SAFe 4.5 – Clarity and updated terms

Sep 25, 2017, 8:52 AM

An updated version of SAFe, the Scaled Agile Framework, was released in June 2017. The new 4.5 model addresses different organizational structures better than before, helps predict the future and includes service design as part of the package.

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SAFe is a collection of the best Lean Agile practices for companies that wish to develop their operations. While practices are in constant development, so is SAFe. Explore our case stories to find out how excited and satisfied the customers are with utilizing SAFe.

Three primary improvements of SAFe 4.5:

1. FOUR VERSIONS FOR DIFFERENT ORGANISATIONS

Perhaps the biggest change is that there are now four versions of SAFe. Each version is designed to cater organizational needs based on their size and business.

  • Entire SAFe 4.5 is for large companies with hundreds of employees
  • Large Solution SAFe is for large organizations that operate with several supply trains and other suppliers but don’t require portfolio management
  • Portfolio SAFe is for organizations that have many independent solutions but also require portfolio management
  • Essential SAFe is for smaller companies that have only one product or service and whose main priority is for teams to work seamlessly

2. TOOLS FOR INVESTIGATING THE FUTURE

Adapting lean and agile methodology teaches a new way of examining operations through customer value. By measuring flow-through, a company can form various future scenarios and prophecies. SAFe 4.5 offers this through portfolio-kanban preparation and examination of future development suggestions. Epic Value Statement has been renamed in SAFe 4.5 as Epic Hypothesis Statement. The new name represents the fact that a company cannot know the true customer value except by measuring customer feedback and by analyzing data on, for example customer behavior.

3. SERVICE DESIGN AS PART OF THE PACKAGE

Lean UX has been added as a new feature in the SAFe 4.5 package, which brings emphasis on service design. It has been recognized that finding solutions for products and services is more agreeable through service design methods. The Continuous Exploration cycles have been integrated with the Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment cycles forming a consistent delivery of development processes.

WILL THIS HAVE AN IMPACT ON EXISTING CERTIFICATES?

The version update is of small scale, which means it won’t impact existing certificates. All in all, the changes will merely clarify SAFe. We are very excited about SAFe 4.5 and all future courses by Nitor will support the latest version.

In addition, the usage of SAFe has created new experiences. The new Implementation Roadmap gathers the most essential experiences and offers a series of articles about systematic initialization of SAFe.


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THE AUTHOR

Maarit Laanti is the Head Coach of Nitor. She has done her dissertation on large scale agile transformation. Maarit is one of the contributors of SAFe methodology and is the first certified SAFe program consultant trainer in Finland.