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Decoding the SAFe Framework: From Dual Operating Systems to Business Agility

Updated: Mar 1

Dual operating system

With digital transformation shaping the business world, organizations must adapt to emerging technologies to create high-quality value and unlock greater possibilities. The main function of this transformation is to support businesses in acquiring new customers and improving their services. When it comes to transformation, adapting the SAFe Framework is the better option for large enterprises to maintain their system by implementing the second operating system to deliver value. Later this leads to achieving business agility.

To be able to include inputs received from clients while the production is still in progress is something attention-grabbing technology that every organization wants to follow. By adapting to the SAFe methodology, businesses can now inherit the Lean, Agile, and DevOps capabilities that promote incremental delivery.

So, how does the SAFe Framework work, and what qualities make the SAFe a dual operating system?

In this blog post, let’s understand how SAFe recommends using a second operating system to deliver value and achieve business agility.

The Concept of Dual Operating Systems within SAFe

The ultimate goal for every business in the market is to cater to their customer needs. And that can be possible only through achieving business agility. So, what is business agility?

Business agility is all about the ability to thrive as a business in this competitive digital world. The idea comprises developing innovative solutions to fulfil customer requirements.

The journey to achieve business agility is quite clear but not easy. It does not promote creating a hierarchy network or starting all over again but makes use of the existing hierarchy with the support of the SAFe Framework. Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a popular methodology that emerged to support businesses in responding to dramatic changes in customer requirements.

Within SAFe comes the concept of Dual Operating Systems which is developed around the Development Value Streams (DVS). Each DVS supports more than one Agile Release Train (ART) that plans, develops, and delivers.

The SAFe second operating system focuses on crafting agile teams that no longer function on daily task processes but work as a self-organized virtual team. The SAFe dual operating system is built on Lean-Agile principles and practices that function quickly without disturbing the existing hierarchy.

The dual-operating system within SAFe are:

  1. Development Value Stream Network: This system under the SAFe Framework covers product research, development, and delivery. The important elements that retain this network are Lean-Agile core values, SAFe principles, important core competencies, and some role-specific practices and guidance.

  2. Operational Value Stream: For long-term success, the Operational Value Stream which is also known as Network Hierarchy supports financial and legal governance activities, people operations, production process, and more. The responsibilities in this system cover consistently producing and selling to the customers. Also, maintaining the products, services, payment, revenue, and cost.

However, unlike the Development Value Stream Network, optimizing the Operational Value Stream is not easy. This challenge can be dealt with SAFe’s extended guidance that includes Lean Business Operations, optimized Lean-thinking People, and Agile Teams.

Discover how you can successfully implement SAFe in your organization with this: “Unleashing Business Agility: How SAFe Creates a Second Operating System For Success?

How does SAFe contribute to achieving business agility?

The SAFe methodology includes the dual operating system and certain core competencies to support Business Agility.

We have already discussed the SAFe dual operating system that comprises certain responsibilities to enhance the productivity of the company. Now Let’s learn about the competencies provided by the SAFe Framework that leads an organization to achieve business agility.

Some of the important Seven core competencies of the SAFe Framework that contribute to business agility are:

  1. Lean-Agile leadership

  2. Team and technical agility

  3. Agile product delivery

  4. Enterprise solution

  5. Lean portfolio management

  6. Organizational agility

  7. Continuous learning culture

These seven core competencies are developed around customer centricity that leads to business agility. By implementing the SAFe methodology, organizations can form a self-organized team that is well-equipped with agile principles, proven practices, tools, and techniques that make the productivity process more engaging. This methodology also supports better collaboration and communication to reduce waste which slows the production process. With better process development the quality improves which leads to huge productivity.


Thus, SAFe as an operating system for Business Agility serves best for organizations with no regard to its size to perform various responsibilities defined in an organization. With its proven practices and tools, SAFe methodology integrates incremental processes that allow changes by leaving the traditional software development methodology behind. It values high-quality tasks to reduce resource wastage which creates a continuous flow in the production process.

For further reading: “Navigating the SAFe Implementation Journey: A Roadmap for Success.”


1.What are the benefits that organizations can gain from implementing SAFe?

SAFe is a popular agile framework that supports organizations with multiple teams and large projects to improve their agility. It provides large enterprises with a structured approach and Lean-Agile principles following which they can improve their product quality and cater to their customers.


2. Discuss some of the key components of the SAFe.

Some of the important key components of the SAFe framework include practices like Program Increments Planning, PI execution, Agile Release Trains, ceremonies like Inspect and Adapt, Lean-Agile Principles and SAFe roles like SAFe consultants, SAFe Release Train Engineers and more.


3. What are the common challenges for SAFe transformation?

Large organizations with existing hierarchies can face challenges like resistance to change, cultural transformation, training programs to acquire knowledge regarding the new system, and framing new teams to execute the projects.


4. What are the other agile frameworks suitable for small organizations?

As SAFe is primarily designed for organizations with multiple teams and projects, it is suggested to implement other agile frameworks like Scrum and Kanban to support projects in small organizations.


5. Discuss the difference between traditional and SAFe agile methodology.

Traditional agile methodology is suitable for small projects and teams that don’t require any changes and SAFe methodology is for organizations with multiple projects that support changes to develop a valuable product.

About Advance Agility

We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting, and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium, and large organizations across the globe.

Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients and move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting the human-centric approach to business agility. Embracing change is in our DNA.

Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitors.

Connect with us at to learn about SAFe and SAFe implementation. Write to us at for any agile training or consulting needs. We are always looking for competent agile trainers as well. So if you are the one or want to become one, do get in touch with us to that we can learn, grow and achieve together.



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