The focus of business agility according to SAFe® is the customer - with his needs, his expectations.
7 focus fields are grouped around it. SAFe advantages are:
Team Agility and Technical Agility – High-performing, cross-functional, agile business and technical teams build business solutions. The roles and responsibilities of the team are very well aligned. The result is high-quality business solutions that inspire customers.
Agile product development - The customer is the focus of the corporate product strategy. The aim is to provide the customer with the best and most innovative product at all times. The product development happens in a continuous rhythm and release as needed.
Enterprise Solution Delivery – The application of Lean Systems Engineering to build large systems. Coordination and coordination of the entire supply chain. Plus a continuous development of the system as a living organism. Not only innovative products should be manufactured, but solutions for every customer problem should be developed.
Lean portfolio management - The "portfolio" of the company's projects is strategically planned - with short feedback cycles between planning and implementation. The strategy for financing and execution is coordinated in such a way that the processes in the entire portfolio are optimized. Plus lightweight governance to encourage decentralized decision-making.
Organizational Agility – Creating a lean-agile mindset across the organization, streamlining business operations. Work on the business processes and the teams themselves with a focus on adaptability, competitiveness and transparency. This results in an all the faster reaction to opportunities and threats.
Continuous Learning Culture – Everyone in the organization learns and grows together. A spirit of discovery and creativity are part of the company's DNA. The continuous improvement of solutions, services and processes is everyone's responsibility.
Lean-Agile Leadership - Desired behaviors must be exemplified. Leadership should empower and serve people (servant leadership) and support the strengths of the individual. Working at eye level vs. hierarchies. Change is inspired by exemplifying Lean-Agile values and principles.
The Scaled Agile Framework and Lean-Agile Leadership with SAFe is complex and initially appears very complicated in its graphic representations. For example in the graphic for the complete model for Lean Enterprises :
SAFe distinguishes between a department, a team, a company and a management level:
Department level – Several agile teams work together in SAFe and form the so-called Agile Release Train (ART). Similar to a Scrum Master, the Release Train Engineer accompanies all teams and processes in a Release Train. Around 52-125 people usually work together in an Agile Release Train.
Team Level - Each team (see Scrum) delivers value to the customer. This value, an increment, is created in one sprint (typically a two-week period). Together, all Agile Release Train teams deliver the so-called Product Increment (PI) at the end of 5 sprints or iterations (often a quarter) – ie a feature that is useful for the customer.
Company Level – If a company has a few hundred employees, they will be divided into multiple Agile Release Trains. The difference to Scrum is very simple: the number of people involved.
Management level – In SAFe, the vision and product backlog are defined by management. With the help of methods such as design thinking and customer centricity, problems and challenges on the part of customers are also solved at management level - at least when "Full SAFe" is applied. The mindset of the management is all the more important. SAFe can only be used sustainably if management thinks agile and acts in the sense of supportive governance.
In addition, there is a so-called bureaucratic overkill in large companies. Large companies usually have a corporate culture that has grown over decades, which slows down change and often slows it down. Nevertheless – or perhaps because of this – more and more large companies want to use the advantages of agility. With the scaling of agility, SAFe offers the solution for this.