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What is Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe)?

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Table Of Contents

SAFe® (Scaled Agile Framework) is a concept that supports companies in applying agile practices at an enterprise level. It provides organizations and teams with a set of workflow and structure templates to scale their agile processes while maintaining the flexibility to adapt the model to meet needs. This leads to an increase in efficiency and at the same time enables rapid innovations. It also supports the implementation of lean and agile principles in the company and helps build trust between different stakeholders.

SAFe® - A Proven Method for Scaling Agile Practices in Enterprises

SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) is an implementation and certification approach for Lean and Agile practices in business processes. It uses the principles of Scrum and other software development methodologies to help companies improve their processes and is widely used and a great choice for any organization. Adopting SAFe offers many benefits, including reducing complexity, increasing the pace of innovation, and encouraging teamwork.

SAFe is a proven method that organizations can use to achieve their business goals. It focuses on delegating decisions to teams and giving them more autonomy and takes an economic approach to decentralization. While leadership retains authority for strategic decisions, it enables its teams to make informed decisions in all other areas. A SAFe process is a powerful tool for organizations that have a strong Scrum foundation.

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) Training

SAFe provides the framework for all agile methods

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a framework for managing agile practices that aim to scale agile methods from teams to the entire organization. It is the latest iteration of the Lean and Scrum approach and aims to improve the performance of an organization. SAFe emphasizes that agile teams are aligned with the organization's mission and improve the company as a whole.

SAFe is also a top-down planning framework that encourages lean-agile decisions across teams and departments. By using SAFe, companies can improve the alignment, collaboration, and quality of their projects. It is a useful tool when used properly and can help businesses succeed and achieve their goals.

The history of the Scaled Agile Framework

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is an approach to scaling agile practices developed by Dean Leffingwell and Drew Jemilo in 2011. It is designed to help companies develop better systems and software and better meet the ever-changing needs of customers.

SAFe enables large teams to be broken down into smaller, cross-functional teams that collaborate across departments and have streamlined workflows. In contrast, traditional companies are typically organized by function, and each team is divided into functional departments, which can lead to communication disruptions and difficulties in scaling.

SAFe is a roadmap to help companies grow and scale, especially important for companies that have multiple departments or are growing rapidly. It is an approach to improve the agility and flexibility of companies and contributes to the achievement of business goals.

Scaled Agile Framework® - The SAFe Principles

SAFe is for developing solutions with a systems approach. This means understanding how the elements of the solution interact with each other to create the best solution. This methodology combines the advantages of agile and lean methods. The SAFe principles are based on this mindset. Here is a brief overview of each of these components.

1. Take an economic perspective

A basic economic understanding is required to ensure the best possible way and the best quality for people and for society in the shortest possible time in a sustainable manner. Decisions that are made on a day-to-day basis must be made in an appropriate economic context. Therefore, a good incremental value creation strategy and economic framework for each value stream are important. SAFe highlights precisely these trade-offs between risk, delay costs, operating costs, and manufacturing and development costs.

2. Systems thinking

Over time it was realized that it was necessary to have an understanding of the systems to meet the challenges in the workplace as well as in the market. As is well known, such systems are very complex and consist of many interconnected components. Optimizing the components does not automatically optimize the system. To improve this, everyone needs to understand the overall goal of the system. In SAFe, exactly this system thinking is applied to the system to be developed and the organization.

3. Accepting variability - preserving possibilities

Choosing the right design and requirements at the beginning of a development process is critical, as getting the wrong starting point can negatively impact the time and resources needed to make future adjustments. One method to avoid this is to maintain multiple requirements and design options throughout the development cycle. This allows empirical data to be used to focus on the best options, ultimately leading to a design that achieves optimal economic outcomes.

4. Build incrementally with fast, built-in learning cycles

Step-by-step development of solutions enables much faster customer feedback and also reduces risks. Subsequent increments build on the previous one. Since the system is always running, it is possible to use some increments as prototypes for validators and market tests.

5. Building milestones on objective reviews of working systems

Company owners, developers, and also customers have a shared responsibility to ensure that investments as new solutions bring economic benefits. To better master, these challenges, integration points in Lehn Agile development provide objective milestones at which the solution can be better evaluated. These periodic reviews are required and provide the financial, technical, and operational guidance to ensure that continued investment is producing a reasonable return.

