Insights on the state of business agility in the SAFe world

Insights on the state of business agility in the SAFe world

SAFe Updates

At the recent 2019 European SAFe® Summit, we did something we’ve never done before – we used the event to live-capture baseline metrics to determine how close organizations are to achieving true business (not just technical) agility.

After Dean’s keynote presentation, we invited attendees to take a survey about business agility—and 164 of them did. To understand where the respondents were coming from, we included two questions about company size and the size of their SAFe implementations.

We also asked attendees to share their roles.

Respondents reported that their organizations do business around the world (60 percent) and in Europe (about 40 percent)—in a wide variety of industries.

For the main assessment questions, we asked attendees to take a survey and rate their organizations according to ‘sit, crawl, walk, run, or fly’ criteria in seven aspects of business agility. Here are the results.

So what does this data tell us? Well, organizations are in different places; some are stuck in the old way of working, others are starting to shift, while others are moving hard. In some of the team and technical practices, more companies are starting to improve and move toward ‘walk.’ But in some of the more complex and strategic areas—including Lean portfolio management, organizational agility, and learning culture—enterprises aren’t doing enough yet, if anything at all. All dimensions seem to indicate areas where the real opportunities for growth lie.

We’ve received great feedback on the assessment; most want to know how people can run it within their organizations. So, in the future, we’ll likely provide this assessment as a download, similar to our existing Lean Enterprise Assessment and DevOps health radar, which you can find in the Metrics article on the Framework website.

Stay tuned to the Framework blog for updates.

Stay SAFe,

Author Info

Inbar Oren

comment (16)

  1. Marie

    01 Mar 2020 - 10:18 pm

    Hi Inbar, is this assessment available for a download? Would love to take a look and understand more here…

    • Harry Koehnemann

      02 Mar 2020 - 10:44 am

      Hi Marie. That assessment was a small test only performed at the EMEA Summit. You can find the latest Business Agility assessment in the Measure and Grow article. There are also more detailed competency assessments at the end of each competency article. Thanks for the question!


  2. Mary M

    05 Jul 2019 - 6:11 am

    What is the criteria for sit, crawl walk, etc? It doesn’t seem to be the highest percentage because the highest percentage for Lean Portfolio Management is at Sit, yet that capability is marked as Crawl.

    • Harry Koehnemann

      17 Jul 2019 - 11:40 am

      Thanks for the question Mary. We put together a quick algorithm to assign a label. It was a weighted sum of the responses (1-sit, 2-crawl) divided by the total in each category. Then rounded to determine the result (e.g., 2.57 is a walk, 2.2 is a crawl). Not this is not the statistical approach we will use going forward. We just wanted to experiment a little at the EMEA Summit. All the best!

  3. Jerome Forest

    04 Jul 2019 - 7:09 am

    Great insight ! Thank you.

    It’s like a 7 core competencies assessment. We like the lean-enterprise assessement in my corporation but we were feeling that something was missing and this new one fill perfectly our needs.

    It would be very helpfull for my organisation at this point. When will it be available on the Metrics page ?

    • Steve Mayner

      04 Jul 2019 - 8:50 am

      Thanks for the comment! More guidance coming soon, stay tuned!

  4. Werner Siedl

    25 Jun 2019 - 8:26 am

    Hi together,
    that survey give us a good status were we are currently. We all have to improve.
    The new Lean Portfolio Management Training will help us to improve on Portfolio level, too.

    Best regards

    • Steve Mayner

      28 Jun 2019 - 7:21 am

      Thanks for the positive words, and do check out the new LPM course… the feedback from early attendees has been phenomenal!

  5. Kerry Sabella

    19 Jun 2019 - 10:08 am

    Great information Inbar. It would be interesting to see how the sit, crawl, walk, run, or fly criteria broke down by industry. Also, you may want to add the question “Where do you see your company a year from now in the same criteria, and what is the number one priority step you need to take to get there”.

    • Steve Mayner

      20 Jun 2019 - 8:37 am

      Thanks for the input Kerry! We are still early in the development of the details behind this guidance so please stay tuned!

  6. Iris

    19 Jun 2019 - 3:23 am

    Hi Inbar, thanks. A really good Impression. – Today I will use these news in my ScrumMaster Coaching. I will use your results, combine them with the SAFe Framework Picture and to discuss with my three coachees – why the companies are more on the left side then on the right side. And in the next step to analyse the own surrounding to find the next action items to improve/learn and go forward.

    • Steve Mayner

      20 Jun 2019 - 8:39 am

      Thanks for the positive feedback!

  7. Wouter

    18 Jun 2019 - 11:58 pm

    Interesting to see, that especially on business level, the agility is still lagging behind on the technical level.

  8. Smita

    18 Jun 2019 - 12:37 pm

    Hi Inbar this was a very interesting read – thank you.

  9. Kurt

    18 Jun 2019 - 10:08 am

    Is this your understanding of Bussiness agility?
    I find it a good information of how SAFe (agiler &lean) are we over the levels so where to invest next….
    But bussiness agility sounds for me agile in Business?

    • Steve Mayner

      20 Jun 2019 - 8:47 am

      Hi Kurt! Stay tuned as we will be putting out a lot more thoughts on business agility in the near future!

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