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The Evolution of SAFe: 6.0 is here!

Introduction

On the 15th of March SAFe 6.0 officially launched. We understand you might have a lot of questions about how this impacts your work, assignment or even your organization. But we have your back! We will explain everything in the best way we can. On this page you will be provided with the information & tools to get the right information about the changes. The changes will be explained by the 7 subjects and have a look at the explanation video where our experts guide you through it.

Work Differently. Build the Future.

1. Flow

The New Big Picture: Flow

There is an especially crucial element that you will find everywhere and stands out straight away and that is the word: flow. It is connecting the various levels and layers that we have in this big picture. This goes from the portfolio level for instance to the large solutions level et cetera. Why? Because flow matters to everyone and especially from a customer perspective as they can have the value requested and are expecting. You will find the word flow multiples times in SAFe 6.0.

In the framework you will see four new flow articles, named as:

  • Portfolio flow
  • Solution Train Flow
  • ART Flow
  • Team Flow

Each offers techniques for addressing, optimizing, and debugging issues with a continuous value flow for that specific level.

Other differences are:

The core competency Continuous Learning Culture now is a fundamental competency for any type of company, since just generating knowledge does not ensure you will use it. Also, the capacity to continuously learn is essential to any organization.

2. Core Values

Core Values & Principles

There are 2 new core values added: people & culture and relentless improvement. There are no people without organizations and vice versa. Second, relentless improvement. The mindset and ability as a team and as a team of teams to stay in the flow.

SAFe Principles โ€“ Principle #6 was changed and is now aligned with the five principles of Lean Thinking. It also highlights the eight common properties of a flow-based system and provides specific accelerators for eliminating impediments to flow. In addition, Principles #6 and #8 were refactored to our updated thinking, and Principle #9 was refined to describe better when and how decisions should be decentralized.

3. Roadmap

The New Roadmap

There are not a lot of changes, but the ones that are there are important. Let's see:

Leading in the digital age. This is particularly important for companies, leaders, and the entire organization. Why? Being an instrumental piece for this substantial change, they must understand that it is not only support coming from them that is needed, but also their leadership and influence, their ability to help the teams while helping the people to thrive in this new digital age. It is their role to be there

They are part of all the discussions happening from the very beginning. What comes next depends a lot on how they are going to be supportive of the company and on this whole transformation.

Enhanced portfolio. Many companies do not start with just one ART. What these companies are doing though, is thinking about a portfolio right since its inception. That is also an especially important thing we need to consider.

4. Team Coach

Scrum Master to Team Coach role

The Scrum Master role has changed and transformed into something broader than that! It is now as well a team coach, this makes sense because as the Scrum Master, as Team coach now educates the methods, frameworks and practices that are going beyond Scrum. One of the main challenges of the team coach is to build up transparency within the team and team members. The team coach will fulfill some critical activities and responsibilities, such as improving the team performance, improving the art performance, supporting iteration executives, and of course supporting and measuring the flow of value.

This measurement of flow of value. This team coach could help by putting in place a Kanban board, so the team can visualize the work and keep an eye out on how the work is flowing. From to do to done by coaching the team with different tools like peer reveal etc. This can be put in the flow matrix.

5. Patterns

Business and Technology Patterns

There is a big change and SAFe 6.0 and that is bringing SAFe across the business.

Successful transformations impact not only development, but all parts of the organization: Finance, HR-compliance, security, among others. And the experience of those successful implementations helps us to follow in the footsteps of those who lead the way.

What do you see in SAFe 6.0?

An introduction on Business and Technology patterns, in a total five

  • Business enabled art: that is where we will have business and technology people working together addressing the same concerns of the customer.
  • Agile Business Train: probably the biggest leap towards business agility. It contains one or multiple operational value streams, along with all the arts and solution trains that are aligned to common vision and mission. That means that all people within this operational value streams and arts will work together on a common shared cadence that would mean that they would ideate and plan together that they would work together in continuously delivering value as well as continuously improving the business solution.
  • Agile Executive Team: the next three constructs really taking agile outside the development organization and that is where we will see a team of C suite executives working together and acting as a cross functional agile team on certain values and principles, a s well as, and the strategy of comp
  • Agile Business Function: where any function of the organization can harness the benefits of the visibility and transparency brought in by the agility.
  • Finally, a Combined Portfolio. So that is a portfolio where we will manage together the operational value stream and the development value stream. Because this combined information really powers our decision making.

