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SAFe for Lean Software and System Engineering
Updated: 55 min 12 sec ago

Agile Amped Podcast: 10 Essential Scaling Patterns We Can (Probably) All Agree On, and More…

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 20:30

Hi Folks,

A couple of days ago I delivered a keynote at Mile High Agile, “10 Essential Scaling Patterns We Can (Probably) All Agree On.”

Judging from the size of the audience—and from the general buzz throughout the conferences we’ve been attending—there’s no question that the topic of scaling has captured much of the mindshare in the Agile community. Afterall, what enterprise wouldn’t want to enjoy the business and personal benefits of self-organization, higher quality and productivity, and the intrinsic motivation of effective Agile teams?

It is the how that is the question, and on that there are many opinions.

In the spirit of the Mile High conference, ‘Elevating Agile Organizations,’ I wanted to move the discussion beyond a specific method or framework, and instead share the common scaling patterns that we’ve seen perform most effectively when implementing Lean-Agile development at enterprise scale. Thanks to our friends from SolutionsIQ, I was invited to explore the subject in an Agile Amped podcast with Howard Sublett at the conference.

I also had the chance to discuss some of the new things we are working on, because there will always be a next version of SAFe!

You can access the 28-minute podcast here. And if the subject of a ‘essential patterns’ interests you, visit the Essential SAFe guidance article.

Stay SAFe!






Categories: Blogs

Why we’re excited about Gene Kim’s upcoming keynote at the SAFe Summit

Wed, 05/17/2017 - 17:50

Few thought leaders in the IT space can match the global influence Gene Kim has had in helping organizations radically improve how technology-based capabilities are developed.

Gene’s ‘ding in the universe’ began with The Phoenix Project, that once-you-start-reading-it-you-can’t-put-it-down novel that had all of us wondering how Gene and his co-authors managed to know so much about the people we worked with and the challenges we had all faced throughout our individual journeys in IT. What started as a worldwide conversation about a book has turned into a movement, providing leaders and practitioners with a unifying blueprint for how software and systems will be developed, deployed, enhanced, and supported for years to come.

It has been my tremendous honor to have known Gene personally for several years. I met him at a small dinner gathering in Washington DC, and was amazed at his humility and genuine interest in my stories of how government agencies were wrestling with the shift to Lean-Agile product development. We have continued our conversation and our friendship ever since. His encouragement and curiosity throughout my doctoral journey was more meaningful to me than he will ever know. It was a highlight of my career to be invited by Gene to share the insights of my research into transformational leadership and organizational change at the DevOps Enterprise Summit in San Francisco in 2016, and again this year at the DOES conference in London.

All of us at Scaled Agile are thrilled to have Gene as a keynote speaker for this year’s SAFe Summit. Gene’s wisdom and insights into the global DevOps conversation reflected in The DevOps Handbook have been immensely helpful as we have expanded our discussion of DevOps in the next update to SAFe. In his Summit presentation, Gene will share the top lessons learned in his study of high-performing technology organizations, as well as the top principles and patterns, and how large, complex organizations are successfully adopting DevOps culture and work practices.

The lineup for our gathering in October was already powerful, but with the addition of Gene’s voice this year’s Summit just became a must-not-miss event! We look forward to seeing you there.

—Dr. Steve Mayner
SPCT and Senior Consultant

Categories: Blogs

Have you earned your SAFe® Certification? Digital badging helps you tell the world

Tue, 05/16/2017 - 21:36

We know you’ve worked hard to gain SAFe Certification. Now we want to help you tell the world about it so you can find the best opportunities to apply your training and experience. We also want to give employers the ability to quickly validate your knowledge and skills.

The Scaled Agile Professional Certification Program’s digital badging initiative will help you connect with the leading enterprises and development teams that seek your skills and experience as a SAFe-certified professional. Scaled Agile is teaming with Acclaim, a leader in digital professional recognition, to provide you with a digital version of your SAFe credentials. Activating the badge is easy and there is no cost to you.

Major tech employers, including IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft, rely on digital badging for evidence of what employees have done to earn their credentials and the skills associated with them. But our digital badging program does much more.

Leverage the power of social sharing

The badge can be shared in your-e-mail signature, digital resume, and on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. That provides a fast and reliable way for prospective employers and team members to verify your SAFe skills. Further, once you’ve accepted your digital credential from Acclaim you can export it to other Open Badge Infrastructure (OBI)-compliant badge sites, such as the Mozilla backpack.

