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Today, digital transformation and Lean-Agile ways of working are key for complex organizations in order to become - and remain - successful in a volatile and very competitive global market.
SAFe®, the Scaled Agile Framework, helps organizations with this transformation and enables them to handle all challenges involved with adapting to such markets. Over 70% of the Fortune 100 already practice SAFe.
How do you still apply the principles of Lean-Agile in a growing, more complex organizational structure and on a much larger scale? By mastering and internalizing the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)!
SAFe is a framework for organizations in which many teams work on multiple complex products in an ever-changing environment. The SAFe framework enables organizations to respond quickly to change, efficiently recognize customer needs, and increase the quality of fluidly evolving products.
SAFe promotes collaboration and constant value delivery across large(r) numbers of Agile teams. The framework aligns structure, strategy, and execution of software- and systems-developing organizations, in order to increase product value, quality, predictability, and efficiency.
SAFe 'safeguards' competitiveness through speedy innovation (hence the complementing 'e'), and bolsters instant adaptation to extremely volatile market environments.
The following 'agility tactics' define the four core values of SAFe:
Organizations that are not aligned internally might have difficulties with making decisions and responding to unexpected changes. Aligned organizations are Agile; they can adapt quickly and deal with the unforeseen.
2. Built-in Quality
Product quality must be built and monitored during all stages of the process, not just added later, after inspection.
In SAFe, transparency is most important, because without it, facts are just opinions and decisions will be made based on gut feelings. That won't do your product any good.
4. Program Execution
With SAFe, process execution and the actual production is crucial, as value needs to be delivered on a constant basis. With Agile teams and an Agile Release Train (ART) guaranteeing program execution, the work gets done.
ART refers to the Agile Release Train and is a critical element of the SAFe Framework.
The Agile Release Train (ART) is a long-lived group of Agile teams, which, along with other stakeholders, incrementally develops, delivers, and where applicable operates, one or more solutions in a value stream.
Each ART consists of multiple Agile teams. Together they form a virtual organization (5 to 12 teams, 5 to 9 people each) that plans, commits, and executes in an aligned way. An ART consists of at least 50 people but is more likely to contain up to 125 to 150 people (Dunbar’s Number).
A Release Train Engineer, Scrum Masters, Product Management, and Product Owners support each ART. The goal of the ART is to deliver partial products together with other stakeholders in a series of Sprints (so-called Program Increments).
An overview of the ART's continuous flow of value:
SAFe 5.1 is the most recent version of the SAFe Framework. It comprises 4 incremental configurations or 'levels' of SAFe, consisting of 7 customer-centric Core Competencies of the Lean Enterprise:
The most basic configuration; the critical elements of SAFe, including:
For coordination and synchronization across multiple programs, with:
Includes strategy, funding and lean governance through:
All of the above combined, plus:
Organizations that master these Core Competencies are able to build the essential muscle memory and mindset that thrive future successes.
Full SAFe at a glance:
For a full overview of the complete Framework and its Core Competencies, have a look here.
Organizations have to embrace a more fluid way of working to stay competitive. They are forced to work in an effective manner - one that allows for new technologies to be assessed, tested, analyzed, and acted upon as quickly as possible: fail fast, succeed faster. But all that requires a fundamental shift in work culture and organizational behavior. That shift is SAFe.
SAFe maximizes the ability of complex organizations to deliver the best solution value in the shortest sustainable time.
SAFe focuses on scaled Agile team-working systems and business outcomes, making enterprises more reliable and efficient in a transparent, structured way.
THAT is why SAFe is so popular. But even more important: it's motivating!
The top 5 advantages of SAFe are:
SAFe is based upon 10 basic concepts derived from the Lean & Agile principles of the Agile Manifesto. Translated, these principles lead the way.
The organizational adoption of SAFe requires the following:
To reach this adoptive mindset, Scaled Agile has developed a roadmap for implementation, comprising 12 steps:
Small organizations with, for example, only one product (group) are perfectly fine with working Agile by implementing one or a small number of Scrum teams and Product Owners.
But as soon as your organization reaches a stage where complexity causes...
...then you'll definitely have to scale beyond a single team and resort to better-scaled ways of Lean-Agile working, such as the SAFe Framework.
So better ask the other way around: is your organization in need of scaling Agile processes? Then yes, SAFe is definitely suitable for you!
As a certified SAFe Professional, you have many advantages:
Over half a million individuals worldwide - such as Agile Coaches, Business Analysts, System & Solution Architects, Portfolio Managers, Product Owners and CEOs - have already engaged in Scaled Agile training to help their organizations and teams transition to the new way of working.
Which certification course should you take? That depends on your current role and the reason why you wish to enhance that role. Whether you are a Scrum Master wishing to become a SAFe 5 Scrum Master (SSM), or a Product Owner aiming at becoming a Certified SAFe 5 Product Owner/Product Manager (SAFe PO/PM), we have all the right courses in the house.
As a Gold Partner of Scaled Agile, Inc., Xebia Academy offers tailored professional, world-class SAFe certification training courses.
For a complete overview of all SAFe courses offered by Scaled Agile, click here