Leaders: A SAFe Transformation Needs More Than Your Support

John Doe

BCforward’s thought leaders on the Digital Strategies and Innovation team are excited to share with our readers this series on SAFe for Leaders.  Over the next several weeks we’re going to share blogs of real-life experiences from our team of SAFe Program Consultants (SPC’s) leading up to our panel discussion of thought leaders bringing their perspectives on the SAFe journey to a virtual stage.

Your organization is ready to implement SAFe and you might be wondering, “what do my teams need most from me, as their leader?” Yes, they need your support. But more importantly, they need you to lead the change throughout the transformation! Leadership plays an integral role in guiding an organization to achieving business agility. SAFe outlines 3 dimensions to establishing lean-agile leadership that can implement and sustain a successful SAFe transformation: the lean-agile mindset, leading by example, and leading the change.

“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means.” – Albert Einstein

Lead-agile Mindset:

A leader’s mindset must reflect the values and principles of Lean, Agile, and SAFe. As leaders, it is important to commit to the work it will take to learn, understand, and apply the mindset. Your organization will see you exhibit these values by communicating a common goal, investing in quality work, and celebrating learning.

Lead by Example

I ask my older child to “set a good example” for his younger sibling constantly. We do this because it works! One of the best ways for others to learn is to see an example of the desired behavior. Commit yourselves to life-long learning and I bet your teams will feel inspired to do the same. Be transparent with your teams. Modeling desired professional and ethical behaviors are required in a SAFe transformation. For example, show your teams that you trust them by decentralizing decision-making. With their knowledge and your guardrails, decisions can be made at the team level.

Leading the Change:

For organizations to grow in their business agility, their teams must work differently. The most effective leaders I have worked with are present and leading that change. Throughout a SAFe transformation, we need leaders who can organize and re-organize around value. This means they must be willing to try something new…and sometimes fail. But that commitment to relentless improvement is key to change. Yes, we want your support, but we want you to lead the change.

Join Adrian on Wednesday, May 26 at 2 pm EST to continue the conversation and learn more about “SAFe Transformation for Executives” where she will be an expert panelist on SAFe transformation! Click the button below to register!

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