The Most Loved Framework for Large Enterprises – Agile SAFe


SAFe has become most loved & popular resource for large enterprise companies. Based on agile principles, SAFe as a framework tackles five main components of Project Management: 

1) Architecture, 2) Integration, 3) Governance, 4) Funding, 5) Roles.  

An easy way to understand & remember Portfolio Hierarchy for Agile SAFe – PPRSD – Portfolio, Product, Releases, Sprints, Daily Scrums

We all know that a Release consists of multiple Sprints… for example a software release will always have multiple sprints and each sprint will have a daily scrum. 

A Product may have multiple releases and then each release may have multiple sprints and then the hierarchy continues as above. Now a Portfolio may have multiple products and then the products will have releases and releases will have sprints and then scrums. 

In other words, Portfolio is at the top of food chain if we were talking about the SAFe framework. 

Portfolios usually have a Value Stream and Programs

Let’s have a case study to understand the Agile SAFe portfolio Hierarchy 

Portfolio usually has a Value Stream and Programs

Boeing has different models of Aeroplanes categorized here as Product 1 and Product 2. From time to time Boeing releases different versions of its products – Release 1 –  737-100, Release 2 – 737-200. These releases may have different sprints and daily scrums thus completing the SAFe hierarchy.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the Boeing case Study for Agile SAFe to give you a perspective!!

A Value Stream is a series of steps that an enterprise uses to accomplish something! Concept to Cash, A series of steps, How we deliver Value & How that Value is used by the customer © Scaled Agile, Inc.

The Value Stream 1 here represents 737-100 with Engine as Program 1, Cockpit as Program 2 and Fuselage as Program 3. Each of these programs will have separate teams to deliver different components of the program

An important concept of Agile SAFe Framework is the Agile Release Train or ARTs

At a Program Level all the resources are part of ART – Agile Release Train. 

Agile Release Trains align teams to a common business and technology mission. Each is a virtual organization (typically 50 – 125 people) that plans, commits, develops and deploys together. ARTs are organized around the Enterprise’s significant Value Streams and exist solely to realize the promise of that value by building Solutions that deliver benefit to the end user. 

© Scaled Agile, Inc.



Another important Concept to understand & apply for Agile SAFe is the PI or Program Increment

Program Increment A Program Increment (PI) is a timebox during which an Agile Release Train (ART) delivers incremental value in the form of working, tested software and systems. PIs are typically 8 – 12 weeks long. The most common pattern for a PI is four development Iterations, followed by one Innovation and Planning (IP) Iteration.

© Scaled Agile, Inc.

For understanding roles under ART’s under Agile SAFe – You may want to use their  URL

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