1. Increased Customer Focus
There is an increase in the prominence of the customer in SAFe 5.0, shown by having the customer much more visible on the SAFe Big Picture, and by making Customer Centricity and Design Thinking one of the three dimensions of Agile Product Delivery. In organisations adopting agile frameworks, I frequently see a fixation with the processes involved. I encourage them to see that choosing the right items to do for the customer, and the organisation, is just as (or even more) important than how you deliver them. The criteria of ensuring products and features are:
This is a handy checklist for team members to use when evaluating options.
2. Business Teams
SAFe 5.0 recognises that business-focussed agile teams play a critical role in successful outcomes for organisations; they need to be fully engaged as part of an agile release train. This is something that I’ve been advocating in my work with clients, so having it as part of SAFe in such a visible way is very helpful. In particular, I like that it recognises that built-in quality and flow apply to the work of agile business teams as well as technical teams. For example, teams producing content to display on web pages need to have their work flow through their own process, and follow appropriate quality standards so they are not fixing content errors late in the process.
3. Measure and Grow
Some organisations I have worked with are looking to understand where they are on their journey to having greater business agility. The new Measure and Grow tool gives SPCs a process to help the organisation complete a self-assessment and target areas to work on in the medium term. I have used other similar tools for general agile maturity but this one is tailored to SAFe 5.0.
It looks at all competencies and dimensions, not just the technical ones. It helps identify areas of the wider business that could better support the adoption of agile values, processes and principles and, in turn, increase overall business agility.
4. Continuous Learning Culture Competency
By introducing this new competency into the framework, SAFe 5.0 identifies the need for organisations to foster continuous learning as an important aspect of attaining and sustaining business agility. The Learning Organisation dimension encourages investment in individuals so they become masters in their field, and encourages them to develop the knowledge of others in the organisation. Not only does this motivate team members involved; it leads to more informed choices by teams. For example, suppose your organisation is planning on moving onpremises systems into the cloud. By having team members who understand the pros and cons of the various options and configurations, they are likely to make better choices than using information two years out of date.
5. Organisational Agility Competency
I’ve long been a subscriber to the view that any agile adoption or transformation should be with the purpose of gaining overall business agility. Organisations can then thrive even if they are in a highly competitive and fast changing environment. I was therefore especially pleased to see the addition of the organisational agility competency, recognising the need for internal business operations to tackle reasons for delays, and to improve the flow of items through internal administration systems.
This competency is set at the enterprise level because the whole organisation can support, or can hinder, activities to improve business agility. It is not just about the technical teams.
In short, it is great to see SAFe looking to evolve its own framework. Of the changes in 5.0, my top five are:
- Increased customer focus
- Business Teams
- Measure and Grow
- Continuous learning culture
- Organisational agility
The key theme that joins these is that for business agility, we need to look beyond the technical teams and work with the wider organisation.
The 10 essential element of SAFe agility.im/frequent-agile-question/what-are-the-10-essential-safe-elements
What SAFe 5.0 courses are available? https://agility.im/frequent-agile-question/what-safe-training-courses/
How do I start implementing SAFe? https://agility.im/frequent-agile-question/what-is-safe/
For a list of what is new in SAFe 5.0 go to: www.scaledagileframework.com/whats-new-in-safe-5-0
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