Many leaders pride themselves on setting the high-level direction and staying out of the details. But big picture, hands off leadership isn’t likely to work in a change situation, because the hardest part of change—the paralyzing part—is in the details.
Any successful change requires a translation of ambiguous goals into concrete behaviors. To make a switch, you need to script the critical moves.
—Chip & Dan Heath, Switch 
SAFe Implementation Roadmap
Note: This is the home page for the SAFe® Implementation Roadmap series. There are an additional 13 articles in this series, each of which is linked in sequence from the sections below.
Getting Started with Implementing SAFe:
The SAFe Implementation Roadmap consists of an overview graphic and a 14-article series that describes a strategy and an ordered set of activities for successfully implementing SAFe.
Achieving business agility and the benefits of Lean-Agile development at scale is not a trivial effort, so SAFe is not a trivial Framework. Before realizing SAFe’s rewards, organizations must embrace a Lean-Agile Mindset and understand and apply Lean-Agile principles. They must identify their Portfolio(s), Value Streams, and Agile Release Trains (ARTs), implement their Lean-Agile Portfolio(s), build quality in, and establish the mechanisms for continuous flow of value delivery and DevOps. And, of course, the culture must evolve as well.
The transformation of an organization towards full business agility requires the change leadership acumen to create persistent people practices and the mindset needed to support the change. Such a change also requires a practical and proven guide that brings the change into sequential action supported by a robust guiding coalition. Based on proven organizational change management strategies, the SAFe Implementation Roadmap graphic and article series describes the critical moves an enterprise can take to implement SAFe in an orderly, reliable, and successful fashion. As described in the Implementation Roadmap, the strategy for Implementing SAFe is based partly on John Kotter’s work in organizational change management . As listed below, Kotter identifies eight ‘accelerators’ of leading a change. These are integrated throughout the SAFe implementation roadmap to enable change leaders along their journey.
Create a sense of urgency
Build a guiding coalition
Form a strategic vision
Enlist a volunteer army
Enable action by removing barriers
Generate short-term wins
To achieve the desired organizational change, leadership must “script the critical moves,” as described by Chip and Dan Heath . When identifying those critical moves for adopting SAFe, hundreds of the world’s largest enterprises have already gone down this path, and successful adoption patterns have emerged. Figure 2 illustrates a typical pattern.
Figure 2. SAFe Implementation Roadmap
While no two adoptions are identical, and there is rarely a perfectly sequential step-by-step implementation, we know that businesses getting the best results follow a path similar to that shown in the Implementation Roadmap. Each step on the roadmap is described in a separate article:
 Heath, Chip, and Dan Heath. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. Crown Business, 2010.
 Kotter, John P. Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster-Moving World. Harvard Business Review Press, 2014.
Last update: 4 May 2023