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Evolving the Scaled Agile Framework:

Update to SAFe 5

Guidance for organizing around value, DevSecOps, and agility for business teams

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SAFe Glossary

The SAFe glossary is a set of definitions for all SAFe Big Picture elements.  The extended glossary provides definitions for additional terms used in the Framework. Some are unique to SAFe (e.g., PO Sync), while others are common in Lean-Agile development (e.g., MVP). They are provided here for clarity in their meaning in the context of SAFe. All extended glossary terms appear in the English configuration and will appear in other language configurations once translated.


  • 5 Whys

    The 5 Whys is a proven problem-solving technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem as part of Inspect and Adapt.


  • Acceptance Criteria

    Acceptance Criteria provide the information needed to ensure that a story, feature, or capability is implemented correctly and covers the relevant functionality and NFRs.

  • Acceptance Test Driven Development

    Acceptance Test-Driven Development is a test-first, Agile testing practice synonymous with Behavior-Driven Development (BDD).

  • Agile

    Agile is a set of values, principles, and practices for iterative development most notably described by the Agile Manifesto.

  • Agile Manifesto

    The Agile Manifesto is the seminal Agile document describing the four values and twelve principles of Agile software development.

  • Agile Product Delivery

    Agile Product Delivery is a customer-centric approach to defining, building, and releasing a continuous flow of valuable products and services to customers and users.

  • Agile Program Management Office

    The Agile Program Management Office (APMO) is an organizational function responsible for facilitating the Lean Portfolio Management process and fostering operational excellence and lean governance as part of a Lean-Agile transformation.

  • Agile Release Train (ART)

    The Agile Release Train (ART) is a long-lived team of Agile teams, which, along with other stakeholders, incrementally develops, delivers, and where applicable operates, one or more solutions in a value stream.

  • Agile Teams

    In SAFe, an Agile team is a cross-functional group of 5-11 individuals who define, build, test, and deliver an increment of value in a short time box.

  • Architect Sync

    The Architect Sync is a Solution Train event to ensure consistency in how emerging designs and tradeoffs are managed across the Solution Train, allowing frequent opportunities to steer implementation approaches without becoming a source of delays.

  • Architectural Runway

    The Architectural Runway consists of the existing code, components, and technical infrastructure needed to implement near-term features without excessive redesign and delay.

  • ART Sync

    The ART Sync is an ART event that combines the Product Owner (PO) Sync and Scrum of Scrums (SoS).


  • Backlog Refinement

    Backlog Refinement is an activity held once or twice during the iteration or increment to discuss, estimate, and establish an initial understanding of acceptance criteria for upcoming stories in the team’s backlog.

  • Baseline Solution Investments (BSIs)

    Baseline Solution Investments (BSIs) are those costs incurred by each value stream as it develops, supports, and operates the solutions that deliver current business capabilities.

  • Batch Size

    Batch size is a measure of how much work (the requirements, designs, code, tests, and other work items) is pulled into the system during any given timebox.

  • Behavior-Driven Development

    Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) is a test-first, Agile testing practice that provides built-in quality by defining (and potentially automating) tests before, or as part of, specifying system behavior.

  • Benefit Hypothesis

    The Benefit Hypothesis is the proposed measurable benefit to the end-user or business as part of a feature or capability.

  • Big Visible Information Radiator (BVIR)

    A Big Visible Information Radiator (BVIR) is a graphical display that tracks and communicates critical data at a glance (e.g. burndown charts, program board, build status boards).

  • Built-In Quality

    Built-In Quality practices ensure that each Solution element, at every increment, meets appropriate quality standards throughout development.

  • Burn-Down (Burn-Up) Chart

    Burn-Down and Burn-Up Charts are graphical displays that show work progress versus time.

  • Business Agility

    Business Agility is the ability to compete and thrive in the digital age by quickly responding to market changes and emerging opportunities with innovative, digitally-enabled business solutions.

  • Business and Technology

    The Business and Technology icon in SAFe describes how functional domains in all parts of the enterprise enable business agility by continuously exploring new ways to apply Lean-Agile principles and practices to their unique contexts.

