What is a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and How Does it Help with Complex Software Development?

February 22, 2023 Karrie Sundbom

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

What is a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and How Does it Help with Complex Software Development?

What is a Scaled Agile Framework?

Scaled Agile Framework, or SAFe for short, is a robust framework for managing significant software development projects. It provides guidance on how to organize tasks, manage risk, improve predictability, and maintain the benefits of Agile development.

The SAFe methodology can be used to organize and coordinate large-scale software development projects and is a comprehensive structure that provides guidelines for scaling Agile development methods — from modest, single-team projects to larger, multi-team ones.

SAFe offers a scalable and adaptable approach to task planning and management that reduces risk, boosts predictability, and takes advantage of Agile development’s benefits. The SAFe techniques, roles, and artifacts provide guidance on how to manage dependencies, align teams, and consistently deliver value while enabling teams to work together under a shared framework and language.

SAFe’s essential elements include:

  • Agile Teams: SAFe describes how Agile teams should function as well as the tasks and responsibilities of each team member.
  • Program Backlog: A prioritized list of work that serves as a guide for value delivery.
  • Program Increment: Refers to the time-boxed period of time where teams produce value.
  • Solution Train: The task of coming up with a solution falls under the purview of a multidisciplinary group known as the “Solution Train.”
  • Agile Release Trains (ARTs): A collection of Agile teams working together to create a solution.
  • Value Streams: A series of steps that the organization uses for delivering value to customers.
  • Program Increment (PI) Planning: A regularly scheduled, joint planning session that brings teams in the ART come together to organize and plan tasks, and align on vision, roadmap, and cross-team dependencies.

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What kinds of businesses employ a Scaled Agile Framework?

Organizations that create and deliver complex goods, such as software, often employ the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) — particularly in settings where there are many teams, large-scale projects, and numerous stakeholders. SAFe is especially helpful for enterprises that need to manage dependencies, coordinate work across various teams, and consistently deliver value. Organizations across a range of sectors, including technology, finance, healthcare, government, and more, use SAFe.

Due to the fact that SAFe offers a flexible and scalable approach to Agile development, it is employed by both large corporations and smaller companies. The framework is a popular option for firms looking for a complete approach to managing large-scale software development projects, since it can be customized to match the unique demands of each organization.

Do companies have access to software platforms and technologies that facilitate the use of a Scaled Agile Framework in development?

Yes, there are several software platforms and solutions that support Scaled Agile Framework development for businesses. These technologies offer support for a number of SAFe-related features, including as backlog management, value stream mapping, continuous delivery, Agile planning and tracking, and more.

Two popular platforms that support SAFe include:

  •  Jira Software: This popular Agile project management tool offers features like backlog management and Agile boards.
  • Azure DevOps (formerly Visual Studio Team Services): A Microsoft solution that offers support for Agile project management, continuous delivery, and more.

These are only a couple of the many tools that businesses using SAFe have access to. The best tool for a company depends on its individual requirements and preferences, and many companies decide to utilize a variety of tools to support various SAFe implementation components.

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How Can Jama Connect® Help Organizations Adopt a Scaled Agile Framework?

Jama Connect® is a product, systems, and software development platform that can help organizations adopt and implement a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), and provides support for various aspects of SAFe, including:

  • Requirements Management: Jama Connect provides a centralized repository for managing requirements and product backlogs, helping organizations align work with their product strategy and vision.
  • Traceability: Jama Connect manages requirements with Live Traceability™ across the end-to-end development process — from requirements to design and implementation — helping organizations manage dependencies and ensure that work is aligned with their goals.
  • Collaboration: Jama Connect provides a platform for teams to collaborate on product development, improving communication and reducing risk.
  • Quality Assurance: Jama Connect offers a platform for managing quality assurance operations, including as test case management, test execution, and defect tracking, to assist businesses make sure that their products fulfill consumer needs.
  • Reporting: Jama Connect offers analytics and reporting tools that help businesses assess their progress, spot potential dangers, and make wise decisions.

Jama Connect integrates with other tools like Jira and Azure DevOps to offer a complete SAFe solution for businesses. Additionally, due to the platform’s adaptability and configuration options, companies can tailor Jama Connect to their organization’s unique needs and operational procedures.

Jama Connect is the #1 Industry-leading software for requirements management and Live Traceability™. This robust, but easy-to-use platform enables collaboration, quality assurance, and reporting for enterprises looking to build a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and can help businesses boost productivity, generate better products more quickly, and optimize their product development processes.

In conclusion, large-scale software development projects can be managed and coordinated using the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) approach. It is a thorough framework that offers instructions on how to scale Agile development processes from small, single-team projects to big, multi-team ones. While maintaining the advantages of Agile development, it offers a scalable and adaptable way to plan and manage work, lowering risk and raising predictability.

To learn how Jama Connect can help your organization adopt a Scaled Agile Framework, contact us to speak with one of our experts!

Note: This article was drafted with the aid of AI. Additional content, edits for accuracy, and industry expertise by Karrie Sundbom and Josh Turpen.

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