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By Nader Talai • February 16, 2021

SAFe® Quickstart ART launch

You want to achieve business agility and have decided to use SAFe for Lean Enterprises, SAFe® to accelerate your journey to achieve business agility and benefit from

  • Reduced time to market
  • Increased staff and customer engagement
  • Improved quality
  • Increased productivity

You want to start your journey with an experiment in one area and have defined the outcome you want to achieve and are now wondering how to go about organising your teams for value delivery and launch an Agile Release Train, ART.

You are wondering

  • What measures do we need?
  • How do we lead and manage in a new way?
  • What training is required for the leaders, the team and when?
  • What are the features that we need?
  • When can we launch the first/next Agile Release Train?
  • What are the events, when do they happen, who needs to be there?
  • What about the workspace, tools, visualisations and measure? 
  • Who can support us?

There is a lot to get right, SAFe® Quickstart ART launch is designed to guide you through the above steps and more and set you up for success. 

SAFe® Quickstart ART launch

There are many ways to successfully launch an Agile Release Train (ART) to begin realising the benefits of SAFe. However, experience has shown that the easiest and fastest way to do this is through the SAFe® ART Quickstart approach.

Using this approach, all teams on the ART are trained together, and the first PI planning session is completed following the training. While this may seem daunting, hundreds of rollouts have proven that this is the easiest and most pragmatic way to help 100-plus people transition to the new way of working and achieve the PI objectives.

"The performance of the system is a function of how we have designed and are managing the system of work."  John Seddon

The SAFe Quickstart ART launch lays the foundations for future success by designing the Agile Release Train, ART that is optimised for value flow with minimal delays and handoffs. That is we start with a better system design and the leaders learn about lean and agile ways of managing the work and championing new ways of working by learning and leading through their actions. 

Quickstart ART Blog

SAFe® Quickstart ART launch at a glance

What is the purpose of this ART?

We help you clearly define the purpose of the ART and define the measures that will inform us on how we are achieving the purpose. We will define the leading and lagging measures. For example, if we want to deliver features faster, the lag measure is how long does it take to deliver a feature. The lead measure is the amount of work in progress. 


Once we have a clearly defined purpose and how we know what success looks like we need to regularly communicate it to the stakeholders and the team.

What's the score?

If we don't know the score how do we know if we are winning or losing? We need a clear visual management system that shows our purpose, shorter term objectives, measures and how we are doing towards achieving our goal. We need two flavours of this visual management system one which has the detailed view of how the ART is working and a view that tells us how we are doing at a glance showing the lead measures that will lead to us achieving the objectives.

Just in time Training

It is fundamentally unfair to expect people to act in a new way before showing them what the new ways are; with the just in time training we ensure that the leaders, business owners and the teams know what the new ways of working are and what is expected of them this learning is reinforced through the implementation with highly experienced coaches.

To achieve better results we need to design a better system of work and manage it differently this is the job of the ART leadership team. Leading SAFe training coupled with coaching ensures better ways of managing the work. Value Stream and ART identification workshop enables the leadership to create a better work design, manage it inline with the lean-agile mindset and principles. 

Mindset to Results

SAFe for Teams, SAFe Product Owner/Product Manager and SAFe for Scrum Masters prepare the ART for the new ways of working.

Preparing for PI planning

Having defined the purpose of the ART and the measures, we need to define the solution(s) that this ART will deliver and define the vision and the initial features. Show the ART how to define appropriately sized features and benefit hypotheses with acceptance criteria, how to sequence the features for the best economic outcome and how to break the features into stories. Visualise the feature workflow through the ART feature kanban, define the initial exit policies and work in progress limits. Guide the team on how to define their workflow and build the team kanban system. Prepare your RTE, Product Manager(s) and Business Owners for their role in PI planning and guiding the ART in the PI execution and achieving the PI objectives.

PI Planning

Facilitate the PI planning working with your Release Train Engineer, Scrum Masters, Product Owners and Product Manager(s) create team and PI objectives and the program board.

PI Execution

Guide the ART on the PI execution coaching the teams, facilitating the iteration events, ART sync, System Demo, visualising the work, the sources of delays and acting on them.

IP Iteration

Facilitate the Innovation and Planning, IP iteration with hackathons, PI planning readiness and Inspect & Adapt workshop.

SAFe® Quickstart ART launch is a proven pattern that has helped hundreds or organisations with their transition to agile ways of working and it will help your organisation too. Value Glide has helped a number of organisations with their SAFe® journey and we love to help you to accelerate your agility journey.

How Value Glide Helps

The question: How can Value Glide enable you to effectively implement SAFe?

Our answer: SAFe® Quickstart ART launch  offers you  access to training, consulting and coaching using our proven approach to prepare and launch an ART in eight weeks.

The result: An engagement model designed to accelerate and enable your team to succeed by filling the experience gaps in your organisation needed to satisfy immediate priorities while advancing the experience and knowledge level of your team needed to be self-sustainable and achieve long-term priorities.

To learn more download our free SAFe® Quickstart ART launch guide.



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