Are you curious about the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) but don’t know where to start?
SAFe has recently become the most popular framework for scaling agile practices beyond a single team. See for instance the annual State of Agile report for 2017.
At the same time, since the first release in 2011, the SAFe framework has become gradually more comprehensive, and the SAFe “Big Picture” might seem overwhelming at a first glance.
If I want to understand what SAFe is about, where do I start?
The first step should be to study the Agile Manifesto, SAFe core values and SAFe principles. These serve as the foundation for SAFe, and inspire all of the concepts in the framework. When adopting SAFe and tailoring it to your specific needs it is important to still have these principles in mind, in order to not “break” anything and to get the full benefits from working in a lean and agile way.
The second step in approaching SAFe could be to study the “out-of the-box” configurations of the framework. The smallest, “Essential SAFe” only contains the most basic and critical building blocks, and is the simplest starting point for implementation. For larger systems and enterprises, there are the “Large Solution”, “Portfolio” and “Full” SAFe configurations to choose from. An enterprise can start simply, and yet have the ability to grow as its needs evolve over time.
There are plenty of articles, tutorials and videos about SAFe available online. The SAFe website with a clickable “SAFe Big Picture”is a great source of reference, but for a novice to get started the white paper from Scaled Agile can be recommended.
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