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SAFe® Summit 2019: Transition to SAFe 5.0

SAFe® Summit 2019: Transition to SAFe 5.0

As a self-proclaimed Agile nerd, I love the SAFe® Summit, and this year certainly did not disappoint. The energy of partners and attendees coupled with the opportunity to share experiences, best practices, and lessons learned with others make this an event I look forward to every year. Plus, a few days in the glorious San Diego sun never hurts. 

The biggest buzz was SAFe 5.0 and the transition to include Business Agility in Scaled Agile’s® tools, resources, and certifications. Historically, SAFe—and many other Agile frameworks—have predominantly focused their tools and resources on products and delivery. SAFe 5.0 updates the framework to focus on Business Agility which opens a world of possibilities for organizations to improve and fine-tune their enterprise-wide Agile efforts. As Agile methods continue to spill into other departments and across organizations, this updated framework will provide a number of useful tools including how to organize teams, improve product delivery approach, and increase the speed of innovation.  

SAFe 5.0 is built around seven core competencies—five of which have been rewritten from previous versions and two that are brand new. The SAFe 5.0 core competencies are Lean-Agile Leadership, Team and Technical Agility, Agile Product Delivery, Enterprise Solution Delivery, Lean Portfolio Management, Organizational Agility, and Continuous Learning Culture. 

Another vital addition to the framework is the focus on customer-centricity and how to think about design. SAFe 5.0 design thinking encourages measuring customer success in new ways such as desirability, feasibility, viability, and sustainability. This process enables delivery to market that better encompasses customer wants and needs, both now and in the future. 

I can’t wait to see how incorporating these advances will elevate our clients’ ability to realize their objectives!

Gorilla Logic was chosen to present a Lightning Talk. My colleague Oscar Alfaro and I focused on our work conducting remote PI-Planning sessions for an F500 client. This accomplishment has been a work in progress and an exciting endeavor, so the SAFe Summit was an excellent opportunity to share lessons we’ve learned along the way and improvements we’ve made. Some topics we discussed included adding WSJF, improving communication across different locations, and Agile tools we have incorporated. You can read a post on everything we discussed here

My colleagues and I were also able to attend some other awesome sessions including ones on Design Thinking, Applied DevOps, and Boeing’s Digital Transformation. My personal favorite was the session on Design Thinking which highlighted the importance of user-centricity, digging into the benefits of addressing business value in everything we do as development teams. This focus on the end-user aligns perfectly with the evolution into SAFe 5.0. 

With all this exciting change and learning, there was one common question: what does this mean for my certification? Fortunately, the process to upgrade certifications to SAFe 5.0 looks pretty seamless! Learning tools and the SAFe 5.0 exam will be available in December 2019 for SPCs and in January 2020 for all other certified members.  

While I was sad for the SAFe Summit to come to a close, I can’t wait to implement and evangelize all our learnings!

Next year, the SAFe Summit is taking place in Denver; you can expect to see even more Gorillas there to welcome you!




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