Find the best opportunities to employ your skills

Acclaim also provides a Labor Market Insights feature to help you locate and apply for the best opportunities to employ your SAFe training and experience. Just click your badge on the Acclaim website to begin a search for relevant opportunities by job title, location, employer, job function, and salary. You can drill down for more details about the position and apply for it directly.

Look for your invitation to arrive in the next few weeks

We are rolling digital badging out incrementally starting this month with select certification levels. All remaining badges will be issued by July 2017. Acceptance is completely up to you. You can learn more about the digital badging program on our FAQ page.

Many thanks to Susan Farago, our forward-thinking Certification Program Manager, for leading this new initiative and providing our members with the latest technology in digital professional recognition.

We’ve come a long way together since we released version 1.0 of SAFe in 2011 and began certifying practitioners. This new program demonstrates our continued support for those who have made the commitment to helping deliver the promise of SAFe.

Stay SAFe!

Categories: Blogs

Check out the lastest Scaled Agile Insider

Thu, 05/11/2017 - 15:31

The latest edition of the Scaled Agile Insider is hot off the press. This almost-monthly email is the best resource for getting all the latest news from the SAFe universe in one place. In this edition you’ll find:

  • 11th Annual State of Agile Report:
    SAFe #1 in Scaling Methods and Approaches
  • New course unveiled: SAFe® 4.0 Release Train Engineer with RTE Certification
  • Video: Dean Leffingwell discusses Scalable DevOps and Continuous Delivery with SAFe
  • The final installment in the story of the 6-day SAFe Quickstart
  • Right-sizing Features for SAFe Program Increments (with complementary poster download from Ivar Jacobson)
  • Upcoming SAFe webinars and presentations from Scaled Agile thought leaders

The Insider provides you with the wider range of information—including things like commercial aspects, case studies, and third party opinions—that will help you do your job and get the most out of SAFe. To that end, you’ll find a broad range of topics and resources, including: links to new downloads, ‘must-read’ articles, books, videos, the lastest case studies, webinar announcements, classes and event news, and more.

If you’ve attended a SAFe class, you are likely already subscribed. If not, go here to subscribe and read the latest editions.

As we work to improve its value to the community, we’d love your thoughts. Are we covering what’s important to you? Should we provide less or more? Turn it into an online publication? All ideas are welcome.

Stay SAFe!

Categories: Blogs

The Global Network of SAFe Fellows Grows by Four

Tue, 05/09/2017 - 18:31

Our mission at Scaled Agile is to help enterprises achieve better business outcomes through adoption of Lean-Agile principles and practices based on SAFe. Since launching the Framework in 2011, a key aspect of our enablement strategy has been to equip change agents through SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) training and certification.

While support from SPCs is critical to implementation success, there are pivotal moments in many significant Lean-Agile transformations when the organization needs guidance from the ‘best of the best.’ In the early days of SAFe, this often meant calling in Dean and the Framework team. However, just as SAFe is focused on enabling excellence in scaling Agile, the pace at which it has become the industry standard has driven the need to ‘scale’ the pool of experts who are equipped to provide guidance for the most complex and challenging of implementations.

To that end, we grew the Scaled Agile Partner program, and in 2014 introduced the SPCT (SAFe Program Consultant Trainer) program to provide a means of recognizing individuals who demonstrate superior knowledge, competency, and in-depth field experience in SAFe. While this enabled one aspect of scaling, it didn’t fully accommodate the growing demand from enterprises needing support for the most challenging rollouts.

The SAFe Fellow Program

That’s where the SAFe Fellow program comes in. Established in 2015, the program recognizes a select number of individuals with both the depth and breadth of experience to work at the highest levels of complexity in enterprise strategy, and who have established themselves as thought leaders in the Lean-Agile space.

The program is different from other certification achievements offered by Scaled Agile. It goes beyond the 1–3 year qualification process required for SPCTs and identifies individuals with the highest possible level of mastery and thought leadership. ‘SAFe Fellow’ is a designation rather than certification, and requires years of practice and contribution. Prospective SAFe Fellows must be nominated by two existing Fellows, reviewed by all existing SAFe Fellows, and then finalized by the Nomination Committee. It is a multi-year journey.

The SAFe Fellow program represents the ultimate achievement for those looking to advance Lean-Agile methods at enterprise scale with SAFe. If we are in challenging situation—whether puzzling over the next generation framework, or struggling to optimize a SAFe implementation—the Fellows are the folks we turn to.”