  • Business Context

    Business Context is a PI Planning agenda item presented by a business owner that describes the current state of the business, shares the portfolio vision, and presents a perspective on how effectively existing solutions are addressing current customer needs.

  • Business Owners

    Business Owners are a small group of stakeholders who have the primary business and technical responsibility for governance, compliance, and return on investment (ROI) for a Solution developed by an Agile Release Train (ART). They are key stakeholders on the ART who must evaluate fitness for use and actively participate in certain ART events.



    SAFe’s CALMR approach to DevOps is a mindset that guides ARTs toward achieving continuous value delivery by managing simultaneous advancements in delivery culture, automation, lean flow, measurement, and recovery.

  • Capabilities

    A Capability is a higher-level solution behavior that typically spans multiple ARTs. Capabilities are sized and split into multiple features to facilitate their implementation in a single PI.

  • Capacity Allocation

    Capacity Allocation is a lean budgeting guardrail for backlogs that helps balance the backlog of new features, enablers, and technical debt allocated to for upcoming Program Increment (PI).

  • Committed PI Objectives

    The Committed PI Objectives are a set of SMART objectives that are created by each team with the business value assigned by the Business Owners.

  • Communities of Practice (CoPs)

    Communities of Practice (CoPs) are organized groups of people who have a common interest in a specific technical or business domain. They collaborate regularly to share information, improve their skills, and actively work on advancing the general knowledge of the domain.

  • Compliance

    Compliance refers to a strategy and a set of activities and artifacts that allow teams to apply Lean-Agile development methods to build systems that have the highest possible quality, while simultaneously ensuring they meet any regulatory, industry, or other relevant standards.

  • Confidence Vote

    The Confidence Vote is held near the end of PI Planning where the teams vote on their confidence in meeting PI objectives.

  • Continuous Delivery Pipeline (CDP)

    The Continuous Delivery Pipeline (CDP) represents the workflows, activities, and automation needed to shepherd a new piece of functionality from ideation to an on-demand release of value to the end user.

  • Continuous Deployment (CD)

    Continuous Deployment (CD) is the process that takes validated Features in a staging environment and deploys them into the production environment, where they are readied for release.

  • Continuous Exploration (CE)

    Continuous Exploration (CE) is the process that drives innovation and fosters alignment on what should be built by continually exploring market and customer needs, and defining a Vision, Roadmap, and set of Features for a Solution that addresses those needs.

  • Continuous Integration (CI)

    Continuous Integration (CI) is the process of taking features from the Program Backlog and developing, testing, integrating, and validating them in a staging environment where they are ready for deployment and release.

  • Continuous Learning Culture

    The Continuous Learning Culture competency describes a set of values and practices that encourage individuals—and the enterprise as a whole—to continually increase knowledge, competence, performance, and innovation.

  • Core Values

    The four Core Values of alignment, built-in quality, transparency, and program execution represent the fundamental beliefs that are key to SAFe’s effectiveness. These guiding principles help dictate behavior and action for everyone who participates in a SAFe portfolio.

  • Cost of Delay

    Cost of Delay (CoD) represents the money or value that will be lost by delaying or not doing a job for some time and is used in WSJF prioritization.

  • Customer

    Customers are the ultimate beneficiaries of the value of the business solutions created and maintained by the portfolio value streams.

  • Customer Centricity

    Customer centricity is a mindset and a way of doing business that focuses on creating positive experiences for the customer through the full set of products and services that the enterprise offers.

  • Customer Journey Map

    A Customer Journey Map illustrates the experiences as a user engages with a company’s operational value stream, products, and services.


  • Daily Stand-Up

    The Daily Stand Up (DSU) is a daily team event where each team member describes what they did yesterday to advance iteration goals, what they are going to work on today to achieve the iteration goals, and any blocks they are encountering in delivering iteration goals.

