Bosch / ETAS – Agile Framework

Presented at 2019 Global SAFe Summit, San Diego Oct. 2, 2019


For over 130 years the name “Bosch” has been associated with forward-looking technology and trailblazing inventions that have made history. Bosch does business all over the world and is active in the most wide-ranging sectors. In particular, BOSCH is the largest supplier for the global automotive industry.

Dr. Volkmar Denner, CEO of Bosch; “For Bosch agility is crucial, it allows us to adjust to the increasing speed of change around us. Agility allows us to remain in a position as an innovation leader.”

This video tells the story of how an enterprise of more than 70,000 knowledge workers and traditionally independent business areas have faced the challenge of an agile transformation and started an alignment to common a strategy for mobility solutions and the SAFe journey. It provides a deep dive into one of Bosch`s Business Units, ETAS, and shows what was already achieved by introducing SAFe and focusing on current activities in Lean Portfolio Management and how the company organizational structure is being adopted as a consequence of the SAFe transformation.

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TomTom – Implementing SAFe in Consumer Electronics

Implementing SAFe in Consumer Electronics

“There is no doubt in my mind that without SAFe and Rally we would not have launched this in only 140 days. It is also our best new product ever.”


Consumer Electronics


Best known for being a global leader in navigation and mapping products, TomTom also creates GPS sports watches, as well as state-of-the-art fleet management solutions and industry-leading location-based products. They are the mapping provider for Apple Maps, and the maps and traffic data provider for Uber drivers in over 300 cities worldwide. Headquartered in Amsterdam, TomTom generates 1 billion euros in annual revenue, with 4,600 employees worldwide.

In 2012, the organization was facing a number of challenges:

  • Organised as waterfall projects
  • Many projects working in all parts of the code with minimal module or component ownership
  • Many releases are months-quarters late
  • Multiple code lines and branches
  • Negligible automated testing & no continuous integration
  • “downstream” teams spend 3,4,5 months accepting the code and often changing it
  • Poor visibility and facts-based decision-making

After reading Dean Leffingwell’s Agile Software Requirements—their SVP read it cover-to-cover on his vacation—they decided to transition to SAFe. Their first step was to provide SAFe training for their CTO, SVPs, and 50 CSMs and CPOs. From there they began reorganizing from the Scrum teams up, arranging product clusters and component Scrum teams around the idea of one Agile Release Train (ART) per product.

Six months into the transition, they were given a previously unheard of goal of a 126-day launch cycle for their 4th generation of consumer navigation products. This put SAFe to the test, as it cut their development time down almost two thirds from what was previously a 1-year cycle. Launching 5 ARTs—1 product each—they assigned 4-14 teams to each train, working across multiple locations.

Highlights of SAFe Benefits

Implementing SAFe in Consumer Electronics
  • Reliable and predictable releases of production code
  • Fail fast (<2 weeks) is better than after 6 months
  • Detect/prevent issues with each new submission
  • No bottleneck at the end
  • Reduces waste as others stay up to date
  • Improved transparency and info sharing
  • Teams establish ways of working & esprit du corps
  • Improves estimating by allowing historical comparisons
  • Team controls their own commitments
  • Sustainable development

Today SAFe is practiced by all of TomTom’s large product teams representing navigation software, online services, map creation and sports software. That represents approximately 750 FTEs, with 200+ trained and certified in SAFe.

Their 32-page case study is well worth the read as it summarizes their experience over a 5-year period, revealing both wins and challenges. Their breakdown of the “Good” the “Bad,” and the “Ugly,” makes it particularly interesting for any large enterprise wanting to understand the ins and outs of a real world SAFe adoption.

A special thanks to TomTom’s  James Janisse, VP Connected Navigation System, and Han Schaminee, SVP Location Technology Products, for sharing your story.

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