—Dean Leffingwell, creator of SAFe, Chief Methdologist

After recognizing five of Scaled Agile’s most experienced experts as SAFe Fellows, we commenced a two-year search to identify the ‘best of the best’ in the field. Today, we’re delighted to welcome four new Fellows to the fold. Each has been hand-picked based on a combination of their ongoing contribution to the evolution of the Framework, their demonstrated success in a broad-range of implementations, and their willingness to share their expertise in the public arena through both writing and speaking.

Introducing Four New SAFe Fellows

We congratulate the following outstanding individuals:

Mark Richards, Context Matters

Mark Richards has been involved with SAFe since its inception, with a demonstrated commitment to remaining on the leading edge of the ART. Part of the first group of SPCs to be certified in 2012, he went on to coach Australia’s first SAFe implementation at Telstra and later became one of the first SPCTs. He has enabled successful implementations across the federal government, telecommunications, finance, insurance and education industries. Mark has also worked with a number of Tier 1 Systems Integrators as they respond to the changing needs of their customers implementing SAFe. A prolific blogger (The Art of SAFe), Mark is also the developer of the widely used SAFe City simulation and has contributed to a number of areas of the Framework, most recently in the areas of metrics for SAFe 4.5 and the ART Canvas in the Implementation Roadmap.

Em Campbell-Pretty, Context Matters

Em’s passion for business outcomes inspired her to launch Australia’s first Agile Release Train in early 2012. Since then, she has led transformations for public and private companies like RMIT University, Westpac, the Australian Taxation Office and ANZ. Her work has influenced the development of the Program Kanban System and fueled case studies. She’s an international keynote speaker, an avid blogger——and author of the book, Tribal Unity.

Eric Willeke, CA Technologies

Eric has worked with a broad range of Fortune 500 companies, thousands of practitioners, and key leaders in the technology, media, insurance, financial services, and healthcare industries. His personal vision—to “help everybody on a project sleep better at night”—has shaped his passion for continuous improvement and unlocking human potential. Eric speaks at conferences around the world, has contributed to the Framework and SAFe case studies, has served on the program committee for the Agile 201x conference series, and was the lead editor for the Proceedings of the LSSC conference series.

Harry Koehnemann, 321 Gang

Harry is Director of Technology for 321 Gang where he helps organizations in aerospace, defense, automotive, and medical adopt Lean-Agile methods and SAFe. He played a key role in the development of SAFe 4.0 for application to Lean systems engineering. More recently, Harry has worked with Scaled Agile on toolkits and white papers to provide practitioners with guidance on hardware and compliance concerns when adopting SAFe.

Learn more about the SAFe Fellows program here, including a full list of SAFe Fellows.

Welcome Em, Harry, Eric, and Mark to the global network of SAFe Fellows!

Stay SAFe!
—Drew Jemilo
Co-founder, Scaled Agile, Inc.
SAFe Fellow Program Director



Categories: Blogs

The SAFe glossary goes international with nine new translations

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 00:31

The SAFe community is very diverse, with nearly 200,000 new visitors to the SAFe website coming from non-English speaking countries in the last six months alone. And more SAFe classes are popping up all over the globe. Today we counted nearly 400 non-U.S. classes on the public training calendar.

Although most local concerns are supported by our Global Partner Network, the Framework itself has been—with a few exceptions—available exclusively in English. This is because adopting SAFe effectively relies on a common language that supports the Lean-Agile mindset and complements its common behaviors and practices. Without it, you can end up with another version of the Tower of Babel, which can impede the effectiveness of your implementation. But we also understand that a common ‘language of SAFe’ can be challenging when an enterprise is distributed geographically, or headquartered in countries where English is not the primary language.

Bridging the Language Gap

We’ve taken a major step toward bridging the language gap by introducing nine translations of the SAFe glossary. Each version is downloadable and provides definitions of the 90+ foundational terms used in SAFe, as well as 50 of the most common acronyms and abbreviations. Available translations include:

  • Arabic
  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • Chinese
  • Dutch
  • Finnish
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Spanish

Still in the backlog are Russian, Swedish, Korean, Hindi, and Bengali.

A big thank you to the growing list of volunteers who are contributing to this effort. Your talent and time is helping to make SAFe more accessible for everyone.

Rimanga sicuro! (Stay SAFe!)
—Dean and the Framework team

Categories: Blogs

SAFe® 4.0 Release Train Engineer course now available!

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 15:39
The RTE has been a key role in SAFe since version 1.0

The concept of the Agile Release Train (ART)  originated a decade ago, and the role for the Release Train Engineer (RTE) became evident in version 1.0 of the Framework.

