The global SAFe® summit, organized by Scaled Agile Inc. has declared a new variant of the Scaled Agile Framework. The new, simplified version of the model features business activity, focusing on providing a positive customer experience and expanding the critical aspect of portfolio management. SAFe® has added more clarity, structure, and direction. This post attempts to provide an overview of some major changes in SAFe® 5.0.
This new release is intended to extend SAFe® to encompass the complete enterprise and enable improved business activity. This post attempts to provide an overview of some major changes in SAFe® 5.0.
Below are the highlights of what’s new in SAFe® 5.0.
One of the primary changes is to focus on a customer-centric approach. Version SAFe® 5.0’s motto is to give a satisfactory experience to the customer. SAFe® recommends focusing more on what the customer is getting from the business and helps them focus on decision-making.
The most important ingredient is revamped core competency, which focuses on understanding the needs of customers, setting customer lifetime value, and then building products that are customer-centric.
The below graphic incorporates the contents of SAFe®, comprising a sketch of-- Essential SAFe®, Large Solution SAFe®, Portfolio SAFe®, and Full SAFe® and the consolidated updates
Business Agility is the ability to face and grow by immediately responding to buoyant market conditions, varying customer needs, and emerging technologies. It requires that everyone is committed to delivering solutions—business and technology leaders, development, IT operations, legal, marketing, finance, support, compliance, security, and others—use Lean and Agile applications to continuously deliver innovative, high-quality products and services quicker. It is the differentiator that will determine the winners and failures in the digital economy.
SAFe® defines business agility as “The capacity to compete and succeed in the digital age by reacting quickly to market fluctuations and opportunities with innovative business resolutions. It expects all those concerned in furnishing solutions i.e. business and technology leaders, development, IT policies and procedures, law, marketing, finance, maintenance and support, compliance, security/ protection from hackers, and others – to apply lean and agile methods to continuously provide innovative, quality products and services quicker than the competition.”
How will business agility solve the problem?
SAFe®'s seven center capabilities encourage business readiness. The visual underneath shows an unmistakable image of SAFe®'s Seven Core Competencies of the Lean Enterprise and furthermore shows their 21 measurements that assist business readiness.
Execution competencies are displayed on the left, while the support strategy competencies are on the right. The Agile-Lean Leadership competency which is the foundation is in the bottom middle. The customer is prominently emphasized in the middle as the focal feature for all the competencies. Measure and Grow at the top right is a suggestion of the importance of cyclic self-assessments to track the organization’s journey towards the principles and practices that facilitate business agility.
The SAFe® framework now includes Business Agility Assessment that empowers organizations to estimate their level of business agility and get support on expediting growth. The assessment incorporates the ratings of organizations according to various standards and levels within each core competency. Outcomes from this evaluation, represented by the radar below, can be represented as a baseline. As such, these can support organizations to determine the current status and know which fields to concentrate on for enhanced growth. It can help to prioritize for maximum accomplishment on the path to business agility.
SAFe® 5.0 acquaints us with two new abilities-- Continuous Learning Culture, and Organizational Agility. Both of the skills are depicted in detail below.
The Learning Culture competency outlines a set of values and methods that inspire people and the complete organization to upgrade knowledge, skill, performance, and innovation. The aforementioned culture is achieved by encouraging the organization to upgrade knowledge, executing constant improvement, and promoting a culture of innovation.
The image below outlines the three dimensions of a continuous learning culture:
The Agility competency of an Organization defines how Lean-thinking and Agile teams optimize their business processes, amplify the approach with clear and definitive new consignments, and immediately benefit the organization as expected to capitalize on new possibilities and opportunities.
This new article explains the three dimensions of organizational agility:
The Technical Agility team outlines the Lean-Agile principles and methods that high-performing Agile teams use to provide high-quality resolutions for customers. The outcome is improved productivity, more stability, quality, faster time-to-market, and quick anticipated delivery of value.
This competency has been written and is classified into the following dimensions:
High Performance of the cross-functional teams ensures competency by employing efficient Agile principles and practices.
Agile teams function within the context of a SAFe® Agile Release Train (ART), a long-lasting, team of Agile teams that bestows a shared insight and direction and is ultimately accountable for delivering solutions.
Agile teams execute Agile iterations to provide high-quality, well-designed recommendations that help current and prospective business requirements.
Agile Product Delivery is a customer-centric approach to determine, develop, and deliver a constant stream of products and services that are of value to customers and users. This supports the organization to provide solutions that delight customers, reduce development costs/ risk, and reduce competition.
