Between October 25-28th, over 400 attendees from 17 countries trekked to Colorado for the first SAFe Summit, making it the largest gathering of its kind to focus exclusively on SAFe and its community of practice. It was a milestone in SAFe’s history, and one that we hope will have a long-lasting positive impact on those who attended.

As we know from PI Planning, there’s no substitute for coming together under one roof, and the Summit was a stellar example of that. We saw high-energy engagement across the board, new connections forged, and we gained substantive insights from attendees and speakers that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

PEDCO was also attending with a booth at the SAFe Summit, together with several of its partners (Blue Agility & KEGON). We would like to give you a short overview of what was happening there as well. For a complete summary please visit the SAFe 2016 Summit downloads page which features full-length videos from the four Keynote talks. You’ll find many of the slide presentations and a collection of on-site video interviews.

Summit Highlights

A brief wrap-up can’t do justice to what took place during the four days of the Summit, but here are some themes and topics that Scaled Agile we’ll be thinking about and working on in 2017:

SAFe thrives in a strong learning culture. The four enterprise adopters who shared their SAFe journeys told stories that resonated with the people in the room, all facing similar challenges. Their organizations couldn’t have been more different from each other in terms of size, industry, and development challenges (insurance, pharmaceutical, defense, telecommunications), but they all had something in common: a strong commitment to supporting a learning culture where practitioners are encouraged to continually acquire new knowledge and skills relevant to their role in the implementation.

Some of those case studies were captured in video interviews produced by our Summit media partner, AgileAmped. You can find the videos at

Long-term coaching is essential, especially dealing with non-software teams who are new to the terminology.”
–Yael Man, Elbit

Essential SAFe. Sometimes called ‘Little-Big SAFe,’ Essential SAFe debuted as a concept earlier this year and was a hot session topic at the Summit. It’s a set of minimal practices without which SAFe might no longer be ‘safe.’ It can provide guidance for organizations that are customizing SAFe but don’t want to stray so far they lose advantages, and it can act as an easy entry point for organizations who aren’t ready for full-on SAFe, but want to start practicing and getting the benefits as soon as possible. We appreciate all the feedback we received at the Summit, and will be introducing a fully-supported version of Essential SAFe in the coming months. In the meantime, you can read more about it here.

A powerful but more accessible perspective to achieving enterprise agility.” —Aspire Consulting

Value Streams—can’t live without ’em. There was much furious note-taking in the two sessions that had to do with value streams. That’s because it’s no secret that the flow of value is entirely dependent on how well you apply and map and analyze your value streams. Without that broader context, your planning, execution, and I&A will always fall short of their potential. As Ryan Martens said, “This little tab changes everything.”

Agile HR

It was great to see that human resources (HR) is getting Agile as  top topic and that companies are applying agile practices in HR and vice versa. HR is about to change and to reflect new needs of teams and people: Bringing People Operations into the 21st Century with Lean-Agile Values and Principles. Fabiola Eyholzer, CEO from Just Leading Solutions presented together with Dean Leffingwell ‘Agile HR with SAFe® 4.0’. We liked it so much, that we decided to offer a workshop on Agile HR with SAFe together with Fabiola.


PEDCO attended with a booth at the Summit. Main attraction was the just announced brand new configuration of Applied SAFe® Essential and the new product offering with different configurations of Applied SAFe®. Applied SAFe Essential allows to start with a small and cost-effective package. This has the advantage that a company, or a department within a larger enterprise, can start with the minimum required for doing SAFe. The benefit is, that you can gather first experiences with the application of SAFe and to harmonize teams towards a common approach. This allows you to easily migrate to other levels like Managed- or Enterprise at a later stage, including your own extensions. With our built in tailoring configuration, you can instantiate basically the following three configurations of SAFe, all from one single source and configured by pre-built tailoring.

These new configurations allows Applied SAFe Customers to ‘mix and match’ Applied SAFe instances as they normally exist in a company.

Building Large and High Assurance Systems

Our CEO Peter Pedross (right in the picture) participated also in the workshop ‘Building Large and High Assurance Systems’, hosted by Dean Leffingwell (Scaled Agile Inc., left in the picture).

It was very interesting to discuss different approaches to fulfill requirements of regulated environments. Some of the concepts discussed supported our already implemented practices and some new ideas have also found its way into Applied SAFe. It was great to see, that so many high class large scale organizations are already successfully performing SAFe.

It has been decided ‘on site’ by the PEDCO Advisory Board, that we will incorporate our experience, knowledge and practices into a ‘Lean Sustainable Compliance‘ Workshop in order spread the word about different strategies to reach compliance in Large and High Assurance Systems.

Well discussed was a case study from Elekta and we encourage to read their study.

The SAFe Summit 2016 was a great conference and ‘last but not least’ we would like to spread the word of its world wide success. Here is a slide that has been presented by Scaled Agile’s COO, Chris James. The numbers speak for them self and are just great!

PEDCO will participate again in 2017.