Welcome to Scaled Agile Framework® V4.0!
SAFe® is an online, freely revealed knowledge base of proven success patterns for implementing Lean-Agile software and systems development at enterprise scale. It provides comprehensive guidance for work at the enterprise Portfolio, Value Stream, Program, and Team levels.
Our core belief is simple: Better systems and software make the world a better place. We assist those who build these systems through development and publication of the framework, as well as certification, training, and courseware. As you can see from the Case Studies, we are pleased to report that many enterprises—large and small—are getting outstanding business benefits from applying SAFe. These typically include:
- 20 – 50% increase in productivity
- 50%+ increases in quality
- 30 – 75% faster time to market
- Measurable increases in employee engagement and job satisfaction
As you can imagine, with results like those, SAFe is spreading rapidly around the world. Over 60% of the Fortune 100 U.S. companies have certified SAFe practitioners and consultants already on site. We also have an extensive network of more than 75 global partners providing consulting and implementation services in almost every region of the world. And while every business situation is unique, we have found that the straightforward Implementation 123 Strategy always delivers results.
For more on SAFe, please browse the site and subscribe to the blog feed, where we will notify you of new developments. Also, check out Resources, where you can find free posters for the Big Picture, the House of Lean, and SAFe Lean-Agile Principles. You’ll also find SAFe videos and recorded webinars, free presentations, and more. Finally, be sure and check out our parent site at ScaledAgile.com. Even better, attend Training and Certification; perhaps I will see you there.
Our commitment is to continuously evolve SAFe to provide value to the industry—better systems, better business outcomes, better daily lives for the people who build the world’s most important new systems—but only you, the adopters and practitioners, can tell us whether or not we have accomplished that.
The sections below provide more details on SAFe 4.0 as well as the history and status of some prior versions, some of which are still available.
—Dean and the Scaled Agile Team
Introducing SAFe V4.0
This version is a milestone for us. It incorporates learnings from all prior releases (including the SAFe for Lean Systems Engineering branch) into a single, more scalable and more modular framework. It supports both software and systems development, from the modest scale of well under 100 practitioners to solutions that require thousands of people to create and maintain. To better reflect the breadth of new content, we’ve renamed it: SAFe 4.0 for Lean Software and Systems Engineering. Here’s a brief overview:
Portfolio – Guidance for strategy formulation and portfolio communication, organizing and funding value streams, managing the flow of larger initiatives, and governance.
Value Stream – For those building the world’s largest software and systems, guidance includes Solution Intent, solution management, engineering and architecture, Agile Customer and Supplier relationships, and value stream coordination.
Program – Describes Agile Release Trains, teams of Agile Teams that build solution Capabilities and subsystems. ARTs align teams to a common mission, provide architectural and user experience governance, facilitate flow, and provide objective evidence of progress and fitness for purpose.
Team – SAFe teams are self-organizing, self-managing, and cross-functional teams. SAFe teams apply Scrum, XP, and Kanban. They deliver valuable, tested, and working software and systems every two weeks.
Foundations – SAFe is an interactive library of proven success patterns, but it stands on the foundations of Core Values, Lean-Agile Mindset, SAFe Principles, and Lean-Agile Leadership, as well as proven Implementation patterns. These, along with Communities of Practice, are now accessible from the new Foundations background.
Check out the Expand/Collapse tab as well. For a detailed summary of the changes from SAFe 3.0 to 4.0, click here.
The Evolution of SAFe
With four major updates since the initial release in 2011, SAFe has grown with the marketplace and continues to be a work in process. Future versions of the framework will reflect our commitment to developing enhancements that have presented themselves as the industry, our thinking, and experience with effective and scalable Lean-Agile practices mature. Below is a quick look at our recent history.
SAFe Version 3.0 — Available Through December 2016
SAFe V3.0 was released July 28, 2014, and features extensive refinements beyond 2.5 and updates to most articles, as well as content and guidance that helps enterprises better organize around value delivery and improve coordination of large value streams. With a primary focus on an improved representation of the Portfolio level, enhancements in 3.0 included:
- Guidance on the critical role, knowledge, and responsibilities of Lean-Agile Leadership
- Enhanced Portfolio Level – new Kanban, Value Stream, and Epics visualization and flow, new Metrics, Strategic Themes that connect business strategy to Portfolio Vision, and Portfolio Level Nonfunctional Requirements (NFRs)
- Lean-Agile Budgeting optimized for flow “Beyond Project Cost Accounting”
- New guidance on coordinating multiple Agile Release Trains within larger Value Streams
- Deeper guidance on releasing software, including a new Release object and clarity on Developing on Cadence and Delivering Any Time
- Expanded code quality practices: Test-First, Continuous integration, and Agile Architecture
We recognize that there are enterprises that will need version 3.0 for some time to come, so it will be supported throughout 2016. The complete set of 3.0 courseware — Leading SAFe, SAFe Scrum XP, PM/PO, and PPM — will continue to be available as well.
SAFe for LSE Preview 2 – Available through March 2016
Based on market feedback and driven by the mix of people showing up in our SPC classes, in late 2013 we undertook an initiative to extend SAFe into systems engineering. Systems expert Harry Koehnemann of 321 Gang, who is working in the field with some of the largest defense and automotive systems builders, joined us on that mission. In addition, we were also personally and directly engaged in some very large systems development programs. We solicited and received a ton of feedback, from the field and in class, where some of the people building the world’s largest systems attended and graced us with their input. This project lasted about a year and a half. During this time, we developed a new set of guiding principles and two versions of the new Framework for Lean Systems Engineering: Preview 1 in and Preview 2 (pictured right) in March of 2015. A number of key learnings emerged from the process:
- The values and principles of Lean-Agile development, when properly abstracted, are the same whether building large software or large cyber-physical systems.
- SAFe 3.o was insufficiently deep to provide adequate guidance for the largest systems builders. To this end, the new Value Stream level was created. Many other practices, like fixed and variable Solution Intent, set-based development, and model-based systems engineering, were also required.
- People building big systems build smaller systems too. And no one wanted to see two versions of the framework inside a single enterprise. They needed some modularity of approach—more when you need it, less when you don’t. Thus we created the Expand/Collapse tab.
Based on this feedback, we made a fast, major pivot to incorporate the content from SAFe for Lean Systems Engineering in SAFe 4.0 and to collapse the two frameworks into one. You can see this result in SAFe 4.0. More scalable and more modular.
SAFe Version 2.5 — Available through December 2016
On August 6, 2013, we introduced Version 2.5 of the framework, and we recognize that there are users, consultants, and trainers who still have a need for this version. Therefore, in order to support everyone using SAFe, the 2.5 version remains available at safe25.enterprisesafe.net until the end of 2016. This is the site exactly as it was right before we migrated to 3.0, so it will support all of your needs on 2.5.
Last update: 30 November 2015