Are you building really big systems? Check out the new Solution Management article!


Knowing that some of the world’s biggest and most important systems are built with SAFe is a source of inspiration for all of us at Scaled Agile, perhaps never more so than over the course of the pandemic. As SAFe-enabled organizations responded to COVID, we saw how these systems were able to adapt to the challenge at record speed by distributing PPE, vaccines, and supporting equipment with volumes, frequency, and accuracy that could not be achieved otherwise. Of course, the people did all the work, but we were thrilled to hear feedback about how SAFe improved their ability to quickly make the changes they needed in their IT and application infrastructure.

If you’re one of those who are building these really big systems, SAFe’s Enterprise Solution Delivery competency and the Solution Trains model is your home base. There you’ll find the guidance needed to address the complexity inherent in systems, and systems of systems, that take many hundreds—and even thousands of people— to build and support.

Like all areas of SAFe, we refine and enhance guidance as we learn more over time. To that end, we are pleased to announce new guidance for the critical role of Solution Management. Previously, Solution Management and Product Management referred to the same knowledge base article because their responsibilities were similar:

  1. Understand business goals
  2. Build the solution
  3. Get the solution to the customer
  4. Operate and support

While those responsibilities certainly apply to both roles, Solution Managers have additional responsibilities based on the scale and cost of the solutions they build. Many of these solutions require substantial investment, are in operation for decades, and are built by thousands of engineers across many internal and external suppliers. In addition, most have stringent compliance constraints.

The new Solution Management article describes how this SAFe role defines and evolves these really big systems using SAFe. As opposed to a traditional project-based approach to funding and development, this article shows how a product-centric approach continuously aligns solution development with SAFe’s portfolio roadmap and budgeting process. As a result, new development, support, enhancements, operation, and innovative experiments are all conducted by long-lived teams of teams operating in the Solution Train context. This new guidance also shows how to align the system builders, balance the needs of multiple customers using the solution roadmap, and coordinate suppliers using SAFe practices.

You can read the new article here.  A companion article for the Solution Architect-Engineer role is in the works as well.

Happy reading, and stay SAFe!

Author Info

Harry Koehnemann

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