  • Decentralized Decision-Making

    Decentralized Decision-Making grants decision authority to those closest to the knowledge and information to reduce delays, increase product development flow, and improve the quality of decisions.

  • Definition of Done

    The Definition of Done communicates the completeness for an increment of value and creates a shared understanding of what work was completed as part of an Increment.

  • Deploy

    To deploy is to migrate a change from a pre-production environment to a production (or operational) environment, where it then awaits release.

  • Design Thinking

    Design Thinking is a customer-centric development process that creates desirable products that are profitable and sustainable over their lifecycle.

  • Develop on Cadence

    Develop on Cadence is a coordinated set of practices that support Agile Teams by providing a reliable series of events and activities that occur on a regular, predictable schedule.

  • Development Value Streams

    Development value streams (DVS) are the sequence of activities needed to convert a business hypothesis into a digitally-enabled Solution. Examples include designing a medical device or geophysical satellite, or developing and deploying a software application, SaaS system, or an e-commerce web site.

  • DevOps

    DevOps is a mindset, a culture, and a set of technical practices. It provides communication, integration, automation, and close cooperation among all the people needed to plan, develop, test, deploy, release, and maintain a Solution.


  • Empathy Map

    An Empathy Map is a design thinking tool that helps teams develop deep, shared understanding for their customers.

  • Enablers

    An Enabler supports the activities needed to extend the Architectural Runway to provide future business functionality. These include exploration, architecture, infrastructure, and compliance. Enablers are captured in the various backlogs and occur throughout the Framework.

  • Enterprise

    The Enterprise represents the business entity to which each SAFe portfolio belongs.

  • Enterprise Architect

    The Enterprise Architect establishes a technology strategy and roadmap that enables a portfolio to support current and future business capabilities.

  • Enterprise Solution Delivery

    The Enterprise Solution Delivery competency describes how to apply Lean-Agile principles and practices to the specification, development, deployment, operation, and evolution of the world’s largest and most sophisticated software applications, networks, and cyber-physical systems.

  • Epic Hypothesis Statement

    The Epic Hypothesis Statement captures, organizes, and communicates critical information about an epic.

  • Epic Owners

    Epic Owners are responsible for coordinating portfolio Epics through the Portfolio Kanban system. They collaboratively define the epic, its Minimum Viable Product (MVP), and Lean business case, and when approved, facilitate implementation.

  • Epics

    An Epic is a container for a significant Solution development initiative that captures the more substantial investments that occur within a portfolio. Due to their considerable scope and impact, epics require the definition of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and approval by Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) before implementation.

  • Essential SAFe

    Essential SAFe contains the minimal set of roles, events, and artifacts required to continuously deliver business solutions via an Agile Release Train (ART) as a Team of Agile Teams.

  • Estimating Poker

    Estimating Poker is a collaborative technique for relatively estimating the size of stories, features, and WSJF in SAFe.

  • Extreme Programming

    Extreme Programming (XP) is a set of Agile software engineering practices that improves software quality and responsiveness to changing customer requirements developed primarily by Kent Beck.


  • Features

    A Feature is a service that fulfills a stakeholder need. Each feature includes a benefit hypothesis and acceptance criteria, and is sized or split as necessary to be delivered by a single Agile Release Train (ART) in a Program Increment (PI).

  • Final Plan Review

    In the Final Plan Review activity of PI planning, teams present the final plans (PI objectives, load, risks) for communication to the ART and acceptance by the Business Owners.

  • Foundation

    The Foundation contains the supporting principles, values, mindset, implementation guidance, and leadership roles needed to deliver value successfully at scale.

  • Full SAFe

    Full SAFe is the most comprehensive configuration, including all seven core competencies needed for business agility.


  • Gemba

    Gemba is the place where the work is performed and where teams can observe how stakeholders execute the steps and specific activities in their operational value streams to better identify opportunities for relentless improvement.


  • Hackathon

    Hackathons are innovation events where team members can work on whatever they want, with whomever they want, so long as the work reflects the mission of the company and they demo their work to others at the end of the Hackathon.


