​SAFe 5.0 and what you need to know about it - part 3, Conclusion

20.12.2019 klo 10.30

It’s been four years since the last major release of SAFeⓇ, Scaled Agile Framework, but in January the framework will be updated to 5.0, and with it comes a number of important changes. In a series of articles, we will go through the key changes and additions. This is the third and final article in which we conclude on the changes and what they mean for you.


In our previous articles about the upcoming release we have addressed two completely new areas of SAFe: Business Agility and Customer Centricity. In this article we conclude what this all means to you.

The new SAFe release takes a major leap concerning how widely it covers the scope of an Enterprise. Until now SAFe has focused on the development of digital solutions to enable its business. The context of that development as being part of a bigger system and how the bigger system impacts development has not been so clearly described.

The concept of Operational Value Streams has been used for a while in SAFe (Business Operations), but mainly to identify Agile Release Trains and Solution Trains to work on adding value through Development Value Streams (which is also what Portfolios govern). With SAFe 5.0 there is a clear connection between Business Operations and Digital Business Development that both need to be based on common Lean & Agile practices. In fact, the whole Enterprise needs to embrace Lean & Agile values, principles, and mindset in order to enable Business Agility.

Another notable change is the shift in focus. So far, it has been mainly concerned with efficient value generation, implicitly assuming that the organization has a good and continuous understanding of its Value.

Now, the focus has shifted towards continuously creating a refined understanding of Customer needs and wants, Customer Centricity, with Design Thinking as a key enabler.

SAFe 5.0 includes new thinking concepts, tools and practices which are well integrated with existing components of SAFe. As always, nothing enters the framework without being practiced successfully by some organizations. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect individual parts that are new in the framework to be new inventions.

The biggest value of SAFe lies in the continuous integration of learnings from many successful organizations across industries, and how it enables others to benefit from them. The upcoming release does that really well.

This is the third and final article in this series about SAFe 5.0 – you can find the other two here:

Part 1 - Business Agility

Part 2 - Customer Centricity and Design Thinking

As of January, all public SAFe courses provided by Nitor will be based on SAFe 5. Go to our Training website for more information about planned courses, and sign up to a course near you.



Andreas Tjernsten is on a quest for more effective, efficient, and happy organizations where people thrive. He has worked with product and service development in large organizations for over 20 years and learned from many mistakes while changing the way work is done. Andreas is a SPC, appreciated coach and trainer of Lean & Agile thinking, tools and practices.

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