The latest version of Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) 5.0 expands the framework beyond business operations to embrace business agility.
“Business agility happens when the entire organization – business and tech leaders, compliance, development, finance, legal, marketing, operations, sales, security, support – uses Lean and Agile practices to continually and proactively deliver innovative business solutions faster than the competition.” Scaled Agile, Inc
The latest updates to SAFe 5.0 include:
- SAFe for Business Teams
- Two new Competencies – Continuous Learning Culture and Organizational Agility
- Principle #10 – Organize Around Value
- Program and Team Levels combined into one level: Essential
SAFe for Business Teams
Enabling business agility starts with a subtle but meaningful change to the way we characterize an Agile team. In previous versions of SAFe, the traditional Agile team is comprised of a product owner, scrum master, and software developers. Today’s Agile teams still have a product owner and scrum master – no change. What has changed is the definition of the development team. The development team has now expanded to other departments and roles across marketing, sales, operations, legal, finance, etc. These new team members are now part of the Agile team and participate in planning, contribute to decision making, and are responsible for delivering on business outcomes/objectives. Gone are the days of these critical areas of the business working in their own silos – SAFe 5.0 brings them officially into the fold.
Continuous Learning Culture and Organizational Agility
SAFe 5.0 creates two new competencies of Business Agility including Continuous Learning Culture and Organizational Agility. The Continuous Learning Culture gives heavy emphasis to allowing people the space and time to learn and expand their current role. Organizational Agility puts a Lean-Agile lens on all facets of the business, allowing each team member to ask how their process can improve to better serve the outcomes of the organization. The end goal of a continuous learning culture is creating a more innovative and adaptive organization.
Organize Around Value
Going hand-in-hand with the new competencies is the addition of Principle #10 – Organize Around Value. As organizations evolve, each employee must know what the business is trying to achieve and how their work impacts the outcomes/objectives set forth. By organizing around value, the business has the ability to shift when the market changes, when customers demand something different, and/or when the competition puts forth something new and shiny.
Not only must people within the business know how their work supports corporate goals and objectives, they need a better approach to deliver work more effectively. As the business embraces delivering customer value, it must now think about how to structure the people accordingly. The best way to do this is to organize the business into value streams – cross-functional, Agile teams (as mentioned above) and Agile Release Trains (ARTs) – all focused on delivering the highest-value work first, iterating, learning, and adjusting accordingly but together.
“The ability of organizations to organize around value and also reorganize around new flows of value as needed, is a key driver for business agility.” Scaled Agile, Inc
Lastly, the creators of SAFe® combined the Program and Team Levels into one level: Essential. It made sense to have these two levels separate several years ago, as organizations stood up Agile teams and then started to connect those teams to the Program level. Nowadays, organizations are either beyond this (and at the Program level) or are getting started with both Agile teams and the Program level: Essential SAFe. This new configuration contains the roles, activities, events, and processes to deliver via ARTs and teams of Agile teams.
Planview Supports Business Agility with SAFe
At the end of the day, companies of all shapes and sizes, including Planview, are embracing a transformation by increasing business agility. SAFe 5.0 recognizes this need and provides a framework for both technical and non-technical parts of the enterprise to come together and fully get on board.
The Lean and Agile Delivery solution by Planview supports business agility with SAFe 5.0. At the Portfolio level, businesses can translate strategic objectives to a roadmap that connects the initiatives, funding, and target timeframes required for execution. Organizations can set financial targets for portfolios, fund value streams, and adjust iteratively to facilitate decision-making at the value stream level and below, and leaders can rank and analyze investments by business drivers and use what-if scenarios to compare Lean business cases.
At the Large Solution level, organizations can focus teams on the highest-priority epics and connect epics, features, enables, and stories. Leaders and their teams gain real-time visibility, while maintaining insight to the delivery details. With enterprise Kanban, organizations can visually track progress and identify potential impediments – from a single team and board to hundreds of teams across multiple value streams – and break down and distribute connected work across teams.
To enable Essential SAFe, Planview’s Lean and Agile Delivery solution allows organizations to deliver larger, more complex outcomes by coordinating work across teams. Through Program Increment (PI) Planning, organizations can synchronize and coordinate work across Agile delivery teams by breaking down features to stories, while understanding priorities – all in real-time.
Organizations can leverage Lean and Agile principles to empower teams to innovate, adapt, execute, and deliver value faster. No matter the team methodology, businesses can focus technical and non-technical business teams on the highest-priority work and drive innovation. Planview enables collaboration at the team-level by reducing the complexity of delivery processes across multiple teams and tools (JIRA, ADO, Rally and VersionOne) into a single source of truth.
No matter if your organization is tightly adhering to SAFe or just embracing parts and pieces, the addition of business agility to the framework provides the context and air cover to expand Lean-Agile principles beyond software/IT and into the rest of the business.
Today, organizations are turning to Planview to support their Agile transformations and SAFe implementations through our Lean and Agile Delivery Solutions, which are built to drive change and deliver better business outcomes. To learn more about our Lean and Agile Delivery solutions, visit planview.com/lean-agile-delivery now.