Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) in a nutshell

November 15, 2013

In the early days, Agile development was used for pilot projects at the enterprise level. Developers worked in small teamssafe_in_a_nutshell-336x336 Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) in a nutshell SAFe  experimenting with making lean and Agile methods work in their environment. The pioneers noted what worked and what didn’t, and went on to develop various frameworks and strategies for the “simple” implementation, as well as the large-scale adoption of Agile.

Scaled Agile adoption by enterprises has boomed in the last few years. As a growing number of enterprises realize the benefits, more and more executives are starting to pay attention to implementing and practicing lean and Agile methods at scale. The most important management responsibility remains measuring improvement and ROI. It requires from management to choose the solution that best fits their business model & products, and helps shorten the delivery and release phases in order to outperform competitors.

Once enterprises decide to go Agile, they have several methodologies and frameworks to choose from. While experts and consultants tend to specialize in one single method, and promote it exclusively, there is no universal agreement about which is the best framework or method. Needless to say, there is no one-fits-all solution, and every framework has pros and cons.

A quick look at the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®)

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) is perhaps the most widely implemented scaled Agile framework, and is used by hundreds of large companies worldwide. Let’s see what SAFe is all about, in a nutshell:

  • What is Agile and Scrum for teams, that is SAFe for companies
  • The Scaled Agile Framework was created by Dean Leffingwell
  • It allows large enterprises to make the transition to Agile in a controlled and structured way
  • SAFe describes three levels of scale: the Team, Program and Portfolio level
  • Helps align team-level development and business strategy
  • Provides PSI (potentially shippable increment) and Release Planning for Agile Release Trains
  • Constantly evolving framework that supports the structured adoption of Agile

The Scaled Agile Framework is a highly structured and largely prescriptive method that helps large enterprises get started with adopting Agile. While some claim it should be considered a first step to Agile rather than actual 100% “real” Agile, it is in fact an increasingly popular framework that is successfully and efficiently used by companies in various industries. It is the go-to option for large, software-intensive projects where teams are highly interdependent.

codeBeamer ALM is the first proven implementation of SAFe®. Lately, Medtronic’s (the global leader in medical technology) Neuromodulation department has used codeBeamer ALM to implement SAFe in their development efforts. To learn more details about how exactly they were able to adopt new processes, read our Medtronic customer case study.

codeBeamer’s advanced features provide adequate support to manage the processes of all three levels identified by the Scaled Agile Framework (Team, Program, Portfolio levels). Its demand management feature set allows you to efficiently identify, prioritize and track requirements across departments. Our ALM platform offers collaborative features to help align the teams that form the Agile Release Train. Developers on the Team level benefit from its integrated requirements management, development management, and QA & test management feature sets.

To learn more about the Scaled Agile Framework, and how codeBeamer ALM supports enterprise-grade Agile development through SAFe, read our brochure about codeBeamer’s SAFe Template, or watch the webinar recording below.

Have any questions? Contact us for a live 1-on-1 demo, or start your free evaluation of codeBeamer ALM today!

SAFe® and Scaled Agile Framework are registered trademarks of Scaled Agile Inc.

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Eva Johnson

Written by

Eva is an Economist (MSc) and also holds an MBA in Marketing Communications. She has over 10 years of experience in journalism, digital media communication and project management working with several multinational companies and governmental institutions. You will find her blogs posts on a variety of subjects from Agile-Waterfall Hybrid, Scrum to DevOps.

Eva Johnson has written 131 posts for Intland Software.

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