A Tale of Two SAFe's: Using the Scaled Agile Framework to Normalize Delivery across Organizations

23% of the respondents in the VersionOne State of Agile 2015 report utilize SAFe. 70% of those same respondents are using outsourced development resources. But how many of those respondents that meet both these criteria are actually successful in delivering their commitments?

“It was the best of programs, it was the worst of programs…”

Meet two companies: Manette and Dernay.

Manette is a large, enterprise organization spanning multiple timezones and continents. They have an internal development department than programs integrations between their legacy systems as well as vendor-provided black-box systems. Their software delivery methodology is a strict interpretation of waterfall.

Dernay is one of Manette’s black-box vendors. They are located on a different continent than Manette and provide the lion’s share of Manette’s software. Dernay is in the process of transitioning from a waterfall delivery model to agile via the Scaled Agile Framework.

Manette and Dernay have recently partnered to develop an ERP system for Manette that depending on market demand could eventually be resold in the open market as a commercial off-the-shelf solution. Dernay will be responsible for building the base product utilizing the business & process knowledge Manette’s users have. Manette’s development resources will be responsible for integrating the Dernay solution with all their up- and down-stream systems.

This session will describe how these organizations utilized SAFe to partner to develop and deploy this system; they utilized this framework to overcome many issues that joint delivery programs encounter, including:

  • Communication gaps
  • Timeline coordination
  • Delivery cadence
  • Constraints regarding business resource engagement
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Outline/structure of the Session

  • Introduction (5 mins)
  • Meet Manette & Dernay (5 mins)
  • What problems would you expect from the outset? - Audience participation (5 mins)
  • A serendipitous turn of events… (5 mins)
  • What problems did we encounter & solve with SAFe as a backstop? (10 mins)
  • How could you make this work for you? (5 mins)
  • Questions/wrap-up (10 mins)

Learning Outcome

  • Attendees will leave the session with ideas about how to leverage SAFe across organizations to drive successful delivery.
  • Attendees will be able to conceptualize how to apply these same lessons learned and tips to organizations that have two differing modes of delivering software.

Target Audience

Are you part of a large enterprise? Do you use third-party vendors? Do you often think those two aspects are incongruent when it comes to successful delivery? Then this session is for you! This presentation is suited for anyone who utilizes third-part


Attendees should have a solid understanding of Agile and should either utilize or be familiar with the Scaled Agile Framework.

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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  • George Dinwiddie
    By George Dinwiddie  ~  1 year ago
    reply Reply


    Your outline is a bit thin for the reviewers to understand your session. What is the meat of this session? What was the serendipitous turn of events? What were the problems & solutions? How general are these?

     - George

    • Jason Hrcsko - CSM, SA
      By Jason Hrcsko - CSM, SA  ~  1 year ago
      reply Reply

      The meat of the session is "two disparate organizations with different cultures and methodologies can use SAFe to jointly deliver software."  

      The "serendipitous turn of events" is when Manette begins a transition to an agile delivery model.

      • Problems:
        •  Communication gaps between vendor and customer (different locations/timezones/cultures)
        • Timing mis-matches (different cadences result in different delivery dates, making coordination almost impossible)
        • Business engagement (used to waterfall, highly defined limited engagement)
        • Code delivery (design/code thrown over the wall, no collaboration)
      • Solutions
        • Daily standups between both orgs (improved communication, less email more talking)
        • Unified PI calendar (leads to clear understanding of dates, reduces misfires and wasted cycles/idle resources)
        • Product Owner from both sides (better understanding from both sides of the equation, agreement upon scope and priority)
        • Tandem development (sequencing of delivery and testing across both groups=less defects,more throughput)

      Again I apologize for my lack of detail, wasn't sure how far down the rabbit hole to go.  I hope this helps.

  • George Dinwiddie
    By George Dinwiddie  ~  1 year ago
    reply Reply

    Not sure what "They have an internal development department than programs integrations between their legacy systems as well as vendor-provided black-box systems." is supposed to mean. 

    • Jason Hrcsko - CSM, SA
      By Jason Hrcsko - CSM, SA  ~  1 year ago
      reply Reply

      In hindsight I should've worded it better.  "They have an internal development team whose sole responsibility is programming integrations between their legacy systems and vendor-provided systems (such as what Dernay provides.)"