As ARTs have grown their ability to continuously deliver value, the RTE has evolved into a critical role as servant leader and coach for the program, and the value streams they support.

Being an effective RTE requires an exceptional range of skills, and is a career path for many servant leaders. However, until now, there has been no formal training for RTEs working in a SAFe enterprise, and the demand—as seen in job sites like LinkedIn,, and—has been skyrocketing. That’s why we are excited to announce our newest course offering: SAFe 4.0 Release Train Engineer Course with RTE Certification.

This advanced three-day interactive class offers attendees an in-depth understanding of the role and responsibilities of an RTE. Through active learning, attendees will learn how to facilitate and enable end-to-end value delivery through ARTs and value streams. They will also learn how to build high-performing ARTs by becoming a true servant leader and coach, and how to plan and execute a Program Increment (PI) planning event, which we all know is the primary enabler of alignment throughout all levels of a SAFe organization.

View prerequisites and the full course description here.

Visit the list of public RTE classes here.

If you know an RTE, or someone aspiring to be one, be sure to spread the word. This is an empowering course, and the feedback from the alpha and beta classes has been inspiring.

“The RTE class provided a great opportunity to network with other RTEs and facilitate real life learning and takeaways. The content is rich as well as thought provoking, and the exercises are equally dynamic and engaging.”

Desirée Cuniberti, RTE, Bloomberg LP

An enormous amount of sweat, thought, and effort went into developing this course and the exam that supports it. Many thanks to all who contributed, including our exam SMEs Eric Myers, Mark Byers, Sue Shreve, David Daughenbaugh, Catherine Turley, Kathy Marshak, Henk Mooijweer, Bas Willemsen, Cecile Auret, Chris Wagter, Jason Butler, Doug Less, Ron Alvey, Robert Ramirez-Dahlberg, Shane Harrison, Sean Baggett (and others far too humble to have their names listed…) and the entire Framework team: Dean, Inbar, and Richard, as well as the Learning and Certification team: Susan Farago, Chuck Ferguson, and Jeff Long.

Cheers and Be SAFe,
—Jennifer Fawcett, SAFe Fellow and Carl Starendal, SPC and Course SMEs

Categories: Blogs

SAFe 4.0 Distilled: A Practical Guide for Implementing the World’s Leading Framework for Enterprise Agility

Mon, 04/17/2017 - 03:01

The SAFe knowledge base on this website is an invaluable resource for people who build software and systems, however, navigating the guidance can be daunting for the uninitiated. SAFe is a robust framework supported by hundreds of web pages. Where do you start? In what order should you read the articles? What information is really important to you and when?

We get it. There’s a Wikipedia aspect to the SAFe body of knowledge that takes time to parse. Last year’s publication, the SAFe 4.0 Reference Guide is a handy companion, but it’s basically a printed version of the website. It doesn’t really tell a story and that’s why we wrote the new book SAFe 4.0 Distilled: Applying the Scaled Agile Framework for Lean Software and Systems Engineering.

This is the first book that guides you through SAFe so you can learn how each component of the Framework works together to enable the kind of business results you see in our case studies. It will help you understand how to think about the Framework, how to plan, how to train and mobilize a Lean-Agile workforce, and what to expect as you roll out SAFe in your enterprise. The “Implementing SAFe” section alone is worth the price of the book, as it will help you avoid many of those ‘I wish I’d known that earlier’ moments.

“’SAFe 4.0 Distilled’ is the book we’ve all been waiting for. It breaks down the complexity of the Framework into easily digestible explanations and actionable guidance. A must-have resource for beginners as well as seasoned practitioners.”
Lee Cunningham, Senior Director, Enterprise Agile Strategy at VersionOne, Inc.

In some sections, such as SAFe principles, values, leadership, and implementation, we significantly enhanced the guidance to enable managers and leaders to ‘know what it is they must do’ to lead a Lean-Agile transformation, and create a work environment that truly fosters innovation and employee engagement.

This book is an ideal supplement to formal training and certification, and recommended for every SAFe practitioner. Regardless of whether you’re just starting out, or are engaged in a mature implementation, we have no doubt you’ll find something valuable that will enhance your experience with SAFe.

Published by Addison-Wesley Professional, SAFe Distilled is available in paperback, eBook, and Kindle formats at most major retailers. Learn more about SAFe Distilled, and make sure to use the code, SAFEBOOKS, to save 35 percent off the list price when you purchase from

We hope this new book enriches your SAFe learning journey, and helps make your workplace truly engaging, innovative, more productive, and simply, more fun.

