Signify’s Lieven Verdin: “We made our UX design into a shared service for multiple ARTs” 

Design Lead Lieven Verdin and Agile Coach Joris van Doorn have ‘tweaked’ an arrangement that isn’t perhaps orthodox SAFe, but it works well for them. They’re visiting the RTE Summit to shed light on building a shared service for a team that’s too small to be an ART, but too much in demand to be left aside.


The international brand in advanced lighting solutions Signify has four Trains in operation, and they all need UX and other design skills for the many lighting products they develop. Design Lead Lieven Verdin: “Our developer-to-designer ratio is rather high – more than twenty to one, which puts our designers in high demand – and urges us to be efficient and creative in how we practice UX-design.


Lieven Verdin: “Every program comes with design challenges. People research, UX design, interaction design, visual design… SAFe describes how a discipline such as design ought to be embedded in a Release Train, but our design team is too small to have dedicated designers for each ART and its Agile teams. So, we’ve arranged the design team as a shared service… and it works well for us.”

“SAFe can be a bit ambiguous”

He says he appreciates the Scaled Agile Framework, but: “SAFe can be a bit ambiguous about the position of competencies such as UX design in a SAFe organization. We tweaked the framework in other ways too: I’m going to showcase how we built governance …through a UX Centre of excellence, a UXcE if you will, serving all Trains. It contains design systems, guidelines and review protocols.”


But the shared services design team is his main course, he says. “Our designers …enter the PI planning as a team. They are aware of and keep an eye out for features requiring just-in-time design, estimate the story points and plan according to their allocated time and the feature priorities. This requires the support of the RTEs to help address dependencies that arise.

Connect with Lieven Verdin at the RTE Summit  

Signify’s Lieven Verdin will present at the RTE Summmit in November. Ticket sales are going fast, so be sure to book your seat today!


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