New Case Study: Royal Philips Cuts Release Cycle Time by Two-Thirds with SAFe

New Case Study: Royal Philips Cuts Release Cycle Time by Two-Thirds with SAFe

Case Studies Lessons from the Trenches SAFe Updates

“Philips is continuously driving to develop high-quality software in a predictable, fast and Agile way. SAFe addresses this primary goal, as well as offering these further benefits: reduced time to market and improved quality, stronger alignment across geographically distributed multi-disciplinary teams, and collaboration across teams to deliver meaningful value to customers with reduced cycle time.”
—Sundaresan Jagadeesan, Program Manager, Philips Electronic India Limited


logoHow do you improve quality and reduce release cycle time by two-thirds? For a $26 billion technology giant, the answer was found with SAFe. Our latest case study comes from Royal Philips which engages in the healthcare, lighting, and consumer well-being markets. They sit at #388 on the Forbes Global 2000 list, and their SAFe adoption represents one of the larger deployments we’ve seen to date: 42 Agile Release Trains and 1300+ certified practitioners.

Just two years ago, their release cycle time averaged 18 months using a traditional, project-based approach. Looking for a way to accelerate that cycle, they turned to SAFe to transition to Agile and bring an Lean-Agile mindset to business units beyond software development.

Today, Philips has 42 ARTs running across various business units, and SAFe is deployed well beyond the software businesses to include complex systems environments (hardware, software, mechanical engineering, customer support and electrical teams), as well as the R&D activities of a number of businesses, particularly in the Business Group, Healthcare Informatics, Solutions & Services (BG HISS).

The company saw improvements across the board:

  • Average release cycle time down from 18 months to 6 months
  • A greater focus on the customer mindset
  • Feature cycle time reduced from >240 to <100 days
  • Sprint and PI deliveries on time, leading to ‘release on demand’
  • Quality improvements—zero regressions in some business units
  • 5 major releases per train per year on demand, each catering to multiple products
  • 3700+ people engaged in a SAFe way of working
  • Around 1300+ trained and formally certified in Agile and SAFe

The Philips adoption showcases what is possible when an organization is fully committed to the transformation, and diligent in getting their leaders and workers trained in the principles and practices that will drive their collective success. It’s no secret that the results achievable through SAFe directly correlate to the depth of engagement by the organization, and Philips has done an excellent job reminding us of this.

Check out the the full case study for insights on their journey and their recommendations for a smooth transformation.

Many thanks to Stef Zaicsek, Sr. Director Software Technology/CTO; Rani Malli, Senior Director – Business Excellence & Quality Management; Sanne Reijniers, Agile Training, Change & Communications Lead at Philips; and Sundaresan Jagadeesan, Program Manager – I2M Excellence SW Development Program, for sharing their SAFe story.

Stay SAFe,
—Dean

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Author Info

Dean Leffingwell

Recognized as the one of the world’s foremost authorities on Lean-Agile best practices, Dean Leffingwell is an author, entrepreneur, and software development methodologist.

comment (5)

  1. Nagaraja Char

    23 Dec 2016 - 4:59 pm

    Thanks Dean for sharing this article. We are fortunate to work with such a great team and great experience in implementing SAFe framework.

  2. SRIHARI GURU PRASAD THIMMAPURAM

    22 Dec 2016 - 4:36 am

    Thanks Dean for including us (Royal Philips) to evangelize the results of SAFe transformation and how SAFe helping Royal Philips to deliver customer value.
    As a SAFe program consultant (SPC4) and agile coach, I am extremely proud to be part of this phenomenal journey at Philips. I feel myself so fortunate to be associated with great teams, awesome leadership enabling this true transformation at Philips.
    Surely, SAFe is the framework that is so inclusive of all the qualities that are essential ingredients of scaling agile to enterprise.

  3. Nagesh Sharma

    21 Dec 2016 - 3:36 am

    Thanks Dean, for sharing this blog post. It has been a great rewarding experience being part of this transformation journey. I must say that it is a reflection of Leadership engagement, Team work and focus on values and principles that has resulted in the key Business results. Extremely proud to be part of the transformation journey.

  4. Sathyanarayana H R

    21 Dec 2016 - 2:33 am

    Thanks Dean for sharing this case study in your blog. It has been a wonderful SAFe transformation journey with lots of challenges and learning. Proud to be part of this transformation. This is a great forum to share our experiences with practitioners, industry and aspiring SAFe adopters.

    • Dean Leffingwell

      Dean Leffingwell

      21 Dec 2016 - 8:49 am

      Guys, it is nothing less than heartwarming to see how principles, team work, and leadership deliver such great results. SAFe is cool, but it’s just a framework. People do all the work.

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