Preview of SAFe 5.0 — What's New?

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Preview of SAFe 5.0 — What's New?

The SAFE framework version 5.0 is released in the preview version. This is a great opportunity to take a look around...

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SAFe and sound.

The release of a new version of SAFE is still a hot topic, allowing promoters and trolls to find a new topic for debate. Which category do you fall into?

You may also like: 10 Steps to Launching Your First SAFe Agile Release Train


It is always more honest than the author specifies his point of view on an agility framework at scale, the subject being sufficiently debated. Between those who are against agility frameworks at scale, those who are against agility at scale (as long as it is done), and those who have very clearly chosen their camp, we cannot say that the subject is the subject of consensus debate.

As for me, I consider first of all that an agility framework at scale is above all a working framework. This means that you do not necessarily have to copy a framework as it is, but rather that you have to be strongly inspired by it. If your recipe does not call for enough butter, put more butter in! If, on the other hand, you want to avoid sugar, replace sugar with something else! In short, adapt the framework to your context. This is the first important point due to the criticism of SAFE being its supposed rigidity, whereas it is up to you to modify the framework.

Another recurring criticism is that SAFE is not so agile. Nothing beats Less or Spotify. I admit I don't know Less very well (there is very little instantiated in my country of origin), but as much as Spotify may be adapted to your super agile startup, so much so you won't be able to instantiate Spotify in a large and old organization. The same is true for SAFE.

On the other hand, where I direct my criticism is on the Taylorist side of his vision in my eyes, but also on the absence of any notion of product. 

All of these reasons drove me to prefer Spotify framework, because of his simplicity and his better accuracy to Agile spirit.

SAFE 5.0 just appeared, and could change the game!

SAFE 5.0 Preview

I wouldn't insult you by copying the preview, you will find it at the following link. I must admit, I am excited about several changes. If you go to the new "Overview" tab, you will see two very interesting topics:

  • Organizational Agility
    • This involves transmitting the agile and lean mindset, making operations more fluid, but also reacting quickly on the organizational side if necessary. So yes SAFE confirms its flexibility, unlike those who complain about rigidity. On the Spotify side, this is the case, but the documentation is missing, in my opinion, to bring out a process that can be industrialized. SAFE's small victory, but Spotify knows the subject.
  • Continuous Learning Culture
    • Everyone is responsible for being a learner and for transmitting. I bow. Literally. It’s something you can find on Spotify, but more precisely I would say. SAFE 5.0 indicates key principles when Spotify implements with:
      • Training and education.
      • Questions and answers sessions with the CEO.
      • Hack Day to discover new things.
      • Post-mortem public, focusing on the rule of 5 why to make sure you know the root cause of the problem.
    • I would put Spotify as the winner, but SAFE could end up as the winner one day!

If you go to the "Full Safe" tab, you will find other interesting things too:

  •  The emergence of Design Thinking!
    • It might seem surprising that it only appears now, but better late than never! SAFE already had ideation workshops, but nothing beats Design Thinking to bring out relevant new ideas. We will be tolerant knowing that Design Thinking was theorized in 2014. I would add Innovation Games in a general way, to avoid time-consuming and counterproductive meetings. The interest is also that this may lighten large meetings such as Pre and Post Planning. Spotify does not do Design Thinking but has developed its methodology, called GLUE, and described . Equality!
  • The emergence of Customer Centricity
    • We talk about customer Journey, and to focus everything on customer satisfaction! Unfortunately, it is a bit of a litany of great principles that are announced there, it will be difficult to implement it quickly. On the Spotify side, we don't necessarily have this principle so clearly marked, but on the other side, we have UX Designer... So equality I would say.
  • The appearance of agile product delivery:
    • Alleluia! One of my major criticisms of the SAFE framework. To make agility in project mode and not product mode is for me antinomic. Well, now it is! Similarly this is not documented in Spotify, but on the other hand, SAFE remains in theory. Indeed, Gartner has only been promoting product orientation on project orientation for a year. I would still put a short victory for SAFE.

Finally, the last change that marked me was the merging of the Program and Team layers into an Essential layer. I don't know the motivation behind this, but I guess he's trying to level the hierarchical layers.

It can, therefore, be said that the SAFE framework is moving in the right direction. It is difficult for me to have the necessary hindsight, and SAFE will certainly have to develop its new concepts a little further. It should also be noted that the framework gains in readability, which is a concern very often raised as being irrelevant.

What about you? What do you think of this new version of SAFE?

Further Reading

SAFe Delivery of Enterprise Cloud Initiatives

What Is Scaled Agile Framework: 9 Principles

safe framework ,preview of safe ,agile ,organizational agility ,agility ,continuous learning ,design thinking ,customer centricity ,product delivery

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