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What is Scaled Agile Framework SAFe? | Video

What is Scaled Agile Framework SAFe? | Video

Scaled Agile Framework is widely used in organizations. In this video, I want to answer the question, ‘What is Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)?’

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Scaled Agile Framework

Scaled Agile Framework is an agile framework for agile development and management at an enterprise scale. It gives organizations a structured approach for scaling their agile practice.

Four Configurations of Scaled Agile Framework

SAFe offers four configurations at different scales: 

  • Essential SAFe
    The level of a single team, project, or program
  • Large Solution SAFe
    Multi-project or multi-program level, without portfolio management tools
  • Portfolio SAFe
    Adds in concerns for governance, strategy, and value
  • Full SAFe
    Integrates the three levels together in a single framework

SAFe is a Body of Knowledge

The framework is a body of knowledge that includes guidance on:

  • Planning
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Work management
  • Practices and Values

What Scaled Agile Framework Offers

Scaled Agile provides training and certifications that cover all areas and knowledge levels, and specific contexts like DevOps and Government.

SAFe provides tools and processes for alignment, collaboration, and delivery across large numbers of agile teams. It was formed by drawing upon: 

  • Agile software development methods
  • Lean product development
  • Systems thinking.

The Ten principles of Scaled Agile Framework

Like many modern articulations of project management, SAFe has a set of principles – 10 since the recent introduction of SAFe 5:

  1. Take an economic view 
  2. Apply systems thinking 
  3. Assume variability; preserve options 
  4. Build incrementally with fast, integrated learning cycles 
  5. Base milestones on an objective evaluation of working systems 
  6. Visualize and limit Work in Process (WIP), reduce batch sizes, and manage queue lengths 
  7. Apply cadence, synchronize with cross-domain planning 
  8. Unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers 
  9. Decentralize decision making 
  10. Organize around value

How Does Scaled Agile Framework Compare with Other Methods

It is, perhaps, the largest agile framework (in terms of adoption), with the other big players being:

  • Scrum of Scrums (SoS)
  • Large Scale Scrum (LeSS)
  • Disciplined Agile (about which we have a video – however, DA offers a toolkit, rather than a full implementation framework, as the others do)

SAFe is also the most complex of the four. Therefore, it is perhaps the one best suited for enterprise-wide deployment at scale.

Based on many of the processes of Scrum, SAFe is fairly prescriptive – with Disciplined Agile being at the other end of the scale. Implementation of SAFe requires a considerable investment in learning, infrastructure, and support.

Carefully curated video recommendations for you, starting with other methods, in which we answer the question, ‘What is…

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What Kit does a Project Manager Need?

I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own. 

Check out the Kit a Project Manager needs

Note that the links are affiliated.

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About the Author Mike Clayton

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.

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