  • Innovation and Planning Iteration

    The Innovation and Planning (IP) Iteration occurs every Program Increment (PI) and serves multiple purposes. It acts as an estimating buffer for meeting PI Objectives and provides dedicated time for innovation, continuing education, PI Planning, and Inspect and Adapt (I&A) events.

  • Inspect & Adapt (I&A)

    The Inspect and Adapt (I&A) is a significant event, held at the end of each Program Increment (PI), where the current state of the Solution is demonstrated and evaluated by the train. Teams then reflect and identify improvement backlog items via a structured, problem-solving workshop.

  • Integration Point

    An Integration Point creates a ‘pull event’ that pulls the various solution elements into an integrated whole that helps stakeholders assure that the evolving solution address real and future business needs

  • Investment Horizons

    Investment Horizons highlight spending allocations for solutions that are created by the value streams that help value stream owners and fiduciaries make more informed investment decisions and aligns the portfolio with strategic themes while promoting overall health and growth.

  • Iteration

    Iterations are the basic building block of Agile development. Each iteration is a standard, fixed-length timebox, where Agile Teams deliver incremental value in the form of working, tested software and systems. In SAFe, iterations are typically one or two weeks in length, with two being the most common.

  • Iteration Execution

    Iteration Execution is how Agile Teams manage their work throughout the Iteration timebox, resulting in a high-quality, working, tested system increment.

  • Iteration Goals

    Iteration Goals are a high-level summary of the business and technical goals that the Agile Team agrees to accomplish in an Iteration. They are vital to coordinating an Agile Release Train (ART) as a self-organizing, self-managing team of teams.

  • Iteration Planning

    Iteration Planning is an event where all team members determine how much of the Team Backlog they can commit to delivering during an upcoming Iteration. The team summarizes the work as a set of committed Iteration Goals.

  • Iteration Retrospective

    The Iteration Retrospective is a regular event where Agile Team members discuss the results of the Iteration, review their practices, and identify ways to improve.

  • Iteration Review

    The Iteration Review is a cadence-based event, where each team inspects the increment at the end of every Iteration to assess progress, and then adjusts its backlog for the next iteration.


  • Knowledge Worker

    Knowledge Workers are people who have the skill, expertise, and education needed to solve complex problems in their domain of concern.


  • Large Solution SAFe

    Large Solution SAFe describes additional roles, practices, and guidance to build and evolve the world’s largest applications, networks, and cyber-physical systems.

  • Lead Time

    Lead Time is the time it takes from when the work was done in the previous step until it’s done in the current step.

  • Lean

    Lean is a body of knowledge and set of practices to improve efficiency and effectiveness by reducing delays and eliminating non-value-added activities.

  • Lean Budget Guardrails

    Lean Budget Guardrails describe the policies and practices for budgeting, spending, and governance for a specific portfolio.

  • Lean Budgets

    Lean Budgets is a Lean-Agile approach to financial governance which increases throughput and productivity by reducing the overhead and costs associated with project cost accounting.

  • Lean Business Case

    A Lean Business Case (LBC) is a light-weight approach to describing epics, including their MVPs and projected business value.

  • Lean Governance

    Lean Governance is one dimension of Lean Portfolio Management that supports oversight and decision-making of spending, audit and compliance, forecasting expenses, and measurement.

  • Lean Portfolio Management

    The Lean Portfolio Management competency aligns strategy and execution by applying Lean and systems thinking approaches to strategy and investment funding, Agile portfolio operations, and governance.

  • Lean Quality Management System (QMS)

    A Quality Management System (QMS) dictates practices, policies, and procedures needed to confirm safety and efficacy. SAFe organizations move from traditional to Lean QMS governance.

  • Lean User Experience (Lean UX)

    Lean User Experience (Lean UX) design is a mindset, culture, and a process that embraces Lean-Agile methods. It implements functionality in minimum viable increments and determines success by measuring results against a benefit hypothesis.

  • Lean-Agile Center of Excellence

    The Lean-Agile Center of Excellence (LACE) is a small team of people dedicated to implementing the SAFe Lean-Agile way of working.

