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Greetings from European SAFe Summit 20204 in Berlin!

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Oh my, oh my! What gorgeous weather it was in Berlin for the SAFe Summit. The sun was shining, and temperatures were beyond +20 C (While in Finland it was snowing. Yes, you read right!). With the sunlight and fully charged batteries, it was good to concentrate on the business at hand. So how is SAFe and the organisations that use it?

What’s new in SAFe?

AI, AI, AI, that’s still on everyone’s lips. You can already admire the updated AI article: The article covers three different areas to focus on: how to utilise AI in your role, how to build AI powered solutions and how to use AI responsibly.

AI in SAFe
The areas of AI development where capabilities need to be built.

SAFe has tasted its own medicine – coming soon to everyone is SAFe CoPilot, your own little AI SAFe consultant in your pocket. Microsoft’s version of CoPilot, with all the SAFe content taught to it. Feedback from pilot customers has been good, so let’s see if we can get testing soon. You can sign up for the waiting list here:

What are the benefits leaders are looking for from agile transformation? Faster time to market, sure, but the underlying idea is really to accelerate the cash flow. The business benefits and “how to sell SAFe to your organisation” are taken to a more concrete level in this new article: You will also find ideas on how to use OKR to support the change.

Learning will be boosted by shorter, instructor-led and self-paced modules, Micro-credentials and Skills, alongside the existing 2-3 day training courses. Skills will be the first of these to be offered, with an initial focus on value stream.

There will also be an article for middle management – how the role has changed and will continue to change as SAFe (and agile in general) transforms middle management into enablers and people leaders instead of managing stuff.

Key ideas from the forthcoming article.

Various ways of organising to support giant development organisations have also been published:

What is in store for organisations using SAFe?

LPM (Lean Portfolio Management) was a topic that seemed to appear in almost every presentation this year. Clearly, organisations are waking up to the importance of portfolio management, and, happily, to the importance of agile budgeting.

At Philips, however, it’s not LMPs that are being talked about, but VDTs (Value Delivery Teams). The DVT’s are responsible for ensuring that the work is linked to strategy through clear, measurable objectives. VDTs have overall responsibility for everything within the portfolio, from getting the prioritisation right, to building value for the customer, to meeting healthcare standards, right through to product maintenance. The management team of course provides support and coaching, with responsibility for vision and strategy, as well as portfolio financing.

Philips’ transformation has been holistic, with clear results.

For many companies, digital transformation and SAFe transformation go hand in hand. This is also the case at Porsche. Porsche’s transformation is embodied in //DigitalFamily – how to bring silos together to build digital excellence for customers and employees. SAFe will serve as a common operating model for the transformation, bringing a common language, roles, routines and outputs. The results are already there: the jumble of apps has been stunned and replaced by a single My Porsche App.

Digital transformation does not happen overnight: Porsche’s journey started in 2015, when transformation was written into the strategy, followed by SAFe in 2018 and a focus on scaling up from 2023 to 2024. Next year, the focus will shift to the enterprise-level portfolio and the cross-portfolio entities.

Overview of Porsche’s digital transformation

Customer stories focused on public administrations. We heard how the British Council and, in France, the Ministry of the Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Labour are using SAFe.

If you have a valid SAFe certification, you will soon have access to all the recorded presentations via SAFe Studio. There were too few customer stories on schedule, and all of them focused on building digital solutions. Maybe next year at Sorrento we will also hear from Philips about building physical products in an agile way?

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