Glossary: SAFe

Scaled Agile Framework, or SAFe®,  is a framework, which provides guidance for applying on the five core competencies. Those help organizations become a Lean Enterprise.

  1. Lean-Agile Leadership
  2. Team and Technical Agility
  3. DevOps and Release on Demand
  4. Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering
  5. Lean Portfolio Management

The creator of the framework is Dean Leffingwell who is Chief Methodologist at Scaled Agile, Inc.

Even it looks very complex, SAFe helps introduce Agile into different types of companies. Therefore there are multiple SAFe configurations which needs to be considered thoroughly to apply in the company:

  • Essential SAFe which is great for small companies who develop a product with multiple teams and features split among them.
  • Portfolio SAFe for companies that develop a larger portfolio consisting of multiple products.
  • Large Solutions SAFe for teams who create a solution from multiple portfolios.
  • Full SAFe, very complex products.

Scaled Agile Framework 4.6


The framework is fully described on pages.



Copyright © Scaled Agile, Inc.

An Agile Release Train, or ART, is a long-lived, self-organizing team that plans, commits and executes together. It is the long-term team of the team with a maximum size of 150 people. ART connects teams who work on the same product, but different parts of it. There are dependencies which are most consume-type of relations.

Agile Release Train

Agile Release Train usually supports one Value stream of the company, while the value stream can be supported by multiple ARTs at the same time.

  • The schedule is fixed.
  • A new system increment every two weeks.
  • The Program Increment timebox is fixed – All teams on the train are synchronized to the same PI length (typically 8 – 12 weeks).
  • The train has a known velocity.
  • Agile Teams.
  • Dedicated people.
  • Face-to-face PI Planning.
  • Innovation and Planning (IP).
  • Inspect and Adapt (I&A).
  • Develop on Cadence. Release on Demand.

Copyright © Scaled Agile, Inc.

The Program Board is a visual summary of features or goals, deadlines and any cross-team dependencies that should be delivered by Agile Release Train.

The program board is built in the Program Increment Planning session in which all ART’s team plan, estimate and prioritize features.

program increment board