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What is the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)?

SAFe is a popular framework for scaling agile to large organizations.  SAFe is well know its “Big Picture”, which is a 1 page graphic that shows the three levels of SAFe (Portfolio, Program, Team) as well as the many roles, ceremonies and artifacts involved in SAFe.


  • Provides a framework for large organizations and scaling
  • A good marketing tool when explaining how agile applies to large organizations
  • Publicly available and coming out with new versions each year


  • Can fail if implemented poorly
  • Practitioners can easily fall into the trap of doing things because “SAFe says so”
  • Many of the artifacts can’t be used unless practitioners are certified
  • Artifacts can’t be modified/adapted without permission

What Certifications are Available?

SAFe has several certifications of its own, offered by Scaled Agile Academy.

Scaled Agile Academy

SAFe Agilist (SA)

SAFe Practitioner (SP)

SAFe Program Consultant (SPC)

SAFe Program Consultant Trainer (SPCT)

SAFe Product Manager/Product Owner (PM/PO)

Additionally, practitioners could also benefit from of the other certifications that relate to topics that SAFe builds on.

SAFe Introduction Video

You May Be Interested In


What are Good Books Related to SAFe?

Dean wrote 2 books that were the foundation for the framework.  These books provide a much deeper explanation and understanding the the framework.  The framework has evolved since these books were written, but the underlying principles in the books still apply and can be seen in the framework.

Agile Software Requirements
Scaling Software Agility

 What are Other Related Books?

SAFe is built upon many principles and ideas, including Lean, Scrum and XP.  The below books are recommended to learn more about these underlying principles and frameworks that SAFe is built upon.


Principles of Product Development Flow