Australia Post delivers on the promise of a digital future with SAFe
“SAFe has really helped bring the organization along its transformation journey. Its real value has been in the way it links strategy with decentralized execution, using metrics to enable a high level of transparency and fact-based decision making to focus on achieving business outcomes.”
—Natalie Field, Head of MyPost Consumer
The digital era has affected every industry, but perhaps none more so than postal service organizations. In the face of significant disruption and competition, Australia Post took proactive steps to turn that threat into opportunity. That’s the focus of our latest case study, which shows how a 200+ year-old institution used SAFe as both an operating model and a tool for transformation. Their goal: to drive sustainable, lasting change that fundamentally shifts how the organization approaches and delivers against its strategies.
The organization began by training more than 900 people in Leading SAFe and SAFe for Teams courses, including key roles across executive leadership, and within business functions such as finance, risk, architecture, security, marketing and sales, and of course technology leadership and teams.
To achieve sustainable change, Australia Post focused on several best practices:
- Cross-functional, long-running teams – Australia Post moved from transient project teams to cross-functional, long-running teams aligned to customer experiences
- Culture – They invested significantly in evolving the culture of the organization to one where curiosity, innovation, and a learning mindset predominate
- Technology enablement – Improving delivery flow and time-to-value required an effective build pipeline and deployment infrastructure aligned to DevOps principles
- System of work – Implementing a new way of working extends to every part of the organization that supports the delivery of business initiatives
Today, five Agile Release Trains (ARTs) now support Australia Post’s value streams and associated enterprise strategies. In particular, the train focused on the parcel delivery experience, MyPost Consumer, which has achieved strong outcomes in the past couple of years:
- Higher throughput – Since their initial Program Increment event, the throughput of the train’s business outcomes rose in 18 months by over 400% with only a 20% team size increase
- Improved first-time delivery – Their First-Time Delivery rate jumped by 7 percentage points over 12 months
- Reduced cost – Australia Post reduced its infrastructure costs by 98%
- Predictability – The train consistently delivered on 80% or more of its objectives
- Customer satisfaction – The Net Promoter Score rose by 8 points over the course of one year
- Employee engagement – Employee satisfaction and engagement increased
- Industry accolades – The train was voted the Best Customer Centric Project in Australia / New Zealand by the CX Management Conference
Australia Post continues to evolve and grow to meet the needs of its business. Its focus on continuous improvement means the organization ever challenges itself to create the next wave of trusted services for its customers.
For more insights on how Australia Post rolled out SAFe, check out the case study. I also encourage you to download their PDF presentation, Enabling Australia Post’s digital future with the Scaled Agile Framework, which provides another layer of rich detail and some really cool infographics illustrating their journey.
Special thanks to Daniel Fajerman, Head of Digital Engineering; Natalie Field, Head of MyPost Consumer; and Mark Richards of CoActivation for sharing their SAFe story.