Scaled Agile (SAFe ®) implementation improves decision-making and customer outcomes for major insurance organisation
In under nine months, PM-Partners has helped this leading insurance provider transition to Scaled Agile using the proven SAFe® implementation roadmap. This transformation has allowed the client to improve its decision-making capabilities and centre its project delivery on customer outcomes.
- This major insurance company was undergoing a transformation to reorient its business portfolios – focusing on agility, simplification, and automation – to become more customer-centric.
- PM-Partners enabled and implemented the enterprise Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) at all levels, from executive leaders to project teams and suppliers.
- PM-Partners trained over 600 staff and set up an enduring capability to track and improve SAFe delivery performance.
Our client is a multinational insurance organisation headquartered in Sydney. Operating in a highly competitive market, it has a need for business agility in the digital economy.
Like many large organisations, they had issues with business change and project delivery, and with a legacy of decision-making revolving around technology silos, instead of customer outcomes. To realise the value of the digital insurance economy, it needed to reorient its business portfolios to become more digitally focussed and customer-centric – with agility, simplification and automation at the forefront.
Based on these challenges, client leadership decided to establish a SAFe-enabled Enterprise Operating Model, with new roles and organisational structures aligned to customer-centric value streams and agile release trains (ARTs). This would empower the business and help position technology as an integrated enabler for the operational value streams.
The client had already tried to implement SAFe, without success. After a couple of false starts, it approached PM-Partners to enable and launch this way of working.
How PM-Partners helped
Starting with a series of executive leadership workshops to reach the tipping point, PM-Partners worked with the customer to establish the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of the change: namely, what is SAFe? And: why is Scaled Agile a suitable choice?
Following these workshops, PM-Partners continued with the proven SAFe Implementation Roadmap and went deeper, customising and augmenting the approach, designing and implementing proper value streams and launching ARTs. The deliverables in this phase included:
- Operational value streams (how the organisation makes money in each business portfolio);
- Development value streams (its business change delivery capability); and
- Agile Release Trains (the mechanism to deliver business change and new capabilities into the operational value streams).
PM-Partners then trained everyone – from team members and Scrum masters to product managers/owners, value stream/ART leaders, RTEs and architects – as well as customised training for the executive and senior managers – and supported this training with a SAFe delivery coaching framework, tracked by SAFe delivery performance metrics to ensure continued and relentless improvement.
Following the training and launch of the first ARTs, the next step was to introduce lean portfolio management (LPM) and embed a culture of servant leadership with empowered and trusted decentralised decision-making. In addition, PM-Partners also helped establish SAFe-aligned delivery tooling that drove real-time on-demand reporting at all levels.
The SAFe implementation unlocked the client’s ability to rapidly realise the value of its customer-centric business portfolios through a combination of a shift to a culture of servant leadership, alignment of its three value streams and establishment of five ARTs to facilitate business change delivery.
All business change and new capabilities initiatives now have objectives and key results (OKRs), the concept of minimum viable products (MVPs), and demonstrable measurable planned and realised benefits that are aligned to the board-approved business case. Moreover, technology is now recognised as a valuable enabler to the business portfolio operational value streams and business change ARTs.
In terms of real outcomes, the transformation has increased predictability and delivery commitment reliability in the teams (up to 86 per cent) after only one program increment. And, going forward, the client’s SAFe Ways of Working will continue to mature and introduce these capabilities across new areas of the business.
Following the successful implementation of SAFe ways of working across the customer facing value streams, the next steps will be to expand this out to incorporate other areas of the business through the enablement of a platform ART and a shared services ART. This construct would enable us to bring all parts of the organisation together under effective LPM and build true business agility across the whole enterprise.
Looking to transform your organisation with Scaled Agile? PM-Partners can help you with your SAFe roadmap, Scaled Agile training and upskilling, and continuous improvement. Contact the team or call us on 1300 70 13 14 today.
SAFe and the Scaled Agile Framework are registered trademarks of Scaled Agile, Inc.