EdgeVerve embraces cultural change and expedites releases by 50 – 66% with SAFe
“SAFe was the right fit because of the dynamics and goals at EdgeVerve. It helps bring the alignment and cultural change needed to deliver faster results in an organization with many dependencies across products.”
—Dr. Ronen Barnahor, Head of Agile Business Transformation, EdgeVerve Systems
In a maneuver designed to move up the value chain, Infosys created EdgeVerve Systems in 2014 to deliver products, platforms, and solutions that would help drive growth. The strategy paid off as Gartner and Forrester consistently name EdgeVerve at the top of their rankings for banking platforms.
Focused on providing even greater value to their customers—banks across 94 countries serving 848 million consumers—the company set an aggressive goal of improving time-to-market, quality, flexibility, and predictability. In our latest case study, EdgeVerve shares the story of how they adopted SAFe to achieve those goals.
The company’s leaders understood from the get-go that cultural change would be the most important and likely toughest transition. They put significant effort into building support for the effort from top to bottom. Edgverve’s Head of Agile Business Transformation, Dr. Ronen Barnahor, was quick to quote Peter Drucker’s meme, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” They also understood that their efforts to change weren’t going to be effective without leadership playing an active role in the transformation.
First, they created buzz and internal buy-in by training VPs, directors, and about 30 other leads before training C-level executives. At the first Program Increment (PI) Planning event, bringing together 60 individuals from across India, the CTO attended to demonstrate the importance of the effort. Managers became key influencers in the cultural change, and using the common terminology and ceremonies of SAFe also helped align everyone.
As the company launched two ARTs, it did so with just two coaches. For that reason, EdgeVerve continued running non-SAFe teams on the same cadence—in what it calls a “hybrid model.” Today, the company runs eight ARTs with approximately 800 people across three Value Streams and one Portfolio. They launch a new ART every six weeks. At the same time, they run five teams-of-teams that are not part of the SAFe transformation.
Additionally, the company adjusted the organizational structure to support the change. From developer to head of engineering, EdgeVerve reduced the number of organizational tiers from seven layers to just four layers.
Perhaps the biggest difference came in moving the distinct testing organization, which was under Delivery, into Engineering—a decision that quickly improved relations between developers and testers.
Their focus on culture paid off. Less than a year after deploying SAFe, EdgeVerve reported significant gains:
- Faster time-to-market – For large enterprise products, release time dropped from 12-18 months to six months, and for small products, from six months to three months
- Improved predictability – The company plans consistently every 10 weeks, which increases flexibility for changing scope with minimal cost
- Expedited feature speed – Feature cycle time went down by 50 percent
- Elevated efficiency – The cost per feature point dropped by eight percent from one PI to the next
- Fewer defects – The company significantly improved early detection of defects, leading to fewer escaped defects and increased customer satisfaction
For more details on how EdgeVerve rolled out SAFe, check out the case study.
Special thanks to Ronen Barnahor, Head of Agile Business Transformation, and Jasdeep Singh Kaler, AVP, for sharing their SAFe story.