Agile HR with SAFe 4.0: A New Whitepaper and Guidance Article

Agile HR with SAFe 4.0: A New Whitepaper and Guidance Article

Foundations SAFe Resources SAFe Updates

Hi Folks,

Many talk about how HR/People Operations is different with Agile, but few have opined on specifically HOW it’s different, and what specific practices need to evolve to replace traditional performance reviews and the like. Well, we are rarely hesitant to opine on any matter material to Lean-Agile Development at enterprise scale (for example Lean Budgeting has been really interesting), so you can now add Agile HR to the list!

Over the last six or so, I’ve been working with Agile HR expert Fabiola Eyholzer, to come to terms with some specific recommendations for how HR can evolve in the context of SAFe. The result is a new Guidance article and downloadable white paper which you can find here.

Agile HR with SAFe: Bringing Lean-Agile People Operations into the 21st Century.

Here’s an abstract/teaser:


Lean-Agile development with SAFe reinvents the way we develop systems and helps build an engaged, talented, and vigorous workforce. But it also highlights the disconnect of traditional practices with the realities of 21st Century people and organizations. In order to remain competitive, enterprises across all industries must transform their business activities to leverage the digital age.

While Lean-Agile development can actively address critical aspects of Human Resources (HR) like engagement and performance; it also highlights the disconnect of traditional HR in a Lean-Agile world. It compels enterprises to embrace “Lean-Agile People Operations” as the 21st Century People approach.

In this whitepaper, we describe the six basic themes that can guide Leaders and their HR Partners on how to address various aspects of more contemporary Lean-Agile People solutions:

#1        Embrace the New Talent Contract

#2        Foster Continuous Engagement

#3        Hire for Attitude and Cultural Fit

#4        Move to Iterative Performance Flow

#5        Take the Issue of Money off the Table

#6        Support Impactful Learning & Growth


No matter where you are in your transformation journey, the time is right to embrace Lean-Agile People Operations and become equipped to deal with the challenges of today’s organizations and people. If you are interested in learning more about how to align your HR themes with the mindset and flow of your SAFe Lean-Agile enterprise, download and read the full whitepaper!


Dean, Fabiola, and the SAFe framework team.



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 (4)

  1. Christophe Keromen

    07 Feb 2018 - 1:57 am

    Nor more downloadable white paper?

    • Richard Knaster

      07 Feb 2018 - 10:26 am

      Hi Christophe:

      I’ve fixed the link to the link to the white paper. Please try again. If it’s still a problem, please provide the error message.


  2. Shridhar Karandikar

    16 Aug 2016 - 4:53 am

    #5 Take the issue of money of the table : Can you elaborate this one

    • Richard Knaster

      16 Aug 2016 - 7:21 am

      Hi Shridhar:

      Take the money off the table means, pay people enough so that money is not an issue. For example, pay competitive and fair wages. Structure compensation so people are not worrying about getting their bonus to pay bills and live well.

      Eliminate policies that cause unhealthy competition (e.g. stacked ranking and other compensation structures), and inhibit alignment of individuals to the ART, Value Stream and Portfolio mission and purpose.

      For more information, watch Drive the suprising truth that motivates us:

      Or read Daniel Pink’s book:


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