European SAFe® Summit 2020: A Reminder of What Agile Really Means

Patrick AndersonPosted by

“If you don’t understand the customer’s journey, or you don’t really understand the customer, or you’re not really solving the user’s problem, you’re not going to achieve business agility.” Dean Leffingwell, Co-founder and Chief Methodologist at Scaled Agile®1

The virtual European SAFe® Summit next week (June 10-11, 2020) arrives at a time when business agility is legacy-defining. With no playbook for what has happened or what is to come, we must focus on the players. The unidentified market conditions of the Novel Economy forces a moment of reflection to ask: “Who are our customers today, and how do we support them moving forward?” 

The dynamics of this evolved economy serves as a reminder of why we’re scaling Agile in the first place—to be as responsive and proactive as possible to our customers’ needs and behaviors. That’s why we’ve invested in methodologies such as the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) to help us marry technical agility with business agility. And why the three ways of DevOps—of flow, feedback and continual learning—remain so influential in continuously delivering customer value.

Yet for many enterprises, recent events have exposed the shortcomings of their acceleration efforts and their inability to pivot sufficiently. “We’re witnessing the digital disruption of digital transformation,” explains Salesforce’s Brian Solis. “We’ve had to transform at a faster clip in 90 days than we have in 10 years. We’re seeing that after years of investment our priorities aren’t where they need to be.”

This moment of introspection offers an opportunity to rethink the purpose of our transformation efforts and our approach. And, crucially, what we should measure to see ascertain if our investments are working. As leaders, program managers and business agility coaches well know, ceremonies and certifications can be misleading metrics. “Change itself is not sufficient for continued success unless it is accompanied by a way to measure outcomes and identify what impediments need to be addressed to improve,”  explains Carmen DeArdo, author of Standing on Shoulders: A Leader’s Guide to Digital Transformation

But how do you find these impediments? As we’re seeing by the likes of Cubic and T-Mobile, it’s through defining and measuring customer-centric value streams—for both development and operations—that we can glean real insights into our continuous improvement objectives. Especially in terms of using metrics that track flow through the lens of the customer (both internal and external).

Both Cubic and T-Mobile are using Tasktop Viz™ Flow Metrics to gain real-time visibility into the end-to-end flow of business value across their software delivery organization. The four business-level metrics and Flow Distribution measure what matters in software delivery in a common language that business and IT leaders can understand, tracking four units of value (feature, defects, debt and risk) to determine:

Flow Velocity: Is value delivery accelerating? 

Flow Efficiency: Is waste decreasing in our processes? 

Flow Time: Is time-to-market getting shorter? 

Flow Load: Are we balancing demand vs. capacity to ensure future productivity? 

Flow Distribution: Are we investing in both business value generation and business value protection?

These metrics help key decision-makers to baseline where they are today and what they need to do to adapt and pivot to their customers’ specific—and pressing—needs. Providing leadership with actionable visibility into the fruits of your SAFe transformation, Tasktop Viz compliments the tools used to execute the work to help measure the results and improve. 

Click image to listen to Dean Leffingwell share his latest thoughts on SAFe 5.0, moving from project to product and more.

Measuring your SAFe transformation

If your organization has invested in SAFe to generate more business value through software, you should be able to clearly see that you’re delivering more value with every Program Increment (PI) for the business in some way and responding to customer demands faster. You should know if you’re maximizing the capacity of your FTEs and contractors and be able to adopt emerging tech faster.

If you’re not seeing the results you were expecting and you can’t quantify the impact of SAFe (or any other IT investments) through existing solutions, the Flow Framework®—implemented by Tasktop Viz—can help you ensure you are moving in the right direction, providing you with real-time insights into the relationship between technology delivery and business outcomes. 


  • How the Flow Framework helps you establish your baseline to see where you are in your SAFe journey today—and where you need to go to improve revenues, time-to-market, customer retention and more.
  • How to model your value streams to generate a set of business-level metrics to identify what’s slowing you down and where you need to optimize to improve end-to-end flow.
  • How the Flow Framework provides a common language that both IT and business leadership can understand to make key decisions to improve business outcomes.
  • How leading organizations across telecommunications, healthcare and investment are using Tasktop Viz to generate instant insights with Flow Metrics to boost business agility and customer responsiveness.
Click the image to download the e-book.

Join us at the European SAFe Summit 2020!

Tasktop is a proud sponsor of the upcoming virtual European SAFe Summit 2020, on 10 – 11 June, 2020.

If you’re attending, we’d be delighted to welcome you to our digital booth to chat with our team, download some of our resources, and pick up your complimentary copy of Project to Product, the bestselling book by our CEO and founder, Dr. Mik Kersten.

Mik will also be closing the event on Thursday 11 June, 2020 at 3:15pm (CEST). Mik will illustrate how a product operating model provides the critical glue between the hierarchical and finance-oriented structures of the business and the business agility catalyzed by organizations adopting SAFe.

Not attending but still want to chat?

  • Schedule a meeting with a Tasktop Flow Advisor to dig into your SAFe transformation.
  • Join Mik on Thursday June 18 at 11am ET (8am PT, 4pm GMT) for a live Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. Get answers to your burning questions on the Flow Framework®, project to product, Flow Metrics, SAFe, Flow Metrics and more—Sign up now.
  • Learn more about how Tasktop can help you with your SAFe journey.
1.  Mik+One: Project to Product Podcast, Episode 8: Dean Leffingwell, May 2020