6. AI

AI & Big Data

Three elements appears key differentiator nowadays for enterprises. These are: Artificial Intelligence, Big Data & Cloud and SAFe 6.0 offers new guidance on this innovative technologies. Ai, for example, can be applied at all levels of SAFe to build intelligent customer solutions to help to improve customer insights and to automate value stream activities. Regarding Big Data that SAFe addresses, big data concerns at the portfolio level and requires investment, vision and governance. Lean Portfolio Management leaders, can use the lean budget to invest in Big Data and DataOps solutions to create Epics and the Portfolio Backlog to specify to prioritize technologies, infrastructure and data needs to support the organization. Regarding cloud there are many cloud strategies and models out there, and SAFe 6.0 guides us through three common patterns: Cloud for Infrastructure, Operations Cloud for DevOps and Cloud for Artificial Intelligence. Each one of them is a unique development value stream that combines cloud capabilities with SAFe to deliver transformational innovation to a set of customers.

7. OKRs

Measure Grow via OKRs

Aligning strategic intent with execution is crucial for rapid experimentation and the learnings that consequently come I have a putting it in place isn't an easy business, but first need to understand the current state of the organization, what are the practices that have been used, and how mature those practices are. That is where measuring grow evolve from being cell specific self-assessment in SAFe 5.0 to being a broader measurement system with three different domains in SAFe 6.0. So, the certain domains that this measurement system is covering our outcomes.

  • How well are we delivering upon the expectations of our shareholders and customers?
  • Flow: How efficient are we in delivering that value?
  • Competency: How well are we in applying those Lean and Agile behaviors that we know are crucial for achieving business agility.

Another big change is actually within the outcomes domain. We already had KPIs that are a very good current health check measure. However, now we're bringing in OKRs that help us to define that goal we're moving towards and track the progress towards it.

When it comes to the OKRs, they will be applied in three different dimensions in the framework:

1. Use them to align Strategy & the Execution

2. Support the Lean Business Cases (Epics)

3. To define the Transformation goals.

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Most asked questions about SAFe 6.0

How long are SAFe 5.1 trainings and exams still available for In Company trainings?

Based on the past updates done to SAFe, they will be available for about 1 year. But don't take it for granted and stay tunned for more info. Whenever it changes we will update you asap.

I am a SPC and I give Leading SAFe courses at my company to my colleagues. How do I receive the new courseware kit of 6.0?

You'll receive access to download the Courseware Kit immediately after purchasing your courseware license(s) for the new version.

Iโ€™m an SPC, does upgrading to SAFe 6.0 upgrade all of my active certifications?

Yes, you can upgrade to SAFe 6.0 at no cost by logging in to the SAFe Community Platform and navigating to the SAFe 6.0 Upgrade Learning Plan.
Once you complete the Learning Plan, you can take one upgrade exam to upgrade all your active SAFe 5 certifications to SAFe 6.0.

Are there any new certifications in SAFe 6.0?

There are currently no new certifications added. All existing courses will be updated to reflect the new content of SAFe 6.0.

Are there any certifications being discontinued in SAFe 6.0?

There are currently no new certifications added. All existing courses will be updated to reflect the new content of SAFe 6.0.

Is there any tooling changes required when we migrate to SAFe 6.0 (Jira, Azure Boards, Rally, VersionOne ..)

The backlog structure in SAFe is not changing. Neither will the mechanics of the kanban operations change. This means that the heart of the SAFe kanban flow will not require rethinking and thus no update to workflows in tooling should be needed.

I have a 5.1 certification. Can I upgrade it to the 6.0 version? What are the costs for that? And what is needed to do so? Do I need to follow another training in the new version?

You will have free attempt to take and pass the upgrade exam.

If an additional attempt is required, the standard exam retake fee will apply.

We are using SAFe 5.0 in our enterprise ? Is it mandatory to go to SAFe 6.0

Its not mandatory. Once SAFe 5.0 support is closed you will be forced to migrate to 6.0

How many free attempts are there in the upgrade path from SAFe 5.0 to SAFe 6.0?

Generally one, max 2

What questions do you have?