Align, Inform, Inspire: Measuring Business Agility and SAFe with Flow Metrics

News SAFe Framework Updates

A couple of months ago, we released a significant update to our guidance on SAFe Metrics. Central to this are the three measurement domains of Outcomes, Flow, and Competency, which together provide a simple, comprehensive, and scalable approach to measuring what matters for Business Agility, as the figure illustrates.

Business Agility provides the enterprise with the ability to quickly respond to market changes and emergent opportunities. The speed of this response is determined by how quickly value flows through the Business Agility Value Stream (shown above). The organizations that achieve efficiency in delivering this value have a significant advantage over their competitors.

The Flow Framework created by Mik Kersten provides five flow metrics that you can apply to measure the different aspects of this flow and uncover opportunities for improvement. As SAFe is a flow-based system, each of these metrics is directly applicable, and as such, we have integrated them into SAFe. In addition, SAFe defines Flow Predictability to measure how Teams, ARTs, and Solution Trains are delivering against their planned objectives.

In their recent blog, Patrick Anderson from TaskTop describes each of these flow metrics and their critical role in identifying ‘…where work is flowing in your product value streams and where it’s slowing down so that you can decide how to address those bottlenecks.’ Patrick discusses how these metrics can help ‘Reignite Your SAFe® Journey’ and build on the progress you have made so far. Definitely a recommended read.

Additionally, over the next few months, there are some great opportunities to hear more on this topic and get involved in the discussion:

I will be continuing this conversation when I join Tasktop Sr. Value Stream Architect, Lee Reid, on Tuesday, August 17th at 9am and 2pm ET for a webinar on how to use Flow Metrics to measure your SAFe practices against business outcomes. You can register here.

In addition, Mik will be speaking at the SAFe Summit 2021 (Sept. 27 – Oct. 1) on the topic of Flow Metrics: From Micromanagement Misery to Business Agility, where he will share the past two years of lessons learned from large-scale deployments of SAFe® that leveraged Flow Metrics to embrace Business Agility

I’ll also be talking at the SAFe Summit, Measure What Matters for Business Agility: Outcomes, Flow and Competency, where I will present this new, comprehensive measurement model in detail and describe how you can apply it successfully at every level of your SAFe Enterprise.

I hope you can join us for some or all of this.

Stay SAFe!

— Andy


Author Info

Andrew Sales

comment (7)

  1. Mandin

    25 Aug 2022 - 9:48 am

    Thanks for sharing this valuable information! Achieving business agility is essential for any organization that wants to stay competitive. Here are three steps that can help you get started:

    1. Define your value stream and identify the different aspects of flow that you want to measure.
    2. Implement the Flow Framework within your organization.
    3. Use the SAFe system to manage your value stream and predictability of delivery.

    Mandin Bat Loans


      31 Aug 2022 - 8:03 am

      Thank you! We look forward to hearing how these steps help you!

  2. Emily M

    21 Jan 2022 - 5:01 am

    As somebody who’s been in a financials circle for a considerable amount, I can guarantee you that the business agility record is critical, however what’s more essential is the means by which to accurately ascertain it. I think about the significant viewpoints a business depends on making your computations simple and right.

    Emily Morgan from FitMyMoney

  3. Jack R.

    22 Sep 2021 - 2:03 am

    Very useful. Many thanks for taking time and sharing with us. Looking forward to more. // Jack Reynolds ( TGL )

  4. Jack R.

    08 Sep 2021 - 1:27 am

    Very useful. Many thanks for taking time and sharing with us. Looking forward to more.

    // Jack Reynolds ( TGL )

  5. Marina T.

    07 Aug 2021 - 11:23 pm

    Hello Anrew!

    As someone who’s been in a business sphere for quite a bit, I can assure you that the Business Agility index is extremely important, but what’s more crucial is how to correctly calculate it. SAFe takes into consideration the major aspects a Business Agility index relies on making your calculations easy and correct. Despite being a great tool to estimate your market flexibility, SAFe also allows you to predict some flows which is a good addition to an already perfect tool!

    // Marina Teramond (NMPL Company)

    • harry

      10 Aug 2021 - 10:48 am

      Thanks for your comments and observations, Marnia. We are glad you find the tool useful!

      All the best – Harry

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