“ASML embraced SAFe, and now SAFe embraces the Architect.”

Trainer and IT Architect Hans van Herwaarden is clear when it comes to SAFe for Architects, the role-specific course that came available for training this spring. “This course gives the Architect a sense of belonging and understanding of SAFe that is greatly appreciated.” He should know: his recent audience of Architects at lithography giant ASML provided living proof.


“First, some context,” says Hans. “ASML builds the hyper-sophisticated machines that allow other companies to produce semiconductors. Self-contained chip factories, a billion Euros a piece.

It’s a huge company, it’s relentlessly innovative and it has a product that ‘dances on the cutting edge of physics’. We often call something ‘rocket science’ when it gets complicated, but ‘rocket science’ is what these people have for breakfast. Naturally, the work at ASML attracts the smartest people from all over the globe, and only the smartest of these folks can fill the role of Architect.”


Largest SAFe implementation ever?

He continues, with a smile: “What that means for us trainers: this is a crowd that takes little for granted. They had watched ASML slowly but surely embrace SAFe – just about the largest adoption of the framework in the world today. But most of them didn’t think much of it… Product Owners, Release Trains… what role do we play? The framework identifies the System and Solution Architect, but it didn’t explain those roles to sufficient depth – until now.”


Looking under the hood

“As a former Architect myself, I jumped at the chance to train ARCH when Scaled Agile launched the course – and at ASML no less, where perhaps more Architects work than any other company. This will be interesting, I thought. And it was. Very.”

“Over the course of several days, we pulled the framework apart together and inspected it ‘under the hood’ to see what makes it tick. They naturally needed very little explanation and drew far-reaching conclusions as quickly as I had expected. An entity relationship diagram, linking the constructs together… it was fascinating to witness.”

“But the course also provided them with insights and a new relevance to their work that drew them closer to SAFe than ever before. Their company had been immersed in a change that so far had not included them – and now they were coming in from the cold. ASML had embraced SAFe, and now SAFe was embracing the Architect.”

SAFe for Architects training

Gladwell Academy offers an SAFe for Architects training which prepares system, solution and snterprise Architects to think beyond their ART and engage across the organization as effective leaders and change agents. Click here for more information.

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