Project Management

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

last edited by: Tyler Reainthong on Feb 16, 2020 12:49 AM login/register to edit this page

1 Applications
2 Procedures
3 Instructions
   3.1 Team Level
   3.2 Program Level
   3.3 Portfolio Level
4 References

Created by Dean Leffingwell, Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), is an approach to scaling agile practices across an enterprise. Providing guidance at the portfolio, program and team level, its’ a proven framework based on the principles of Lean and Agile.

In short, SAFe is a set of best practices and models for implementing agile practices at enterprise scale. It aims to address some of the problems identified with other agile methodologies when attempting to scale. SAFe brings Agile to a new level, combining readiness for change with efficiency by using Lean principles and tools.


  • Enterprise architecture
  • Enterprise Integration
  • Funding across the organization
  • Global Governance
  • Positions at scale


SAFe is a highly complex methodology and is constantly evolving. SAFe principles include:

  1. Take an economic view
  2. Apply systems thinking
  3. Assume variability; preserve options
  4. Build incrementally with fast, integrated learning cycles
  5. Base milestones on objective evaluations of working systems
  6. Visualize and limit work in process, reduce batch sizes, and manage queue lengths
  7. Apply cadence, synchronize with cross-domain planning
  8. Unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers
  9. Decentralize decision-making


There are three levels in SAFe:

Team Level

  • Scrum with XP engineering practices are used
  • Deliver working, fully tested software every two weeks (one iteration).
  • There are five to nine members of each team

Program Level

  • Agile Release Train (ART) is the program equivalent to an interation for a team.
  • Between five and ten teams work together on a train. They synchronize release and iteration boundaries.
  • Every ten weeks (five iterations) a ART delivers a Potentially Shippable Increment (PSI).
  • Demo and inspections occur on all PSIs
  • Planning begins for the next PSI during or directly after the inspection.
  • Features can originate at the Program level, or from the epics at the Portfolio level.
  • The Release Train Engineer (RTE) is the macro-ScrumMaster

Portfolio Level

  • Investment themes drive budget allocations with a span of six to twelve months
  • Business epics (customer-facing) and architectural epics (technology solutions)
  • Manage epics in a kanban system


  1. SAFe® 4.0 Distilled: Applying the Scaled Agile Framework® for Lean Software and Systems Engineering 1st Edition. Richard Knaster, Dean Leffingwell. Addison-Wesley Professional, March 13, 2017.

last edited by: Tyler Reainthong on Feb 16, 2020 12:49 AM login/register to edit this page

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