SAFe Business Value

July 6, 2021

By Simpliaxis


Before we get deeper into the nuances of Program Execution and PI Planning, it is necessary to understand what SAFe Agile business value actually is. If we describe the business value in SAFe, it is all about trust, collaboration, as well as alignment. As per ART (Agile Release Train), the business value is hypothesized in the form of objectives at PI Planning with the help of team collaboration to build alignment among them. The impact of alignment and collaboration would be either destruction or trust buildup. It simply means that SAFe in business value is nothing but predictability. 

What is SAFe?

The full form of SAFe is Scale Agile Framework that is used by various huge enterprises around the world. SAFe authorizes leading organizations to attain the advantages of systems development and Lean-Agile software at scale. This framework supports and steers improvement in employee engagement, dramatic enhancement in quality and productivity, and faster time-to-market. In fact, this Scaled Agile Framework has been made to enable businesses to deliver value efficiently as well as regularly. Moreover, it offers proven knowledge of supportive practices and integrated principles for the agility of the organization. Undoubtedly, leadership involvement along with training and education is a crucial step to success in supporting a Lean-Agile transformation. Furthermore, you can unlock business outcomes with SAFe when you use Scaled Agile’s role-based curriculum. 

What Do You Mean by Business Value?

Business value is nothing but acts as the standard value measure in business valuation. It simply refers to the whole business value which is the total sum of all intangible and tangible elements. The intangible elements consist of recognition, public benefit, brand, trademarks, and goodwill. When it comes to tangible elements, they are stockholder equity, utility, monetary assets, and fixtures. In short, it includes both the monetary as well as non-monetary values of an organization. In fact, they can be operated along with the management of the present project effectively. No matter if a firm is a non-profit organization or a government agency, all enterprises operate business-related activities. The concept of business value fairly relies on the requirements of the firm. However, when business value is managed with SAFe, it plays a different role.

How Can You Measure Business Value?

Everyone has a question in their minds whether the dynamic and subjective nature of business value can be measured or not. However, the answer is yes, of course. For a specific organization, the following are the factors that can be helped to measure business value:

  • Brand recognition
  • Profitability
  • Customer loyalty
  • Revenue
  • Cross-selling ratio
  • Market share
  • Customer retention
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Share of wallet
  • Campaign response rate

Benefits of Scaled Agile Framework on Business Value

When it is about Scaled Agile Framework Business Value, there is a process of PI planning where teams create PI objectives of a team and it offers a lot of benefits to the organization:

  • Prepares team members towards a common mission and creates collaboration between them.
  • Render a common language for communication between technology as well as business.
  • Offer a crucial program predictability measure that enables the ART (Agile Release Train) and the team to boost performance.
  • Encourage better communication with management and focus on the contribution of every team to business value.
  • Reveal dependencies among teams that should be directed for the success of the system.
  • Form a unique vision that teams can develop at the time of PI.

Use of SAFe to Add Business Value 

Today, many organizations make use of the Scaled Agile Framework or SAFe to not only make the team Agile but also the entire organization. In fact, it is an Agile framework that involves teams, roles, processes, actions, and meetings for the Agile project of the company. What is special about SAFe is that it has a foundation in lean development and offers complete support to DevOps. The principles of lean software development make Scaled Agile Framework more efficient in delivering quality software. Overall, there are three levels in the SAFe model including the program level, the team level, and the portfolio level as well. Each of them has its own roles, ceremonies, and artifacts. In addition, the team of SAFe delivers a PI (program increment) which covers all the work products of the team. The PI is completely multilayered and acts as one of the parts of the software system. 

By concept, the SAFe program increment and the product increment are the same but the SAFe program increment has many tiers. Under SAFe, the PI integration strategy is continually tested and determined by the system team of SAFe. As a matter of fact, the PI has been made for the best management of change, continuous testing, continuous feedback, and the truncation of incorrect technical or business strategies. The teams of SAFe build the PI in a sequence for five sprints where the development and testing of fully integrated PI are undertaken. The management of team and development cadence is done by the SAFe program level and there is a PI namely ART (Agile Release Train) is also built by the SAFe development teams. The objective of the ART is the PI and every SAFe team-level team is a part of the ART. As the program level of SAFe has its own teams, roles, meetings, and artifacts, it offers good support to the ART and ART teams. 

When it comes to other roles of the SAFe program level, they are user experience (UX) lead and the system architect and they give support to the ART by offering application architecture. For instance, when the system architect will identify certain databases or application servers, the UX lead will create the end-user experience and ensure that it is a common one. Of course, SAFe is a huge responsibility while adding value to the business. However, to implement SAFe successfully in the business, it needs tools and consulting experts therefore it is very important to consider proper investment and training as a key factor for success. Many enterprises are opting for SAFe for their business value as it has a great rate of return. As SAFe constitutes new thought leadership within the Agile framework with a matured team level, one can consider SAFe as the best approach for the business process and take it to the next step in the future. 

Program Process Roles at the Program Level and Team Level

Check out the program process roles at the level of team and program which are as follows:

Program Process Roles at the Program Level

Product Manager: Develops the roadmap and vision, prioritizes and determines the program backlog, sets PI objectives, and operates with Product Owners to maximize quality delivery to the customers.

UX Designer: Operates with stakeholders to gain a better understanding of certain business goals of the user-system interaction. His or her responsibilities comprise UX guidelines, UI design, the validation of user experience through user-experience testing, and design elements.

Business Analyst: Interprets business epics and determines the effect on the internal as well as external value streams of the organization.

Business Owner: He or she is liable to deliver value with a specific ART as he/she knows about the present business context, perceives the strategic themes that affect the train, engages in reviewing or driving roadmap and program vision, makes right decisions regarding the impact on epics moving through the Kanban systems, and has a crucial role in release planning.

Release Train Engineer: Smoothens program execution and the process of agile release train, encourages continuous program-level enhancement, manages risk, and escalates impediments. He or she also eases program events like the scrum of scrums, inspect and adapt, and release planning. 

System Architect: Implement scenarios and interprets a technological vision with architectural epics that move along with the business strategy. He or she has the ability to maintain a high level of understanding of system requirements, business benefits for a release train, and user needs. 

Program Process Roles at the Team Level

Product Owner: This person helps to expand the requirements backlog with the team that has been defined and prioritized and accepts accomplished stories into the baseline. There is only one product owner for a team and he can also be dedicated to more than one team. 

Team Member: He or she plays the role of a developer or tester and sometimes even plays the role of a system architect, technical leader, or technical writer. Usually, a team consists of five to nine members as a whole. 

Scrum Master: Imposes the scrum rules, eases team meetings and interactions, and assists in driving the efforts of the team to improve continuously. The role of a Scrum Master is somewhat like the team member that is full-time or part-time that has been shared across two or three teams. 

Final Words:

When SAFe is implemented in business, an ART should return to a position where business value is reflective. SAFe brings trust first within the organization and then alignment and collaboration to add value to the business. This article is all about the positive effects of using SAFe in business when it comes to achieving organizational goals.



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