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Global SAFe Summit 2019: Key Takeaways

Global SAFe Summit 2019: Key Takeaways
October 22, 2019

San Diego in October is glorious—just ask the attendees of the 2019 Global SAFe Summit. If you weren’t there, you missed not only the great weather, but also seeing your friends and fellow travelers along our collective journey, towards business agility.

The good news is that just because you weren’t there in person, doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on the insights and takeaways from the conference.

I attended lots of breakout sessions, walked the show floor and listened to excellent keynotes by some of the industry’s top thought leaders. Here are the big takeaways:

  1. SAFe 5.0 is here. Dean Leffingwell kicked off the conference by unveiling SAFe 5.0. In SAFe 5.0, Dean and his team have put together a safe agile framework that encompasses full business agility, from development teams to every corner of your organization. With a renewed focus on customers and the incorporation of design thinking, 5.0 supports Agile Product Delivery. The good news for everyone is that upgrading your skillset to 5.0 is free for all SAI members in good standing! For more details about SAFe 5.0, click here, and to learn more about our SPCs’ initial reactions to 5.0, click here.
  2. Breaking boundaries. Agile continues to break away from development teams and grow its presence in marketing, HR, finance, and more. The session with Melissa Reeve (Scaled Agile) and Dwayne Stroman (Leaning Agile Inc.) outlined that while common language is important, we do need to keep our audience in mind, allowing the flexibility to use terminology, ceremonies, and concepts that may not be relevant to dev teams. Scaled agile framework of marketing departments provide an environment in which marketing teams can be structured cross-functionally to alleviate bottlenecks, allow room to respond to market changes, and focus on doing more of the right things—all while keeping the customer front and center.
  3. No culture champion = No sustainable change. Let’s face it—change is hard. Part of the difficulty is continuing to maintain the mindset to support a safe agile framework; for transformations to succeed, everyone—starting from the top and exemplified by everyone down the line—needs to commit to the goal and demonstrate their commitment every day. This theme was prevalent at every talk I attended.
  4. Agile companies create great products to support your scaled agile framework journey. While I’m admittedly partial to our partners at #RallySoftware, many passionate companies have created amazing products to support organizations and bring them along the path to business agility. Scaled Agile has reached the 500,000 mark in creating an army of dedicated agilists well-versed in the framework, and they’re ready to help companies of any size with education, coaching, and consulting—that includes our team here at Enterprise Studio!
  5. The data backs it up. Sam Bunting of PA Consulting Group presented the findings in the company’s research study on safe agile framework across businesses. After surveying more than 500 senior leaders of global companies based in the UK over 18 months, they discovered that when companies become even 30% more agile, they also reach the top 10% of financial performers.
  6. Agile is fun! From an excellent keynote from maverick and activational speaker Jade Simmons to the Beach Block Party that closed out the Summit, my fellow agilists and I had time to connect with friends and colleagues, and meet new friends. Hope to see you there next year!

The Global SAFe Summit was an excellent opportunity to be among the first to hear the latest from thought leaders about the future of agile. It was also an opportunity to hear from global organizations that are reaping the benefits of deploying the SAFe framework in their organizations. SAFe 5.0 offers interesting opportunities for organizations of all sizes in the future, and I’m excited to see how the updated safe framework supports everyone as we continue on our agile journey.

SAFe 5.0 offers interesting opportunities for organizations of all sizes in the future, and I’m excited to see how the updated framework supports everyone as we continue on our agile journey.

The Digital Advisory and Consulting Services (DACS) team at Enterprise Studio by HCL Technologies is the global leader in collaborating, consulting and coaching with enterprise-level companies to connect them to the promise of business agility—the ability to sense and respond to opportunities and challenges and protect themselves from the volatility of doing business in the digital economy.