Fewer things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

—Mark Twain

Baja Adventure Ride Example

Understanding SAFe LSE from reading the articles on the site and simply browsing the Big Picture isn’t that easy. Many of the concepts are abstract, and it can be hard to understand how they apply to a specific context. To help with this problem, LSE uses a running example of a fictional company called EMV Productions that is building a complex Enhanced Motion Vehicle called Baja Adventure Ride for an amusement park. While the whole project is fictional, it is based on a similar real project, so many of the aspects are derived from experience.

We’ll use this example to illustrate as many concepts as possible in the framework, and many article examples refer back to this system. It will also be used for many of the exercise in the companion course, Applied Lean systems Engineering with SAFe LSE.

This article provides background on the example.

EMV Productions

EMV Production is an established company with many years of experience in the construction of AGVs (Automatic Guided Vehicles) for various industries. In an attempt to expand its product offering, EMV Productions decided to enter the amusement park rides segment.

They successfully delivered their first project to an amusement park, but the project was very difficult. Problems rose very late in the development process, and they overran the schedule, missed a few key milestones and project profitability was not as they had hoped. While the client was, generally, satisfied with the final results, everyone knew that the project could have been much better executed.

SAFe LSE at EMV Productions

Twenty weeks into the development of the new Baja Adventure Ride system for a major amusement park, management started seeing the same problems that had plagued their first ride. They decided that a change was in order, and they selected SAFE LSE as their new product development framework.

Following the SAFe LSE implementation model, change agents, the development teams, management and even senior leadership have been trained in the concepts and practices of SAFe LSE. They are ready to launch their first Agile Release Train.

Building on their previous ride, they have built a working prototype of the Baja Ride. The upcoming first Program Increment is critical as an important customer demo is coming up two weeks after the PI Boundary.

Description of the Baja Adventure Ride

The Baja Adventure Ride will provide amusement parks with an interactive ride, a competitive ride that uniquely requires cooperation between riders. The ride consists of six, four person vehicles, arranged on a fixed track arranged in a Baja cross-country road race format. Figure 1 illustrates the track format and elevation.

Figure 1.  track format and elevation
Figure 1. Track format and elevation

Ride Format

The ride is a race format, where riders will compete with other vehicles to be the first to the finish line. The riders will also compete with the results of prior races, and the results are boldly displayed on a large display inside the waiting carrels area. Individual team members will also accrue points for individual performance in their respective stations. Eventually, teams will also compete against leading teams across the nation who will be riding the same adventure ride in other locations.

Achieving the fastest completion time depends on collaboration between the riders and how they react to various impediments that present themselves throughout the race. The entire system is programmable, such that amusment park may vary the ride experience from for ride to ride, with the goal of attracting repeat riders.

The Vehicle

The vehicle passenger carriage holds four riders and is mounted on a motion platform which provides many special ride effects including, “tremble”, “shudder and stall” “obstacle impact”, “skidding”, “simulated stair steps” and more.
Riders will control the steering, acceleration, brakes and radar of the vehicle, with each rider controlling one aspect of the vehicle. (In the event of less than four riders, the other roles are automated by the systems.) Figures 2 and 3 illustrates the ride vehicle concept.

Figure 2. Ride vehicle concept
Figure 2. Ride vehicle concept
Figure 3. Ride vehicle concept top view
Figure 3. Ride vehicle concept, top view

System Architecture Description

The vehicles use will use electrical drive systems, which get both their power and communication from the track. They are physically tethered to the track due to safety concerns. A motion control base supports the passenger cabin and provides a 3D motion experience.

The vehicle has four wheel independent steering, which makes special effects like skidding possible.

External suppliers will provide the track, chassis and motion platform, but EMV Productions will be responsible for integrating and installing the system.

The architectures of systems, subsystems and components are shown in the system context diagram of Figure 4.

Figure 4. System concept diagram
Figure 4. System concept diagram

Team Organization

When adopting SAFE LSE, the teams needed to first organize themselves into agile teams, and two Agile Release Trains. The first train is the “Ride ART”, and it is composed of the following seven teams:

Team Feature/ Component Scrum/Kanban
Dolphins Ride Control Kanban
Bears Vehicle Control Scrum
Eagles Feature Scrum
Iguanas Feature Scrum
Antelope Feature Scrum
Tarantulas Feature Scrum
Unicorns Integration & Testing Kanban

Scrum was selected for most of the feature development teams, the Integration and testing team and Vehicle control teams chose to use Kanban. Training has been provided, and the teams are ready to launch their first ART.

The Player Portal ART will be organized after they have made more progress in Vehicle Development.

For more on this story, refer to the various SAFE articles, or better, come to SSC training and help these teams design the ride!

Learn More

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enhanced_motion_vehicle.

Last update: 26 February 2015