Future-proof thanks to SAFe®: How companies can implement agility correctly and react to rapid changes - Interview with Werner Siedl

Picture of Werner Siedl

Werner Siedl

29. May 2020

With "Future-proof through agility in companies - from practice for practice with SAFe® and Co.", a new basic work by TCI will be launched in 2021. During the current intensive preparation phase, we were able to contact the publisher and TCI partner Werner Siedl for an interview. In an interview with the TCI editorial team, he provides some interesting insights into the contents of the book, discusses the outstanding results that some companies are already achieving with the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) in practice and explains the benefits that arise from the right approach to agility in the company.

SAFe® offers the ideal framework for companies to deal with the challenges and opportunities of digitalization - Werner Siedl in an interview

Hello Mr. Siedl, you are currently working together with Peter Steinhoff and Mario Pfannstiel to publish a book on agility and SAFe®. What is your motivation behind this as one of the editors?

Yes, we are currently finalizing the new book "Zukunftssicher durch Agilität in Unternehmen - Aus der Praxis für die Praxis mit SAFe® und Co.". Three and a half years ago, I first went through Oliver Foitzik I came into contact with the topic of agility in entire companies through the introduction of a swarm organization at Daimler. After that, I quickly came across the SAFe® framework based on the Scrum Guide. Since then, I have been working on it day and night and how I can use elements of Introducing SAFe® into companiesto help companies, divisions, managers and employees to deal with the challenges and opportunities of digitalization and the ever faster changes in customer and market requirements. I am passionate about the topic, and since the SAFe® Framework is a modeling of excellence, it has helped me a lot here. In my day-to-day work as a lean-agile coach and SAFe® trainer, I see how I can help managers and employees in concrete ways. We wanted to pass on this experience and knowledge in an anthology.

What is this book about?

It is about the basics of agility in companies and SAFe® as the world's leading Scaled Agile Framework for business agility, organizational agility and technology agility. SAFe is based on a dual operating system for companies and complements the classic "lean" approach of efficient and stable structures with a fast, innovative and customer-oriented value stream network. It combines lean and agile.

One section of the book addresses the challenges and opportunities for the modern leader and management who steer self-organizing teams and delegate responsibilities, as well as the transformation of effective leadership through vision, planning and implementation across all areas of the business.

Another part refers specifically to the implementation and introduction of business agility and organizational agility, as this is the next step for many companies. In addition, there are many practical examples from various industries of how SAFe® was introduced and what dangerous mistakes can be made when adapting SAFe®.

The entire company benefits from agile methods

Why is the topic of SAFe® so topical?

In recent years, the Digitization changes customer behavior and thus the demands on companies have changed considerably. More and more Agile methods used. Most companies today already have experience in implementing technological agility from software and hardware development. They have this under control. However, companies need agility across the entire value stream - and this includes business agility, organizational agility and a lean-agile management style in order to position themselves for the future. Customers expect companies to react quickly and innovatively. This no longer just applies to development and product management, but to the entire company and all its departments, including sales, marketing, purchasing, production, logistics, controlling, human resources and external suppliers and partners.

In your experience, what challenges do companies face in this area?

The challenge is that the management team must realize that a comprehensive transformation and a profound cultural change is necessary for the employees, but also for the management itself. New values, practices, principles, roles and methods need to be introduced. This does not happen overnight, but takes time and patience until I have a continuously learning company that responds quickly and innovatively to change as a whole - with all managers and employees. However, the benefits are clearly measurable: in SAFe® customer references, the figures are up to 50 percent faster time to market, up to 35 percent higher productivity, up to 50 percent quality improvement and up to 30 percent higher Employee commitment. To realize this potential quickly, you should rely on experienced transformation experts and SAFe® experts.

The right skills for the future viability of companies

What can readers expect from the book "SAFe® - Scaled Agile Framework: Success Stories and Practical Knowledge"?

Readers can already look forward to the book, although it will be a while before it is published. As an expert, I was surprised by the quality of the experience reports and recommendations for action in practice and it shows me that companies and employees are already starting to live agility in terms of rapid learning and adaptation. Speed and the ability to innovate in terms of Customer orientation is key to securing their future.

Thank you very much, Mr. Siedl, for the interesting The book also contains explanations of the opportunities and potential that SAFe® opens up for companies and what guidelines and recommendations for action you can expect with the publication of the book! We wish you continued success in the run-up phase and a great book launch at the end!

The interview with Werner Siedl led the TCI editorial team.

(Cover image: © alphaspirit | Adobe Stock)

About the author

Picture of Werner Siedl

Werner Siedl

Werner Siedl is a TCI partner and has extensive experience in the areas of internal and external communication and collaboration. As a consultant, he prepares his clients for the digital tsunami so that they are equipped to face it and achieve their goals.

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