  • Lean-Agile Leadership

    The Lean-Agile Leadership competency describes how Lean-Agile Leaders drive and sustain organizational change and operational excellence by empowering individuals and teams to reach their highest potential.

  • Lean-Agile Mindset

    The Lean-Agile Mindset is the combination of beliefs, assumptions, attitudes, and actions of SAFe leaders and practitioners who embrace the concepts of the Agile Manifesto and Lean thinking. It’s the personal, intellectual, and leadership foundation for adopting and applying SAFe principles and practices.

  • Lean-Agile Principles

    SAFe is based on ten immutable, underlying Lean-Agile principles. These tenets and economic concepts inspire and inform the roles and practices of SAFe.

  • Little’s Law

    Little’s Law is the law of queuing theory and states that the average wait time for service from a system equals the ratio of the average queue length divided by the average processing rate.


  • Measure and Grow

    Measure and Grow is the way portfolios evaluate their progress towards business agility and determine their next improvement steps.

  • Metrics

    Metrics are agreed-upon measures used to evaluate how well the organization is progressing toward the portfolio, large solution, ART, and Agile team’s business and technical objectives.

  • Milestones

    Milestones are used to track progress toward a specific goal or event. There are three types of SAFe milestones: Program Increment (PI), fixed-date, and learning milestones.

  • Minimum Marketable Feature

    The Minimum Marketable Feature (MMF) is the minimum functionality that the teams can build to learn whether the feature’s benefit hypothesis is valid or not.

  • Minimum Viable Product

    In SAFe, a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is an early and minimal version of a new product or business solution that is used to prove or disprove the epic hypothesis. As opposed to storyboards, prototypes, mockups, wireframes, and other exploratory techniques, the MVP is an actual product used by real customers to generate validated learning.

  • Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE)

    Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is the practice of developing a set of related system models that help define, design, and document a system under development. These models provide an efficient way to explore, update, and communicate system aspects to stakeholders, while significantly reducing or eliminating dependence on traditional documents.

  • Modified Fibonacci Sequence

    A Modified Fibonacci Sequence (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40, 100) is used during relative estimating to reflect the inherent uncertainty as the size of the job being estimated gets bigger.


  • Nonfunctional Requirements (NFRs)

    Nonfunctional Requirements (NFRs) define system attributes such as security, reliability, performance, maintainability, scalability, and usability. They serve as constraints or restrictions on the design of the system across the different backlogs.


  • Objectives and Key Results

    In SAFe, Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) can be used to define, organize, and communicate critical information about a strategic theme and track its progress through concrete, specific, and measurable actions.

  • Operational Value Streams

    Operational value streams (OVS) are the sequence of activities needed to deliver a product or service to a customer. Examples include manufacturing a product, fulfilling an order, admitting and treating a medical patient, providing a loan, or delivering a professional service.

  • Organizational Agility

    The Organizational Agility competency describes how Lean-thinking people and Agile teams optimize their business processes, evolve strategy with clear and decisive new commitments, and quickly adapt the organization as needed to capitalize on new opportunities.

  • Organizational Change Management

    Organizational Change Management is a collective term for all approaches to prepare, support, and help individuals, teams, and organizations in making organizational change.


  • Pareto Analysis

    Pareto Analysis is a technique used during an Inspect & Adapt event to narrow down the number of actions that produce the most significant overall effect.

  • Participatory Budgeting

    Participatory Budgeting (PB) is the process that Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) uses to allocate the total portfolio budget to its value streams.

  • Personas

    Personas are fictional consumers and/or users derived from customer research that drive a customer-centric approach to product development.

  • Phase Gate

    Phase Gates are traditional governance milestones that are replaced in SAFe by milestones based on objective evaluation of working systems.

  • PI Objectives

    Program Increment (PI) Objectives are a summary of the business and technical goals that an Agile Team or train intends to achieve in the upcoming Program Increment (PI).