Be SAFe!
—Richard Knaster and Dean Leffingwell, coauthors, SAFe 4.0 Distilled

Categories: Blogs

Article 12 in SAFe Implementation Roadmap series: Sustain and Improve

Mon, 04/17/2017 - 01:51
Click to enlarge

If you’ve been reading the SAFe Implementation Roadmap article series and have made it to this stage, congratulations! When leaders are diligent in following these critical moves, and are making the appropriate course corrections along the way, the results for the organization should look like this:

  • The new way of working is becoming a part of the culture all the way from team, to program, to value stream, to portfolio
  • Substantial business benefits are accumulating every day
  • Improvements in quality, productivity, time to market, and employee engagement are meeting or exceeding expectations

You should now being seeing results like those in the case studies. These are great accomplishments, but how do you sustain them over the long term? Culture change can lose momentum as the ‘new car smell’ of a new initiative begins to fade.

To continue the practice of SAFe effectively, and ensure the ongoing engagement of the workforce, leaders must now expand their view of the implementation. They can’t just rinse and repeat. They will need to maintain the energy and enthusiasm they are devoting to the short cycles of iterations and PIs, while setting their sights on the distant horizon of long-term sustainability. The mindset and process of ‘relentless improvement’ must now take root. This, of course, is synonymous with ‘continuous change.’ And that can be challenging for an enterprise.

In this final article in the Roadmap series, Sustain and Improve, we’ll suggest some key activities the enterprise can use to overcome those challenges and continuously sustain and improve its business performance. They include:

  • Foster relentless improvement and the Lean-Agile mindset
  • Implement Agile HR practices
  • Advance program execution and servant leadership skills
  • Measure and take action
  • Improve Agile technical practices
  • Focus on Agile architecture
  • Improve DevOps and continuous delivery capability
  • Reduce time to market with value stream mapping

Read the full article here.

We fully expect that the Implementation Roadmap will undergo its own relentless improvement as it continues to be tested in the field. As we work toward providing the best guidance possible for the SAFe community, we’d love to hear from you. Your thoughts and feedback on the Roadmap have been invaluable.

Stay SAFe!
—Dean and the Framework team




Categories: Blogs

New Case Study: Northwestern Mutual Delivers 18 Months Ahead of Schedule with SAFe

Mon, 04/03/2017 - 20:26

“We had been challenged a number of times in changing our underlying CRM platform. After implementing SAFe, our overall effort actually came in $12M less than originally estimated and 18 months sooner than predicted.”

Bryan Kadlec, Director, Client Digital Experience

How do you change a deeply ingrained Waterfall culture? For a 160-year old life insurance company, it wasn’t easy, but it was ultimately worth it.

Our latest case study from Northwestern Mutual (NWM) tells the story. In 2012, a company-wide push for continuous learning and improvement led the organization to consider Agile in earnest. At the time, it took more than 300 days and many iterations to deliver value to customers. Efforts to improve had been stymied by an entrenched waterfall culture.

For a company that helps clients manage risk, ironically, the business realized that it had to take some risk to move forward. Business unit leaders found the platform they needed in SAFe, and became the first large company in Wisconsin to deploy the Framework.

Prior to the first Program Increment (PI) planning event, transformation leaders trained as SAFe Program Consultants (SPCs) and additionally tapped SAFe Fellow Jennifer Fawcett to facilitate. At that first event, they launched four Agile Release Trains (ARTs).

At NWM, training was key, and in fact served as the first Sprint for some. By the second PI event, again with Jennifer facilitating, Release Train Engineers had a sense of ownership. As for changing the longtime waterfall culture, coaching proved essential, especially at the beginning.

Since deploying SAFe, Northwestern Mutual has seen a number of benefits that contribute toward the bottom line:

  • Collection Feature Cycle Time improved 30-50%
  • IT delivers requested capabilities 80-90 percent of the time
  • The overall effort on a project came in $12 million less than originally estimated and 18 months sooner than predicted

Now in year three of their implementation, and with 12 PIs behind them, the company has 14 ARTs in progress across a wide range of product areas. Northwestern Mutual also provides leadership for SAFe in Wisconsin, starting a Scaling Agile Meetup group that has drawn as many as 300 attendees.

Check out the full case study here.

Many thanks to Jill Schindler, IT Manager, Client Digital Experience, SPC; Bryan Kadlec, IT Director, Client Digital Experience, SPC; and Sarah Scott, Agile Lean Organization Coach, SPC4, for sharing their SAFe story.

