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    September 27, 2023

    CVS Health - A Miracle Occurs - How We Integrated Design into SAFe

    For decades, leading companies have created dedicated design teams as equals of product and engineering teams to create more compelling products and services. 

    The reason is simple:  Design teams are uniquely qualified to bring customer centricity to organizations by leading the practice of Lean UX and facilitating Design Thinking, helping organizations traverse the ‘double diamond’ of design thinking practices.

    Unfortunately, this practice is NOT common in many technology companies, leading to solutions that are cumbersome, fail to meet customer needs, and result in higher sales and service costs, lower customer satisfaction, and lower profits. These challenges can be especially pronounced when companies adopt and adjust their use of SAFe, especially in the early days when there are so many new ways of working being integrated into the organization.

    In this talk, Design Leaders at CVS Health share their journey incorporating decades of agile design experience into SAFe by extending SAFe principles and practices to design and aligning design roles to all levels of SAFe. 

    Just a few weeks later, the CVS Health Design Leads and Luke reunited for a follow-up "Ask Me Anything" webinar! Check it out! 

    View Recording | Download Presentation

    Email Header 2 - Design in SAFe

    About Lys Maitland

    Lys Maitland is a Director in the User Experience Research at CVS Health Digital Design.

    She has been working in Digital Design for over 25 years as a UX Designer and Researcher. She has had the pleasure of starting her career in the late 90’s and experiencing the rise of the internet and mobile technology. When she began her career the internet was a brand new technology and user experience discipline was in its infancy.

    She has been fortunate to have such a rich space to allow her to leverage her deep curiosity about people into developing products and services that help solve their problems. Lys has a long history of working both in-house and for agencies. Through these companies she have had the chance to work on a wide variety of sectors.

    Throughout her career, Lys has worked in many different frameworks starting in waterfall and moving through Agile and SAFe. Throughout all of these frameworks there is friction in how to incorporate User Centered Design, Design Thinking and ensuring the solutions actually solve user and business needs. In her time at CVS working with SAFe she has been exploring how to incorporate research and design in the SAFe framework.

    About James McElroy 

    James discovered the profession of Product Design after a series of chance encounters with a disgruntled building architect, an Olympic ski coach, and an automotive designer.

    He instantly fell in love with a profession he had never heard of, went back to school after getting a degree in mechanical engineering to understand the human factors behind successful design, and has spent the last 27 years building and leading Design Teams for companies across diverse industries ranging in size from startups to Fortune 5.

    Over the years, he realized that his background gave him a unique perspective on designing better products. James was fascinated with how to make design work more efficient and effective by applying his design training to focus on the people behind the design process. This passion pulled James into teams responsible for improving the product development process in a variety of frameworks (Voice of Customer, Six Sigma, RUP, Scrum, XP, Pivotal Labs, and most recently SAFe). 

    Initially a SAFe skeptic based on its absence of design guidance, James became a convert thanks to amazing trainers who inspired him to earn his SPC and team up with other design leaders to clarify how to integrate Design into SAFe.

    Luke Hohmann

    Luke has been involved with Applied Frameworks since its founding in 2003. He later went on to start Conteneo, a collaboration software company which was acquired by Scaled Agile in 2019. While at Scaled Agile, Luke served as a SAFe® Framework Contributor and Principal Consultant, with significant contributions to the SAFe Agile Product Delivery (APD) and Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) competencies and the SAFe POPM, APM, and LPM courses. He is an author and cited as an inventor on more than a dozen patents. His books include Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products through Collaborative Play (2006), Beyond Software Architecture (2003), Journey of the Software Professional (1996), and the upcoming Software Profit StreamsTM (2023) co-written with Applied Frameworks CEO Jason Tanner.