6. Visualize and limit production targets (WIP) and reduce the batch size to keep waiting time short

Visualizing and limiting the amount of work (WIP) increases throughput while limiting demand to actual capacity. To ensure a faster and more reliable process, it is also necessary to reduce the number of work batches. In addition, the waiting times are kept short.

7. Establishment and synchronization of work rhythms through cross-departmental planning

Cross-departmental planning creates predictability and provides a rhythm for development. In addition, through synchronization, multiple perspectives are understood, resolved, and integrated at the same time.

8. Unleash motivation from knowledge work

Every Lean-Agile leader knows that ideation, innovation, and employee engagement in general are not necessarily motivated by individual incentive pay. Keys to increasing employee engagement include ensuring autonomy and purposefulness, minimizing constraints, and better understanding.

9. Decentralization of decision-making

Decentralized decision-making is very important for rapid value creation. Because this not only reduces delays but also improves product development. It also enables faster feedback and creates more innovative solutions.

10. Organization of value

Even today, many companies are organized according to principles that were developed over the last century. However, the only sustainable competitive advantage in the digital age is the speed with which a company can respond to the needs of its customers with new and innovative solutions. Therefore, it is of great importance to quickly and seamlessly organize your values around the constantly changing market and customer requirements.

What are the advantages of SAFe®?

SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) provides a variety of business benefits including agility, multifunctional teams, transparency, higher-level decision-making authority, improved work culture and productivity, seamless collaboration, increased employee engagement, and improved employee satisfaction and retention rates. All this ultimately leads to an increase in production and quality of solutions for the company.

SAFe Benefits - Continuous Delivery

One of the most compelling benefits of SAFe is its emphasis on continuous delivery. Unlike many other methods, SAFe encourages cross-functional collaboration. The key to success is alignment. It also encourages people to work towards the same goal, which is to help the customer. The organization also benefits from increased productivity and transparency. This innovative approach is a big plus for any company. When it works well, it leads to greater employee satisfaction and improved customer relationships.

SAFe has proven to be scalable in many contexts.

SAFe® Benefits – Flexibility, Reliability, and Consistency

This method is very effective and has been used by organizations to gain a competitive advantage. The benefits of SAFe come from flexibility, reliability, and consistency of SAFe. It is widely used in many industries. SAFe is very effective in reducing queues. The SAFe method promotes teamwork. Small teams are divided into different areas and their output is published after each sprint iteration.

What are the core values of SAFe®?

Scaled Agile Framework is a method of scaling that combines the principles of Scrum, Lean, Kanban, and DevOps. This makes the company as agile as it needs to be. The four core values of SAFe:

1- Orientation:

Companies, businesses, or organizations that are not internally aligned can have problems making the right decisions or reacting correctly to unexpected changes. Aligned companies, on the other hand, are agile. Because they can adapt quickly and deal better with unforeseeable events.

2- Built-in quality:

It is of the utmost importance that product quality is built in and monitored at all stages of the process and not added later after inspection.

3- Transparency:

With the Scaled Agile Framework, transparency is most crucial. Because without a clear view, facts are just opinions and decisions are made based on gut feelings, which can be counterproductive.

4- Program execution:

At SAFe, execution of the process and production view is critical as value must be constantly delivered. With agile teams and an Agile Release Train (ART) guaranteeing program execution, the job gets done with ease.


What are the four levels of SAFe®?

Scaled Agile Framework includes four incremental configurations or tiers. These are as follows:

  • Level 1: Essential SAFe

Is the simplest configuration. Includes critical elements such as Lean-Agile Leadership, Team and Technical Agility, and Agile Product Delivery.

  • Level 2: Large Solution SAFe

Coordinates and synchronizes across multiple programs with a Lean-Agile approach that streamlines the development, deployment, and evolution of large and complex software applications.

  • Level 3: Portfolio SAFe

This level includes strategy, finance, and lean leadership through organizational agility and lean portfolio management.

  • Level 4: Full SAFe

All of the above levels are combined here. In addition, a continuous learning culture is created for constant growth in knowledge, performance, competence, and innovation.