Stay SAFe,

Categories: Blogs

Regulatory and Industry Standards Compliance with SAFe

Mon, 04/03/2017 - 17:03

Many systems in aerospace, defense, automotive, medical, banking, and other industries have an unacceptable social or economic cost of failure. In order to protect the public, these systems are also subject to extensive regulatory oversight and rigorous compliance standards. Historically, organizations building these systems have relied on comprehensive quality management systems and stage-gate based waterfall life-cycle models to reduce risk and ensure compliance. These same organizations are now adopting Lean-Agile methods, and are struggling to understand how their existing stage-gate compliance activities participate in a Lean-Agile flow of value.

Recently I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with Harry Koehnemann with 321Gang, one of our SPCT-Gold Partners on an update to our guidance on how to use SAFe for implementing Lean-Agile practices at scale in these high assurance contexts. Harry has helped guide organizations in aerospace, automotive, medical device, and electronics industries through Agile. Prior to coming to Scaled Agile, I (Steve) worked for many years with a variety of Federal agencies, including a program in the Department of Homeland Security that was the first full implementation of SAFe. Each of us have seen the difficulties leaders of these organizations have faced trying to “go SAFe” but still meet the rigors of their regulatory and compliance processes, which frequently assume a waterfall product development model.

As more and more organizations in these high assurance industries are pursuing a SAFe implementation, we felt it was time to revisit our recommendations and provide some practical suggestions for how overcome this challenge by using Lean-Agile practices to actually produce BETTER compliance and safety outcomes. Our recommendations focus on four key approaches:

  • Taking an incremental approach to creating and assessing compliance information
  • Including compliance teams and their concerns in the product development ecosystem to collaborate on planning, executing, assessing, and adapting
  • Incorporate compliance in agile quality practices – automating, adapting, continuously improving, etc.
  • Integrating V&V and compliance activities into iterative development flow

We recently had the opportunity to share this information in an hour-long webinar. That recording along with a PDF of our slides can be found on our updated Guidance Article on this topic. We will also be coming out soon with a white paper and other enablement materials as part of a toolkit that SPCs can use to help organizations in these industries adopt the patterns that we have seen work successfully with similar SAFe implementations

If you are planning to attend any of the following conferences you can also stop by our sessions on this topic at these events:

Stay SAFe!

Steve Mayner and Harry Koehnemann

Categories: Blogs

Article 11 in SAFe Implementation Roadmap series: Extend to the Portfolio

Sun, 04/02/2017 - 22:58
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If you’ve been following the SAFe Implementation Roadmap series—or you’re engaged in a real world transformation—you’ll appreciate the effort and commitment it takes to reach the 11th ‘critical move,’ Extend to the Portfolio.

At this stage in the rollout, the new behaviors are becoming second nature to all the players, and the measurable benefits of time to market, quality, productivity, and employee engagement have become tangible and are demonstrating real progress.

The door is now open to expand across the entire Portfolio. This is a telling phase in the rollout, as it tests the authenticity of the organization’s commitment to transforming the business at all levels. As scrutiny is turned to the higher-level practices in the business, and the Portfolio feels pressure to address the remaining legacy challenges, there is a fork in the road. One road leads to business as usual, approaches are not modernized, and the enterprise is unable to escape the inertia of tradition. This leads to “Agile in name only,” and as you can imagine, the results are seriously compromised.

The other road follows the original intent behind adopting SAFe, which is to dig in and do the work necessary to complete the move from traditional approaches to the Lean-Agile way of working and thinking. That requires leadership. While much of the heavy lifting is handled by SAFe Program Consultants (SPCs) and Lean-Agile Leaders, we increasingly we see an emerging Lean-Agile Program Management Office (PMO) leading the charge. In doing so, they establish exemplary Lean-Agile Principles, behaviors and practices, which are covered in the latest article in the Roadmap series, Extend to the Portfolio. They include:

  • Lead the change and foster relentless improvement
  • Align value streams to enterprise strategy
  • Establish enterprise value flow
  • Implement Lean financial management and budgeting
  • Align portfolio demand to implementation capacity and Agile forecasting
  • Evolve leaner and more objective governance practices
  • Foster a leaner approach to contracts and supplier relationships

Read the full article here. As always, we welcome your thoughts so if you’d like to provide some feedback on this new series of articles, you’re invited to leave your comments here.

Stay SAFe!
—Dean and the Framework team

Categories: Blogs