Key Insights from SAFe 4.0

I’m a big fan of Dean Leffingwell and his work on the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). He’s been bringing lean thinking to software development for some time now. I work in a massive IT organization that has identified SAFe as how we’d like to develop software going forward.

Listen for these key concepts in the video below.

  • The Customer and the Value Stream are key to the framework
  • Value streams are the central organizing construct for SAFe.
  • SAFe as a model, organizes around value, and this helps speed delivery
  • Funding value streams vs. funding Agile Release Trains (ARTs)
  • When Requirements are needed vs. the concept of Solution Intent
  • General purpose solutions vs. ‘bespoke’ solutions

Over the past few years, I have heard many software development professionals say things like, “It’s a pretty good concept, but it doesn’t work in the real world.” or “SAFe doesn’t account for Architecture or other enablers.” 

If you are in IT, you owe it to yourself to get up to speed not just on SAFe, but on the underlying lean thinking concepts that are driving it. If you don’t, you risk getting left behind both organizationally, and in your IT career.

Bob H – April 28, 2017

Key Links

Scaled Agile Framework home:

Lean-Agile Mindset Abstract:

Value Streams Abstract:

Team Kanban Abstract:



Lean Practices in Action at Boeing

See how many Lean Practices you can find in this video! 

Southwest Airlines The Making of Florida One 

Uploaded to YouTube on Apr 22, 2010

Go inside Boeing as the newest Specialty Plane is unveiled!



Caveat Venditor?

This word cloud resulted when people were asked,
“What are the first words you think of when someone says sales or salesman?”

Like it or not,
we are all in sales now.

Daniel Pink, 2012

Dan Pink continues to challenge our view of the world.  In his new book, To Sell is Human, The Surprising Truth About Moving Others; he shows us how the information age has changed the salesman / customer dynamic. The word cloud below results from the question, “What is the first word you think of when someone mentions the word salesman?”

This link ( is Dan speaking on this topic, but don’t stop here. This is a great book filled with insight that should alter your view of who is really selling in 2013.

I strongly recommend two of Dan’s previous works, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,  and A Whole New Mind. Both books rock long standing paradigms. Drive debunks the idea that financial bonuses positively motivate performance. (sorry… the data indicates the opposite is true) Whole New Mind challenges our view of what smart looks like.

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bh 2013-04-24