Customer Experience: ABB The Deployment of the SAFe Model in the Entire Organization

Deployment of SAFe in the Distribution Solutions Unit at ABB and the Organization of the PI Planning Event

ABB Distribution Solutions

ABB Oy is a technology company supplying electrification products and robots, as well as motion control, industrial automation, and power network solutions. In Finland, ABB operates in approximately 20 locations. ABB Distribution Solutions provides services, products, and solutions for smart power distribution systems.

new.abb.com/power-distribution

Agile Methods from Product Development to the Entire Organization

 

ABB Oy Distribution Solutions has been using agile methods in their product development for a long time already. In 2016, the company decided to scale the functional methods upwards for the entire organization to use in order to improve the customer value production chain. SAFe, i.e., the Scaled Agile Framework, was selected as the operational model. Contribyte is helping ABB with the deployment of the model and the organization of the PI Planning event.

ABB Oy is a technology company supplying electrification products and robots, as well as motion control, industrial automation, and power network solutions. In Finland, ABB operates in approximately 20 locations. The most significant factory locations are Hamina, Helsinki, Vaasa, and Porvoo.

“ABB operates in over 100 countries and employs approximately 132,000 persons, including about 5,100 in Finland,” says Juha Ekholm, who works as a product development manager in the Distribution Solutions unit at ABB Vaasa.

“ABB Distribution Solutions provides services, products, and solutions for smart power distribution systems. We operate globally and have sales operations in over a hundred countries,” Ekholm continues.

 

Scaling Upwards from Product Development

 

ABB Distribution Solutions has been using agile methods in their product development for several years already. In spring 2016, ABB decided to start scaling the agile methods upwards to also make them part of the operations of the rest of the organization. Along with this, the company participated in Contribyte’s Leading SAFe training. SAFe, i.e., the Scaled Agile Framework, is an operational model that covers the entire organization from product development to sales and marketing.

“During the training, we all got along so well that we knew right away that our collaboration could only be successful. After we were given permission to start scaling this upwards, we immediately knew who to contact,” Ekholm recalls.

“Instead of just working in product development according to the orders of the product managers, we will include them in the planning. Together, we will devise a short-term plan to make the customer value production chain as good and quick as possible,” says Program Manager Katja Rantanen from the Distribution Solutions unit at ABB Vaasa.

"The Collaboration Has Been Extremely Easy"

 

After the training, Contribyte has helped ABB with the deployment of SAFe and the organization of the PI Planning event, which is part of the structure of the model. ABB organizes the event four times a year at three-month intervals. Ekholm and Rantanen consider the increase in awareness and transparency to be among the greatest benefits of SAFe.

“The best thing has been that we have also had to learn. We have been challenged, and we have learned new things. It’s also great how well we have managed to make the collaboration of such a large group of people work,” rejoices Rantanen.

“According to our experience, Contribyte is one of the best Finnish operators in the field. We have been very pleased with the service they have provided. The collaboration has been extremely easy. It has been like talking to my own colleagues. We have a very open operating environment,” Ekholm summarizes.

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