DevOps and Release competency has been combined into a couple of dimensions of Agile Product Delivery as shown in the Figure below:
The Lean Portfolio Management aligns strategies and achievements by implementing Lean methods approaches/ strategies, Agile portfolio methods, and governance. These collaborations deliver organizations the expertise to meet existing commitments and enable innovation.
This competency has been revised and is classified into the following dimensions:
The Organization Solution Delivery competency shows how to apply Lean-Agile principles and methods to product specification, expansion, deployment, accomplishment, and progress of advanced software applications, networks, etc
The Business and Lean Engineering Systems competency has been renamed as Enterprise Solution Delivery and it incorporates the following dimensions:
Engineering applies Lean-Agile practices to manage and coordinate all the activities needed to execute, test, deploy, evolve, and sequentially decommission these systems.
Suppliers are coordinated and aligned to a set of value streams. This uses coordinated vision, backlogs, and roadmaps with common program Increment points.
Live Systems assure large systems, and their growing pipeline supports continuous delivery.
The Lean-Agile Leadership competency specifies how Lean-Agile Leaders manage and maintain organizational change by empowering individuals and teams to reach their highest potential. Adopting a Lean-Agile mindset results in more engaged employees, increased productivity and innovation, and successful organizational change.
The Lean-Agile leadership was revised and is grouped into the following dimensions:
The Customer Centricity mindset has extended its focus to the mechanisms and systems that are aimed at resolving issues that customers face.
The customer-centric organization conducts market research to create actionable items of the problems that customers face, the solution specifications, and the solutions required to resolve issues.
Team of teams in SAFe® acts as an agile release train and it presents value to the organization. They adopt the Lean and Agile values, principles, and practices that are relevant to their responsibilities and adjust their existing processes accordingly. The Agile Release Train (ART) is a long-lived team of Agile teams, which, accompanied by different stakeholders, incrementally develops, delivers, and where applicable operates one or more solutions in a value stream.
ARTs comprise cross-functional teams and possess all the abilities—software, hardware, firmware, and others—needed to define, implement, test, deploy, release, and where applicable, operate solutions.
ARTs operate on a set of common principles:
The Scaled Agile Framework for enterprises contributes integrated, well established scaling patterns that have benefited many organizations around the world to solve their business obstacles associated with speed, multiple teams' alignment, flexibility & quality, and improvement with successful Agile delivery.
The SAFe® Roadmap outlines the levels of the organization and implements SAFe® in an arranged, stable, and successful fashion. While adopting SAFe® would vary based on circumstances, the Implementation Roadmap offers insight into a fairly common implementation pattern. The roadmap has been developed by proven change management strategies and the experience of hundreds of global enterprises that have adopted SAFe®.
The SAFe® Implementation Roadmap includes 12 critical moves for the successful embracing of Lean-Agile principles and mindset and their applicability throughout the organization.
Below are the diverse levels in SAFe® 4.5 and SAFe® 5.0.
SAFe® 5.0 is the most advanced level that comes with an important update to the last version 4.5. It comes with two extra competencies i.e. Lean Enterprise and Business Agility. SAFe® 5.0 with extra two competencies also focuses on core competencies of SAFe® 4.5 that includes Technical and Team Agility, Release on Demand and DevOps, Lean Systems Engineering and Business Solutions, Lean Portfolio and Lean-Agile Leadership.
Four levels are incorporated in this SAFe® implementation-- they are Portfolio, Value Stream, Program, and Team. It is mainly used for resolutions that require several professionals to create, deploy, manage and maintain software
Scaled Agile Framework inspires realization within organizations that there is a need to transform development teams. They require to transform organization-wide in order to compete in today’s landscape. The focus has now whirled towards full business agility. In reference to SAFe® 5.0, Business Agility empowers organizations to capitalize on rising opportunities by allowing people to make quick settlements, designate money, and adjust the right people to work.
SAFe® confirms that a framework alone is not sufficient to achieve a successful transformation; the true difference makers are the talent i.e., leaders and teams of the organization. Globalization, fast-moving markets and the unprecedented pace of technological innovation provokes organizations to transform to survive. But their current business models, organizational hierarchy, and technology infrastructure often hold back organizations from transforming fast.
Important Highlights of SAFe® 5.0:
SAFe® 5.0 brings the significant modifications that were required for organizations to improve but also not lose core focus on customers. With business agility, organizations can now concentrate on generating value streams for their overall maturity and growth rather than focus on each department individually.
The two new core competencies will empower the organizations to generate a learning culture to encourage continuous improvement in innovative solutions, performance, and growth and also modify or accommodate artifices according to the variation in market trends. Overall, it helps in bringing back the focus without losing it in the hierarchical structure of organizations.
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