An Introduction to the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®)
The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a methodology for managing and coordinating large-scale
projects that involves multiple teams working on complex, enterprise-level initiatives. SAFe
provides a framework for scaling Agile development methods to large projects while maintaining
the benefits of Agile, such as faster delivery times, improved quality, and greater customer
History of SAFe
SAFe was first developed by Dean Leffingwell, an experienced software executive and consultant,
in 2001 as a way to scale Agile development methods for large-scale, complex projects.
Leffingwell's goal was to create a framework that would enable organizations to achieve the
benefits of Agile development while also addressing the challenges that arise when scaling
Agile to large, enterprise-level projects. SAFe was first introduced in Leffingwell's book
"Agile Software Requirements: Lean Requirements Practices for Teams, Programs, and the Enterprise,"
which was published in 2011.
SAFe is based on a set of core principles that guide the framework. These principles include:
Take an economic view
Apply systems thinking
Assume variability; preserve options
Build incrementally with fast, integrated learning cycles
Base milestones on objective evaluation of working systems
Visualize and limit WIP, reduce batch sizes, and manage queue lengths
Apply cadence, synchronize with cross-domain planning
Unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers
SAFe is a layered framework that provides guidance on how to organize and coordinate teams
to achieve large-scale project goals. The framework includes four layers:
Portfolio layer: Provides a strategic overview of the work to be done and the resources available.
Program layer: Manages the work of multiple Agile teams to deliver large-scale initiatives.
Team layer: Consists of multiple Agile teams working on specific features or components.
Individuals and interactions: Focuses on the Agile values and principles that underpin the SAFe framework.
Benefits of SAFe
SAFe provides several benefits to organizations, including:
Increased productivity and efficiency
Faster time to market
Improved quality and customer satisfaction
Better alignment between business goals and technology projects
Improved communication and collaboration between teams
Increased employee engagement and motivation
Examples of SAFe in Action
SAFe has been adopted by organizations in a wide range of industries, including software
development, IT, manufacturing, healthcare, finance, and government. Some examples of
how SAFe has been used in different industries include:
Managing the development of a new mobile app
Streamlining production processes in manufacturing
Managing the implementation of a new electronic health record system in healthcare
Developing a new trading platform in finance
Managing the development of a new citizen services portal in government
SAFe is a powerful framework that enables organizations to manage large-scale, complex
projects while maintaining the benefits of Agile development methods. By adopting SAFe,
organizations can increase productivity, efficiency, and customer satisfaction while
improving communication and collaboration between teams. Whether you work in software
development, manufacturing, healthcare, finance, or government, SAFe can help you achieve
your project goals and drive your organization forward.