Organizations arrive at the need for change from a wide range of starting points. You may find yourself in a highly regimented waterfall environment, marked by strict phase gate reviews and quality checks, separation of concerns, and sophisticated resource management procedures. Or perhaps you’ve developed an ad-hoc approach, mixing team-level agile methods with more traditional project and portfolio management techniques. Regardless, before a successful change effort can begin, there must be a clear and compelling impetus for change. A general acknowledgment that the current ways of working are inadequate to deliver the performance needed—now or in the future. (SAFe ®)
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Welcome to SAFe ® for Lean Enterprises
While every transformation journey is unique, many organizations rely on the Scaled Agile Implementation Roadmap for guidance on proven steps to get from “Going SAFe” to seeing business results. Successful implementations share common attributes: early participation from executive leadership and a workforce well trained and educated in Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) practices.
Following these crucial steps will help organizations on their way through their SAFe transformation to reach true enterprise agility. While no two adoptions are identical, and there is rarely a perfectly sequential step-by-step implementation in any enterprise, businesses getting the best results typically follow a path similar to that shown in the Roadmap.
The Essential SAFe configuration is the most basic configuration of SAFe. It provides a starting point for implementing SAFe and describes the most critical elements needed to realize the majority of the framework’s benefits. It consists of the Team and Program levels, and Foundation, as illustrated in SAFe ® Big Picture. SAFe has proven to scale in all situations, from complex software and systems development to bond trading and medical devices to memory chips and fighter aircraft. But, with such a robust framework, the question becomes: how closely does an organization need to follow various SAFe practices to get the desired result?
Level The Large Solution Level contains the roles, artifacts, and processes needed to build large and complex solutions. This level includes a stronger focus on capturing requirements in Solution Intent, the coordination of multiple Agile Release Trains (ARTs) and Suppliers, and the need to ensure compliance with regulations and standards.
The Portfolio Level contains the principles, practices, and roles needed to initiate and govern a set of development Value Streams. This is where strategy and investment funding are defined for value streams and their Solutions. This level also provides Agile portfolio operations and Lean governance for the people and resources needed to deliver solutions.
The Full SAFe configuration includes all Five Core Competencies of the Lean Enterprise. It is the most comprehensive version of the Framework and supports enterprises that build and maintain a portfolio of large and complex solutions. In the largest enterprises, multiple instances of various SAFe configurations may be required.
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