Mar 21st, 2023

Accelerating Value Flow


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The third theme among the six primary themes of SAFe 6.0 is- Empowering Teams and Clarifying Responsibilities. Competing in today’s fast-paced world means accelerating value flow is an essential survival skill in the digital age. SAFe 6.0 defines the eight properties of flow and, with an updated SAFe Principle #6, introduces eight related ‘flow accelerators’ that can make value flow faster.

Furthermore, brand new SAFe Scrum, SAFe Team Kanban, Built-in Quality, and Value Stream Management articles incorporate flow directly into the teams’ daily work. Eight common flow properties describe how SAFe defines flow, as illustrated in Figure below. Flow systems have eight common propertiesEight flow accelerators – The figure illustrates how the eight flow accelerators help make value flow without interruption (Principle #6). These powerful accelerators of value are relevant to all Framework levels, but the challenges differ for each.  Eight flow acceleratorsFour new flow articles, Team Flow, ART Flow, Solution Train Flow, and Portfolio Flow, describe applying the eight flow accelerators from Principle #6. These articles can be accessed from the icons shown in Figure 16. Each offers techniques for addressing, optimizing, and debugging issues with a continuous value flow for that specific level.

Applying flow accelerators at each SAFe levelSAFe Team Kanban is a Lean-Agile method (Figure 17) that helps Agile Teams facilitate the flow of value by visualizing workflow, establishing Work in Process (WIP) limits, delivering value continuously, measuring throughput, and improving their process. The article has been renamed from Kanban to ‘SAFe Team Kanban’ and was significantly revised to explain how to use Kanban for SAFe teams, which operate as part of an ART.

SAFe Team Kanban method overviewSAFe Scrum replaced Scrum XP, and the XP-inspired practices were moved into Built-in Quality and other articles. In addition, the Scrum keystone image (Figure 18) was enhanced to illustrate how to apply Scrum in SAFe. The 5.1 icons for Plan (Iteration Planning), Review (Iteration Review), Retro (Iteration Retrospective), and Execution were removed from BP and are now accessed from the Scrum article. The content from Iteration Execution was merged into the Iterations article.

SAFe Scrum CycleBuilt-in Quality – SAFe 6.0 provides a new innovative approach to built-in quality across all technology and business domains, illustrated in figure 19. This model starts with basic Agile Quality practices that apply universally. These are shift learning left, pairing and peer review, collective ownership, T-shaped skills, artifact standards and definition of done, and workflow automation.

The model builds on this foundation with quality practices that apply to specific domains such as business functions, software applications, IT systems, hardware, and cyber-physical systems.

Built-In Quality key domains and practicesValue Stream Management (VSM) – VSM was previously an extended guidance article. It was added to the Big Picture (Figure 20) to emphasize it as a Portfolio Level responsibility. It was also enhanced to provide new guidance about the triads that manage the value stream.

Value Stream Management on the Big PictureValue Management Office (VMO) – The Value Management Office (VMO) supports portfolio flow, and its responsibilities include:

  • Helping define the scope of the portfolio
  • Supports improving the flow of value delivery
  • Facilitates strategy formulation and helps communicate strategic themes
  • Facilitates the Portfolio Sync
  • Works with the LACE to develop, harvest, and apply successful ART execution patterns across the portfolio.
  • Facilitates Lean budgeting and governance
  • Fosters decentralized PI Planning and operational excellence
  • Fosters more Agile contracts and leaner supplier and Customer partnerships
The VMO was previously called the Agile Program Management Office (APMO), and its focus has changed to provide more support for understanding, measuring, and improving the flow of value. Applying Kanban in SAFe – Created a new Applying Kanban in SAFe extended guidance article to provide an overview of Kanban, how to establish a Kanban system, and describe SAFe’s connected Kanban system.

Figure 21 offers some key images from this new content.

Applying Kanban in SAFeSo, we have discussed the third change of SAFe 6.0. Now let's explore the fourth change in the next upcoming blog.


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