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SAFe® 5.0 – 'Business Agility's' best opportunity for success

Posted by Gillian Clark . Feb 10.20

Last month (Jan 2020), I attended the SAFe 5.0 Masterclass at Scaled Agile’s headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. The three-day event heralded the introduction of a major update to SAFe – SAFe 5.0 – which extends the Framework right across the enterprise to create the best foundations for business agility. Here are my three key takeouts...

Progress is made by people

At this year’s SAFe Masterclasses, I was among some of the world’s most energised, forward-thinking change agents – aka 120 SAFe Framework developers, SAFe Fellows and SPCTs, and the SAI team. Together, we’re dedicated and super-motivated to make progress, not just in developing the Framework, but progress for our clients and ourselves too. Collaboration, learning, sharing and some heated debate leave you in no doubt that we’re there to change things up. That includes each other.

People gather round a cause

SAI’s cause isn’t made totally obvious on their website. But it’s crucial so I’ll repeat it here.

When you put a great idea together with the right people, there is the potential for it to grow into something that can stretch the human imagination and make the world a better place

I really felt that this SAFe Masterclass was a master class in propelling that cause – fulfilling the potential of an idea that started small (I remember version 2.5!) but has truly – scaled! The reason it has scaled is because people have gathered round it, believed in it, and grown it. And, of course, seen how that idea can apply right across the enterprise. That’s important because…

'Business Agility' is no longer a phrase in danger of falling off a bandwagon

Much has been written about ‘business agility’ in the last few years, most of it excellent, and – without doubt – all of it with very good intent. My very personal view is that I’ve always wanted to see something really robust around business agility – be it a fully-fledged idea or framework or focused group of minds aiming in the same direction.

HYPR has been involved in contributing to SAFe’s progress and we’ve known for some time that it would extend out to encompass enterprise-wide business agility. Our hope and intent was that SAFe could evolve into something really solid.

We’ve seen that the steps to get there have been carefully considered and pinged around the pinball machine a thousand times. Hard graft for those who lead SAI in particular. But the result is that, now, we have a roadmap to business agility with a well-developed framework. And, given SAFe’s acceptance across the world, a movement capable of really scaling it out.

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Gillian Clark

Co-founder of HYPR, our CEO and strategic transformation adviser and one of the first fully-certified SAFe® Programme Consultant Trainers (SPCT). Gillian is always in pursuit of the 'moments' that make us love what we do.