SAFe Study notes

3 min readDec 8, 2023

I have been studying SAFe recently. And I thought it would be a good idea to pen down my notes and observations on the way. This would be good one step article to get all the key ideas for learning.

Clearly, SAFe seems to be useful because I have seen teams using scrum struggle with people and team growth. Each team may seem to be doing fine, but the end result is not good and nobody is happy. SAFe seems to be trying to address this scenario.

This is mostly for SAFe 5.1

  • Alignment — communicate vision, mission & strategy; connect strategy to execution; speak common language; constantly check for understanding; understand the customer.
  • Transparency — create trust based environment; communicate directly; openly & honestly; turn mistakes into learning moments; visualize work; provide ready access to needed info.
  • Respect for people — value people & opinion diversity; coaching & mentoring to grow people; customer is anyone who consumes your work; build long-term partnerships based on mutual benefit
  • Relentless Improvement — create constant sense of urgency; build problem-solving culture; reflect & adapt frequently; let facts guide improvements; provide time & space for innovation

This is done to scale up development for larger projects and multiple scrum teams.

I liked the idea of going up from Essential - Large Solution - Portfolio based on the company size. And the idea that beyond 125 people, it is hard to have one release train. Multiple Scrum Teams make an Agile Release Train.

3 Levels: Essential, Large Solution, Portfolio

4 Configurations: Essential, Large Solution, Portfolio, Full

I liked the idea of the product backlog becoming the team backlog, and eventually the program backlog, because I have seen companies struggle to prioritize a single backlog, when multiple initiatives needed to be done in parallel.

I also saw a video where they mentioned that Kanban is implemented within SAFe, and it is not necesarily using scrum for all the teams.

The people within Essential SAFe are:

  • Business Owners
  • Product Management




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