SAFe® (Scaled Agile Framework®)

The Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) is a set of organisational and workflow patterns for implementing agile practices at an enterprise scale. The framework is a body of knowledge that includes structured guidance on roles and responsibilities, how to plan and manage the work, and values to uphold. SAFe promotes alignment, collaboration, and delivery across large numbers of agile teams. As businesses grow in size, SAFe provides a structured approach for scaling agile.

Dean Leffingwell and Drew Jemilo released SAFe in 2011 to help organisations design better systems and software that better meet customers’ changing needs. At that time, teams used traditional project management processes  to deliver software. But as the need to rapidly respond to changing market conditions increased, new frameworks emerged to help businesses improve solution delivery across their enterprises, and SAFe was born. Today, SAFe is one of the most popular scaled agile delivery frameworks, and SAFe’s worldwide community of practitioners continue to evolve it.

From the perspective of organisational transformation, it is worthwhile considering whether the agile mindset is sufficiently developed in order to implement SAFe®. If yes, it can provide a customer centric framework that helps in offering both efficiency and stability served with a hint of innovation. 

Pros

  • Scalability at all levels of the organisation from project teams to executives.
  • Clear vision of program increment, cross-team dependencies and cultural sustainability.
  • Alignment of business and IT strategy with enterprise goals.

Cons

  • It can appear to have a more top-down approach due to the multiple layers of administration and coordination.
  • The framework is considered by some to be anti-agile as they view it as too complete to help an agile company culture thrive.

Recommended resources:

Scaled Agile®

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