  • Plan-Do-Check-Adjust

    Plan-Do-Check-Adjust (PDCA) is an iterative, four-step method used for controlling variability and making adjustments in response to feedback during product development.

  • Portfolio

    A SAFe portfolio aligns strategy to execution via a collection of development value streams. Operating under a common governance model, each value stream provides one or more solutions the enterprise needs to accomplish its business mission.

  • Portfolio Backlog

    The Portfolio Backlog is the highest-level backlog in SAFe. It provides a holding area for upcoming business and enabler Epics intended to create and evolve a comprehensive set of Solutions.

  • Portfolio Canvas

    The Portfolio Canvas defines the development value streams that are included in a SAFe portfolio, the value propositions and the solutions they deliver, the customers they serve, the budgets allocated to each value stream, and other key activities and events required to achieve the portfolio vision.

  • Portfolio Kanban

    The Portfolio Kanban system is a method to visualize and manage the flow of portfolio Epics, from ideation through analysis, implementation, and completion.

  • Portfolio SAFe

    Portfolio SAFe aligns strategy with execution and organizes solution development around the flow of value through one or more value streams.

  • Portfolio Vision

    The Portfolio Vision is a description of the future state of a portfolio’s Value Streams and Solutions and describes how they will cooperate to achieve the portfolio’s objectives and the broader aim of the Enterprise.

  • Pre-and Post-PI Planning

    Pre– and Post–Program Increment (PI) Planning events are used to prepare for, and follow up after, PI Planning for Agile Release Trains (ARTs) and Suppliers in a Solution Train.

  • Problem-Solving Workshop

    The Problem Solving Workshop is part of the Inspect and Adapt (I&A) event and is a structured approach to finding the root cause of systemic problems.

  • Product Management

    Product Management is responsible for defining desirable, viable, feasible, and sustainable solutions that meet customer needs and for supporting development across the entire product life cycle.

  • Product Owner (PO)

    The Product Owner (PO) is a member of the Agile Team who is responsible for maximizing the value delivered by the team and ensuring that the Team Backlog is aligned with customer and stakeholder needs.

  • Product Owner (PO) Sync

    The PO Sync is an ART event to get visibility into how well the ART is progressing toward meeting its PI objectives, to discuss problems or opportunities with feature development, and to assess any scope adjustments.

  • Program Backlog

    The Program Backlog is the holding area for upcoming Features, which are intended to address user needs and deliver business benefits for a single Agile Release Train (ART). It also contains the enabler features necessary to build the Architectural Runway.

  • Program Board

    The Program Board highlights the PI’s feature delivery dates, feature dependencies among teams, and relevant milestones.

  • Program Increment (PI)

    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.

  • Program Increment (PI) Planning

    Program Increment (PI) Planning is a cadence-based, face-to-face event that serves as the heartbeat of the Agile Release Train (ART), aligning all the teams on the ART to a shared mission and Vision.

  • Program Kanban

    The Program and Solution Kanban systems are a method to visualize and manage the flow of Features and Capabilities from ideation to analysis, implementation, and release through the Continuous Delivery Pipeline.

  • Program Predictability Measure

    The Program Predictability Measure summarizes the planned vs. actual business values for all the teams on the ART and is a key indicator of the ART’s performance and reliability.

  • Program Risks

    Program Risks are identified by the teams during PI Planning and represent risks and impediments that could impact their ability to meet their objectives.


  • Refactoring

    Refactoring is the activity of improving the internal structure or operation of a code or component without changing its external behavior.

  • Relative Estimation

    Relative Estimation compares jobs to one another to quickly estimate their size and value.

  • Release

    To release is to make functionality that has been deployed to a production (or operational) environment available for use by a defined set of end-users or systems.

  • Release on Demand

    Release on Demand is the process that deploys new functionality into production and releases it immediately or incrementally to customers based on demand.

  • Release Train Engineer (RTE)

    The Release Train Engineer (RTE) is a servant leader and coach for the Agile Release Train (ART). The RTE’s major responsibilities are to facilitate the ART events and processes and assist the teams in delivering value. RTEs communicate with stakeholders, escalate impediments, help manage risk, and drive relentless improvement.

