Epics are what drive the most economic value in the SAFe and agile enterprise. They are containers for important initiatives designed to help in directing value streams to the larger aim in the portfolio. This is essentially what makes drives great economic value towards the enterprise. Epics are characterized as investment intensive and offer far-ranging impact.
In simple terms, Epic is like a work that cannot be completed within just a week or shorter time. In essence, Epics take a full sprint, so it says in order to be completed. In order to complete one Epic, it takes about 5 to 10 user stories. In Epic, the cost analysis, formulation, opportunity and impact are very serious matter.
Epics have wide range scope which is why implementing them is never an easy task to do. As such, Epics are broken down to smaller chunks, called stories. On that note, it is important that the role of the Epic Owner is addressed and discussed. The Epic Owners have the responsibility of managing and controlling a portfolio epic, developing business case and working directly with key stakeholders.
The Critical Role of Epic Owners in SAFe and Agile Methodology
Epic Owners are responsible for driving individual Epics. They are what drive Epics from identification going through analysis process as well as the Kanban systems. Going through these, it goes through the go/no-go decision-making process in the Program Portfolio Management. Once the Epics are accepted for implementation, Epic Owners work together with the Release Train development and Product Management team in order to commence the activities needed in achieving the epic’s business objectives.
But the role of Epic Owners does not stop there. When the Epic is successfully initiated, they still ongoing responsibilities of stewarding and following on the Epic. The Epic Owner can return to other responsibilities or take up other epics when the current epic is successfully incorporated to the Program Backlogs. Only during this time that implementation can be securely assumed as it is the time when the program has full responsibility for the delivery of solutions.
In SAFe, the role of Epic Owner can be taken by a project manager, product manager, system architect, enterprise architect, program manager, product manager or any other stakeholder that is well-suited to this important responsibility. As it is a role and not a job title, SAFe allows for different individuals to assume the role as long as it falls in their area of expertise. Epic Owners generally work on one or two Epics according to their business mission.
The Collaborative Work of the Epic Owner
The responsibilities of Epic Owner are varied and wide in scope. They work with different stakeholders in defining the epic and the potential benefits. They also establish the delay cost as well as identify potential business sponsors and many other tasks until the presentation and implementation of the Epic.
The very role of Epic Owner is collaborative in nature as they work with different people and teams in the agile enterprise to realize the benefits of the epic. In short, they are those that fill in the gaps within the organizations in order to ensure that the vision is realized and that the epic-driven features are consistent and achievable.