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What is SAFe? Why SAFe?

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe): SAFe is a freely available online knowledge base that allows the application of lean-agile practices on an organization-wide level. It provides a simplified and easy to integrate software development process. It is a coming together of organizations and workflow patterns that guide enterprises in implementing Lean and Agile practices. It is divided into three sections which are Team, Program, and Portfolio.

The SAFe framework:

  • Is based on Agile and Lean principles.

  • Allows implementation of Lean and Agile software and systems on an organization level.

  • Gives a demonstrated guidance for work at the enterprise Portfolio, Program, Value Stream and Team

  • Is fully capable to meet the needs of various stakeholders within an enterprise.

SAFe was first developed was propagated in Dean Leffingwell's works; both books as well as blogs. Version 1.0 was the first official release in 2011. It details out how to work at enterprise Portfolio, Value Stream, Program, and Team levels.


Why Agile Framework: It is a simplified and very lean framework and at the same time can handle the needs of large value streams and complex system development. A SAFe agile framework implementation results in the following benefits:



Scaled Agile Framework Architecture: The following image shows how the Agile Process works:

When to use Scaled Agile Framework:

  • When multiple teams are running their respective Agile implementation but regularly facing obstacles, delays, and failures.

  • When a team wants to implement an agile approach consistently across larger, multi-team programs and portfolios.

  • When you want to scale Agile across the organization but are unsure as to what new roles may be needed or what existing roles need to change and how.

  • When you have tried to scale the Agile across your organization but are struggling in synchronization to implement uniform or consistent strategy across business departments.

  • When an organization is intending to improve its product development lead time.

How SAFe is different than other Agile Practices:

  • It's free to use and is publicly available.

  • It comes with easy usability and is easily accessible.

  • It is lightweight, comes with proven results, and is specific to a particular level.

  • It regularly modifies the most commonly used agile practices.

  • It offers useful extensions to common agile practices.

  • Integrates agile practices to an enterprise context.

  • It offers a holistic picture of software development.

  • It is visible and transparent on all levels.

  • It has the option of regular feedback on quality and improvement.

Fundamentals of Scaled Agile Framework:



Different Levels in SAFe:

Summing Up:

  • It is equipped to solve "How to plan?", "How to budget?", and "How to achieve cross-functionality in architecture and DevOps?"

  • SAFe is an industry-proven, value-focused method for scaling Agile at the Organization level.

  • SAFe Agile framework enables the large enterprise to meet its strategic goals and not just individual objectives.

  • The framework can maintain and create a centralized strategy to deliver value.

  • The SAFe model has four levels that centralize the strategic themes of an organization.

  • It comes up with a centralized strategy, combined with the de-centralized agile development execution.

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