What is SAFe®?
The first edition of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) was introduced in 2011. Since then, the framework has continuously evolved, and the latest version, SAFE 4.5, was released in the summer of 2017. But what is SAFe®, and how is it intended to create value for the organizations?
Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) is a scalable and configurable framework that helps organizations provide new products, services, and solutions with most possible quality and value, but also in the most efficient and sustainable way. SAFe is adaptable to the organization’s needs and situation. It can support small organizations with 50-100 employees as well as large, complex organizations with more than 1,000 employees.
According to Scaled Agile®, who is behind SAFe, the framework describes the roles, responsibilities, artifacts, and activities that are necessary to implement Lean-Agile development. The framework is based on knowledge and experience, and it is a well-documented approach to develop complex systems and software from a Lean-Agile mindset.
Overall, SAFe provides the solution for how to scale the agile practice from the team to the program and across the entire organization in order to deliver faster and better results. Additionally, the framework is based on how to best organize the employees in relation to creating value, so that deliveries and value creation happen efficiently without delays and bureaucracy asmight occurin a traditional hierarchical organizational structure. SAFe also provides means to manage dependences among teams and to create transparency across teams, programs, and value streams. It also helps to measure and control the agile teams’ performance, their work, and how to help the team improve without creating additional obstacles.
According to Scaled Agile, SAFe also answers how you construct an organizational environment which produces collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement. It explains how to actively create a culture that tolerates mistakes and rewards willingness to learn and take risks.
The illustration above shows the configuration SAFe® Portfolio. There are four different configurations of the SAFe-model: ’Essential SAFe’, ’Portfolio SAFe’, ’Large Solution SAFe’, and ’Full SAFe’. These configurations offer organizations the opportunity to start out simply and gradually expandthe framework as the needs increases.
Scaled Agile Framework is a framework which aims to synchronize collaboration and deliveries across several agile teams. It strengthens the organization’s agility, increases productivity and quality, shortens time-to-market, and enhances employee involvement and satisfaction.
SAFe® and Scaled Agile Framework® are registered trademarks of Scaled Agile, Inc.
The figure is reproduced with permission from © Scaled Agile, Inc.
SAFe®4.5 introduction – Overview of Scaled Agile Framework for Lean Enterprises, A Scaled Agile, Inc. White Paper, August 2017