Large Solution level key to managing diverse entities for Finland’s largest telecom provider
“SAFe seemed like a 1-to-1 match for us. Someone had already come up with a model to address our needs, which brought better requirements management, prioritization, governance, and a common language for the entire organization.”
—Risto Reinikainen, Head of Lean Agile Center of Excellence, Telia Finland
Our latest case study comes from Telia, the largest mobile operator in Finland and one of the country’s biggest providers of landline telephone and internet services. There’s a cool aspect to their story that has to do with a major rebranding effort—literally changing the company’s look overnight—that was so well executed the transition appeared seamless to customers and the public.
How did they do it? Behind the scenes, the company had been working for months to deliver by the target date. But there’s more to it than that. For this and other initiatives, SAFe was providing the essential framework to execute the very complex and mammoth-sized initiative on schedule.
Three years earlier, Telia adopted SAFe after several years of applying mostly homegrown practices in an attempt to accelerate time-to-market and improve quality.
They diligently trained employees and suppliers who would be joining Agile Release Trains (ARTs), with as many people as possible going through Leading SAFe® and many earning SAFe® Agilist (SA) certifications. For suppliers, Telia created a guidelines document on working with Telia and applying SAFe, and a workshop to reinforce the concepts.
While early Program Increments did not go as smoothly as hoped, they improved each time as the number trained edged closer to 250.
More recently, Telia deployed SAFe’s Large Solution level to accommodate its more than 200 systems, many dependencies, and numerous external suppliers. In turn, they gained greater transparency, more synchronization, and more value with one prioritized backlog.
Telia currently runs two ARTs and two Large Solution Trains with around 350 people. Since moving to SAFe, the company reports quantitative and qualitative results to show its progress:
- 39 percent more capabilities than before
- 34 percent less cost
- 94 percent accuracy delivering on commitments for a major rebranding
- Teams deliver incrementally and more often
- People are more engaged in and satisfied with their work
- For more details on Telia’s SAFe journey, and their best practices, check out the complete case study.
Special thanks to those shared Telia’s SAFe story, including Risto Reinikainen, Head of Lean Agile Center of Excellence, Telia Finland; and Nina Pakkanen, Solution Train Engineer (STE), Telia Finland.