Scaled Agile Framework Enterprise (SAFe): what it is and how it is composed

Scaled Agile Framework Enterprise (SAFe)
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For large companies, the concepts of speeding up and optimizing are key to the operation and achievement of their objectives. In this opportunity, we tell you what you should know about the Scaled Agile Framework Enterprise. Keep reading and find out what it is and how it is composed.

What is the Scaled Agile Framework Enterprise (SAFe)?

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a framework composed of a series of patterns and flows based on the principles of Lean and Agile, for the development of software and systems at the corporate level.

The benefits of its implementation result in a notable increase in productivity, a substantial improvement in quality and extremely fast time to market.

SAFe can be an essential tool when the company or corporation has many business units or various teams and team leaders, and needs to coordinate and carry out different projects.

On its official page, SAFe provides a quick reference guide to resolve doubts, but its implementation is complex and must be carried out by an expert consultant.

SAFe structure levels

To explain it in a simple and synthetic way, we list the different levels of SAFe structure that can be implemented, depending on the maturity and complexity of the organization:

1. Team Level

They are the agile teams that work with Scrum or Kanban, made up of a product owner, a scrum master and a dev team. They are responsible for creating features, guaranteeing quality with eXtreme Programming and Lean Development techniques.

2. Program Level

This is a set of at least 5 agile teams that form an Agile Release Train (ART) at the program level and is led by a Release Train Engineer (Operations Director). Each ART works on the same program that contains several projects.

The benefit of this grouping is to align the teams with the business strategy followed by the program.

3. Grand Solution Level

It is a value chain that helps orchestrate the work of multiple ARTs. In general, it is applied when it is necessary to support the development of architectures of large and complex systems.

4. Portfolio or Management Level

This level provides governance, financing and coordination for several value chains or for all ARTs included in them. This facilitates the alignment of the entire strategy of a company within a corporation or a large business unit within a company.

Principles of the Scaled Agile Framework Enterprise (SAFe)

  1. To adopt an economic point of view to deliver the highest value in quality.
  2. To apply systems thinking so that everyone on the team understands the whole system.
  3. Assuming variability, avoiding carrying out the complete design from the beginning.
  4. To incrementally build with rapid and integrated cycles, following agile methodologies.
  5. To establish milestones to evaluate the progress of the work, holding meetings as they are done in Scrum.
  6. To visualize and limit the WIP (Work In Progress) to adapt it to the capacity of the team.
  7. To apply cadence through iterations, to have a good rhythm of work and synchronization.
  8. To motivate team members by offering autonomy and purpose.
  9. To decentralize decision-making to streamline the process.
  10. To organize based on value as the main focus of efficiency.

As you can now see, the Scaled Agile Framework Enterprise (SAFe) is applicable on a large scale, in large and mature corporations. However, you may be able to make sense of it on a smaller scale, by applying, for example, the Equipment Level.


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