What is SAFe? (Scaled Agile Framework) part 2

In the previous blog about the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), I explained the motivations  for organizations to use this well-known Agile scaling model. In this blog I will discuss the available content and the use of the framework itself.




Training is needed

Nevertheless, it is very necessary to garner information from data, in order to experience practicality in theory. Getting yourself trained is the most common way. You can attend various training courses, depending on your role and place in the organization. You could also agree to learn from each other in a group of users. A bit like how Meet-up works. Such an informal learning circle is called Community of Practice in SAFe. If you still want to take the plunge and learn for yourself: SAFe information can be found via their website. There is also a page with explanations on what SAFe is. All information is only available in English. You can click on all icons to learn more about a specific item.


The structure of the Framework

There are four layers on the plate, each with a black line. Each layer is a specific coordination layer for product development work.

  1. The Team level tells the story of mostly multidisciplinary teams working with Scrum, Kanban and/or eXtreme Programming;
  2. The Program level with the Agile Release Train represents the gathering of more than 5 Agile teams up to 150 people working together on a product;
  3. Level 3, Large Solution, is only mentioned when a product with more than 150 people has to be made. On top of the teams and program coordination layer, an extra couple of people with specific tasks to do will come to ensure quality.
  4. The portfolio level represents the transparent work on value by leaders within the organization. This mainly concerns making choices about budget, priorities of Epics and feeding the train with the most valuable work.


Customised version

On the left and bottom of the framework, you see a grey bar with icons and words. The grey bar on the left is also called “Spanning Palette” or “customizing table”. This allows you to get to know core elements such as setting up a support team for the executive teams. The bottom grey bar forms the basis of the SAFe plate. There are, for example, the 12 implementation steps.

Are you already dizzy? Too much information, isn’t it? It’s not so bad having all kinds of information in one place. But then again, without training, this is just not easy to handle.


We are curious about your experiences with SAFe!


Want to know more? Contact me: 


Abram Janse is trainer and coach at Gladwell Academy. He supports the development of social innovation and specializes in interactive agile and change management training. Here he makes use of serious gaming, gamification and online learning platforms for a playful and fun transfer of knowledge and skills.