying Lean and Agile principles of SAFe®, and SAFe’s® roles and practices. Training focussed first on leadership across the agency and change agents within the ICT portfolio, and was followed by additional knowledge sessions to a wider agency audience to raise awareness of the value of agile frameworks, their key concepts, and benefits.

Charter and coach the PMO to be a Lean-Agile Centre of Excellence (LACE)

To drive the WA Police transformation to the Lean-Agile way of working using SAFe®, a Lean-Agile Centre of Excellence (LACE) team was established within their ITC portfolio. The objectives of their LACE team included defining the selected practices from SAFe® and other Agile frameworks appropriate for the needs of WA Police, and developing the implementation plan to launch an Agile Release Train (ART). 

ZXM utilised facilitation techniques including LEGO® Serious Play® to workshop the LACE team’s initial Backlog of organisational change. Ongoing ZXM coaching supported the LACE as a Scrum Team to deliver the enterprise transformation objectives in an agile way and promote transparency through visualisation of work in-flow.

Tailoring the SAFe® framework

ZXM worked collaboratively with the LACE and stakeholders to develop a scaled agile approach tailored to their context. The WA Police framework utilised Essential SAFe®, plus pragmatic use of Portfolio SAFe® scaling patterns successful in other highly complex organisations.

We boosted the LACE team’s ongoing activities to implement the framework with workshop facilitation and by developing supporting artefacts, guidebooks, templates, process guidelines, and communication tools.

LEGO Serious Play to produce the LACE strategic actions for the introduction of SAFe

Engaging Executive to prioritise the Portfolio Backlog

With strategic, portfolio-level initiatives identified and documented by the LACE using practices from Evidence Based Management (EBM),  ZXM then supported the CIO to engage with his executive peers. This was the first time the executive had gathered to openly and transparently discuss as a single cohort how to prioritise initiatives based on cost of delay, value and risk.

The Results

WA Police launched its scaled agile framework based on SAFe®. They successfully engaged their executive to prioritise strategic initiatives based on economic value, and are working steadily to establish their Portfolio and Program Kanbans to shepherd Epics and Features from ideation through to delivery of value.​

Agile-Icon

Enterprise-level agility

Agility from executive direction through to delivery teams

Improved strategic alignment

LACE team supported business and executives in aligning over 30 initiatives for prioritisation based on value.

Ready to Scale

No strategy by PowerPoint. A framework designed by expert practitioners that was practical, fit-for-purpose, and immediately actionable.

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