Why a SAFe® certificate is required

The SAFe training provides a comprehensive understanding of the framework. So you can easily act as a SAFe Agilist and also as an authorized SAFe partner. During the training, you will learn the basics of SAFe as well as agile programs and the portfolio management of agile programs. This improves team quality and efficiency and allows you to integrate the Scaled Agile Framework into your current projects.

Therefore, SAFe certification is important for every organization. The process of SAFe requires training at all levels. It is best to take a course that covers SAFe methodology in depth. A SAFe exam is highly competitive, so it's important to prepare for it as best you can.

Many people around the world - such as Agile coaches, business analysts, systems and solution architects, portfolio managers, product owners, and CEOs - have already attended Scaled Agile Framework training courses to help their companies and teams in the transition to the new way of working. If you are also interested in participating in one of these courses, then visit our website. There you will find all the current courses that we offer around SAFe.

Which certification course should you take?

It depends on your current role and the reason you want to improve that role. Earning a SAFe certification will help you succeed in the job market. Most organizations are turning to an agile approach, and SAFe is an excellent method to achieve this.

We offer the following courses:

Leading SAFe certification (SA):

A certified SAFe Agilist (SA) strategically leads the adoption, success, and continuous improvement of the Lean-Agile culture in an organization. Above all, SA helps to define the company's mission and vision. He also communicates strategic decisions and the need for change to all stakeholders and teams. SA motivates knowledge workers in particular by helping them develop their skills and careers in a way that is heard for the company's mission and vision.

Leading SAFe® (SA)

SAFe for Architects Certification (ARCH):

With this certification, you have the opportunity to improve collaboration and alignment in a SAFe Lean-Agile organization if you choose to become a SAFe Architect. The SAFe for Architects (ARCH) course prepares systems, solutions, and enterprise architects to establish themselves as effective leaders and change agents across the enterprise. Here the participants primarily learn the importance of the role as well as the responsibility and mindset of Agile Architects. They will also learn how to align architecture with business value and how to encourage continuous flow while supporting SAFe programming leadership.

SAFe® for Architects (ARCH)

SAFe Scrum Master Certification (SSM):

A certified SAFe Scrum Master (SSM) is a team-based servant leader who supports individual teams to self-organize, manage, and deliver high value through effective Agile practices. A Scrum Master supports and guides the scrub process and other processes agreed upon by the team. Also, the Scrum Master helps the team coordinate with other teams in the Agile Release Train (ART) and relays status to management as needed.

SAFe® Scrum Master

SAFe Advanced Scrum Master Certification (SASM):

A certified SAFe Advanced Scrum Master, SASM for short, is also a Servant Leader but has a much more diverse role than the Scrum Master. A SASM provides integrated practices to facilitate the success of multiple teams, programs, and organizations in larger projects.

SAFe® Advanced Scrum Master

SAFe Product Owner / Product Manager Certification (POPM):

The SAFe Product Owner (PO) serves as a customer representative for the team, collaborating with product management and other product owners, among others. A PO plays a significant role in the quality and is also the only team member with the authority to accept processes as done.

A certified SAFe Product Manager (PM), on the other hand, serves as the customer's internal voice for the Agile Release Train and works closely with the PO to develop customer vision and communicate it to the development teams. In addition, the PM provides an economic prioritization need for the ART, defines the functions of the system, offers solutions that meet relevant standards and other system quality requirements and participates in the validation of the proposed feature-value hypotheses.


SAFe Agile Software Engineering Certification (ASE):

A certified SAFe Agile Software Engineer is part of an agile team that understands the fundamental principles and practices that make up the discipline of ASE. Because he understands that the continuous flow of value creation and the quality building is only possible through modern practices such as technical XP practices, behavior-driven developments (BDD), or test-driven developments (TDD). Best practices for modeling, designing, implementing, verifying, and validating are also used in SAFe.

SAFe® Agile Software Engineering

SAFe Lean Portfolio Management Certification (LPM):

In this course, participants will learn the practical tools and techniques required to implement Lean Portfolio Management capabilities. With this certificate, you will have the opportunity to assess the current and future state of your portfolio according to the basic principles of SAFe as well as to identify key business initiatives to achieve them. The course also provides specific methodologies and insights into setting up Lean Budget Guardian value stream budgets and measuring Lean Portfolio performance.

SAFe® Lean Portfolio Management

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