What are the most common challenges organizations face when building strong systems for SAFe?


Common Challenges in Starting a SAFe Journey: Insights and Solutions


Embarking on a SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) journey can be transformative for organizations, but it comes with its own set of challenges. This blog post highlights the common pitfalls organizations face when starting their SAFe journey and provides insights on how to navigate these challenges effectively.

Misconceptions About Implementing SAFe

Focusing on Framework Over Goals

  • Key Mistake: Many organizations mistakenly focus on implementing SAFe as an end in itself.
  • True Focus: The primary focus should be on business goals, vision, and values. SAFe is a means to achieve these objectives better.

Treating Technology as a Cost Center

  • Common Perception: Technology is often seen as a cost center, with a perception that it costs a lot and delivers little value.
  • Reality Check: To change this perception, align technology initiatives with business objectives to demonstrate value.

Aligning with Business Objectives

Collaboration with Business Owners

  • Business Alignment: Work closely with business owners to align SAFe implementation with business goals.
  • Outcome Focus: Emphasize how SAFe can help achieve better, sooner, and ultimately cheaper results.

Prioritizing the Right Stuff

  • Goal-Oriented Approach: Ensure that your efforts are focused on the right business objectives.
  • Validation Techniques: Use SAFe tools and techniques like forming hypotheses, MVPs, and fast test-and-learn cycles to validate customer needs.

Avoiding Common Implementation Pitfalls

Misguided Team Formation

  • Anti-Pattern: Forming teams based solely on organizational charts can lead to increased dependencies, handoffs, and delays.
  • Value-Based Organization: Organize teams around value delivery to minimize these issues and enhance efficiency.

Configurable and Customizable Framework

  • Adaptation: Remember that SAFe is a configurable and customizable set of tools and patterns.
  • Contextual Application: Adapt SAFe practices to fit your current context and evolve based on emerging practices and learnings.

Key Strategies for Successful SAFe Implementation

Emphasize Business Goals

  • Outcome-Driven: Keep the focus on achieving business results, not just ticking off boxes in the SAFe framework.
  • Continuous Alignment: Regularly align SAFe activities with evolving business goals and market needs.

Iterative Learning and Adaptation

  • Learning System: Treat SAFe as a learning system where practices evolve based on continuous feedback.
  • PDCA Cycles: Use Plan-Do-Check-Act cycles to continuously learn, adapt, and improve.

Building a Supportive Environment

  • People-Centric Approach: Acknowledge that transformation is about people and bring them along on the journey.
  • Training and Support: Provide necessary training and support to teams to ensure successful adoption and sustainability.


Recap: Overcoming SAFe Implementation Challenges

  • Focus on Business Goals: Ensure that the implementation of SAFe is driven by business goals, vision, and values.
  • Align with Business Owners: Collaborate closely with business owners to align technology initiatives with business objectives.
  • Organize Around Value: Form teams based on value delivery rather than organizational charts to minimize dependencies.
  • Adapt and Evolve: Continuously adapt SAFe practices based on your organization’s current context and emerging learnings.

By understanding and addressing these common challenges, organizations can successfully navigate their SAFe journey, leading to improved business outcomes and a more agile, responsive enterprise. 🌟

Connect with Value Glide!

 Are you looking to adopt Agile ways of working? If so, SAFe, Scrum and Kanban could be the perfect solution for you. For expert guidance to successfully adopt and implement SAFem Scrum or Kanban, Value Glide is here to help. Our team has the skills and experience to ensure your Agile adoption is seamless and successful.

Connect with us for Agile Training, Agile Consulting, and Agile coaching.


Visit https://www.valueglide.com for more information.

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