Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) explained\n\nThe Scaled Agile Framework encompasses a set of principles, processes, and best practices that helps larger organizations adopt agile methodologies, such as Lean, Kanban, and Scrum, to deliver high-quality products and services faster. SAFe is particularly well-suited to complex projects that involve multiple large teams at the project, program, and portfolio levels.\n\nSAFe provides larger organizations with a way to leverage the benefits of Scrum and Kanban in a more scalable way. It enables larger organizations to manage projects with a higher degree of agility, offering a way for stakeholders across multiple groups to get feedback faster. This accelerated feedback loop leads to higher engagement levels, increased productivity and job satisfaction, and improved work quality, as well as deliverables that reach the market faster.\n\nKey elements of SAFe: Value streams and agile release trains\n\nAt the core of any successful SAFe implementation are value streams and agile release trains (ARTs). Value streams refer to the set of processes by which an organization creates value for its customers, which can be internal users or external consumers or clients. These process flows are broken down into sequences of activities necessary to transform a business concept into a valued digital solution. An ART is a team comprised of agile teams that, along with stakeholders, develop one or more solutions in a value stream.\n\nThe Scaled Agile Framework operates at four levels, depending on an organization\u2019s size and SAFe maturity. At the Team Level, an organization may have a number of teams working in an agile fashion toward a particular goal or solution. At the Program Level, an organization will have implemented an ART, which typically comprises 50 to 125 team members split into sub-teams that work in a synchronized manner to deliver value. The third level, Large Solution Level, involves two or more ARTs coordinated as a solution train. At the highest level, aka Portfolio Level, the entire business operates using agile methodologies to govern its portfolio of solutions, including how it goes about strategizing and investing in its operations.\n\nSAFe principles\n\nSAFe is built on 10 key principles derived from existing Lean and agile principles:\n\nSAFe core competencies\n\nThe Scaled Agile Framework is built around seven core competencies. Together these competencies offer the knowledge and skills to enable large organizations to achieve business agility.\n\nSAFe vs. Scrum\n\nSAFe and Scrum are both agile methodologies to solution development. Whereas Scrum is a framework for individual teams, SAFe is aimed at scaling agile principles across large organizations. In fact, SAFe incorporates much of Scrum into its framework, just at scale.\n\nFor example, whereas Scrum emphasizes daily standup meetings and incremental development sprints, SAFe goes a step further by also implementing program increments, which Scaled Agile, the SAFe framework\u2019s provider, defines as \u201ca timebox during which an agile release train (ART) delivers incremental value in the form of working, tested software and systems.\u201d Further, Scrum\u2019s primary roles of product owner, Scrum master, and development team member are expanded under SAFe to include roles such as release train engineer and solution train engineer, among others.\n\nOverall, while Scrum is best suited for individual teams or a small number of related teams, SAFe is designed for large enterprises, spanning multiple teams and projects, while providing a broader scope for driving agile at scale.\n\nSAFe vs. DAD vs. LeSS\n\nWhile SAFe focuses on alignment, teamwork, and provisioning across a large number of agile teams, there are other popular frameworks for scaling agile at larger organizations, including Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) and Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD). It is important to understand each of these frameworks so that your organization can select the best option for your projects.\n\nSAFe: Practitioners created the Scaled Agile Framework by investing in three main bodies of knowledge: agile software system development, systems thinking, and Lean product development. It has been a well-recognized approach to scaling agile practices.\n\nDisciplined Agile Delivery (DAD): DAD is focused on the end-to-end lifecycle of products, from inception to delivery. It is driven by seven principles: delight customers, be awesome, pragmatism, context counts, choice is good, optimize flow, and enterprise awareness.\n\nLarge-Scale Scrum (LeSS): LeSS focuses on getting all teams seeing the entire product rather than taking the view from a \u201cmy part\u201d perspective.\n\nFor a deeper comparison of these and other scaling agile frameworks, see \u201cSAFe vs. LeSS vs. DAD vs. LeadingAgile: Comparing scaling agile frameworks.\u201d\n\nMaking the shift to SAFe\n\nThere are 12 general processes organizations should follow to implement SAFe, although it is important to note that each step should be modified as needed to fit your organizational needs.\n\nSAFe certification\n\nSAFe certifications are becoming valuable when hiring people with demonstrable skills and knowledge. The Scaled Agile Academy offers a range of SAFe certifications based on role:\n\nSAFe training\n\nThere are many options for SAFe training, especially online such as free podcasts by PM Podcast, Scaled Agile, Learning Tree, Simplilearn, Agilest, and LinkedIn. There are many options out there, so it\u2019s important to do your due diligence before selecting the right SAFe Agile trainer. Take a close look at each trainer and training to ensure it will meet your goals.