  • Relentless Improvement

    Relentless Improvement is the fourth pillar of the SAFe House of Lean and encourages learning and growth through continuous reflection and process enhancements.

  • Roadmap

    The Roadmap is a schedule of events and Milestones that communicate planned Solution deliverables over a planning horizon.

  • ROAMing Risks

    Risk ROAMing is a PI planning activity where program risks raised by teams are addressed in a broader management context.

  • Root Cause Analysis

    A Root Cause Analysis applies a set of problem-solving tools to identify the actual causes of a problem as part of the Inspect and Adapt event.


  • SAFe Big Picture (BP)

    The SAFe Big Picture (BP) is a visual representation of the framework’s primary roles, activities, and artifacts used to access SAFe articles through its clickable icons when viewed from scaledagileframework.com

  • SAFe for Government

    SAFe for Government is a set of success patterns that help public sector organizations implement Lean-Agile practices in a government context.

  • SAFe for Lean Enterprises

    SAFe for Lean Enterprises is the world’s leading framework for business agility. SAFe integrates the power of Lean, Agile, and DevOps into a comprehensive operating system that helps enterprises thrive in the digital age by delivering innovative products and services faster, more predictably, and with higher quality.

  • SAFe Implementation Roadmap

    The SAFe Implementation Roadmap consists of an overview graphic and a 12-article series that describes a strategy and an ordered set of activities that have proven to be effective in successfully implementing SAFe.

  • SAFe Lean Startup Cycle

    The SAFe Lean Startup cycle is a highly iterative build-measure-learn cycle for product innovation and strategic investments. This strategy for implementing epics provides the economic and strategic advantages of a Lean startup by managing investment and risk incrementally while leveraging the flow and visibility benefits of SAFe.

  • SAFe Program Consultants (SPCs)

    Certified SAFe® Program Consultants (SPCs) are change agents who combine their technical knowledge of SAFe with an intrinsic motivation to improve the company’s software and systems development processes. They play a critical role in successfully implementing SAFe. SPCs come from numerous internal or external roles, including business and technology leaders, portfolio/program/project managers, process leads, architects, analysts, and consultants.

  • Scrum Master

    SAFe Scrum Masters are servant leaders and coaches for an Agile Team. They help educate the team in Scrum, Extreme Programming (XP), Kanban, and SAFe, ensuring that the agreed Agile process is followed. They also help remove impediments and foster an environment for high-performing team dynamics, continuous flow, and relentless improvement.

  • Scrum of Scrums

    The Scrum of Scrums (SoS) is an ART event that helps coordinate ART dependencies and provides visibility into progress and impediments.

  • ScrumXP

    SAFe ScrumXP is an Agile Team method used by Agile Release Trains (ARTs) to plan, execute, retrospect, and deliver customer value in a short time box. It combines the power of Scrum with Extreme Programming (XP) practices.

  • Set-Based Design

    Set-Based Design (SBD) is a practice that keeps requirements and design options flexible for as long as possible during the development process. Instead of choosing a single point solution upfront, SBD identifies and simultaneously explores multiple options, eliminating poorer choices over time. It enhances flexibility in the design process by committing to technical solutions only after validating assumptions, which produces better economic results.

  • Shared Services

    Shared Services represents the specialty roles, people, and services required for the success of an Agile Release Train (ART) or Solution Train, but that cannot be dedicated full-time.

  • Silos

    Silos are functionally-aligned organizational constructs that locally optimize for specialists with policies and procedures that ensure repeatable, efficient operations within the functional unit without understanding the larger flow of value across functional units.

  • Solution

    Each development value stream develops one or more Solutions, which are products, services, or systems delivered to the customer, whether internal or external to the Enterprise.

  • Solution Architect/Engineering

    Solution Architect/Engineering is responsible for defining and communicating a shared technical and architectural vision across a Solution Train to help ensure the system or Solution under development is fit for its intended purpose.

  • Solution Backlog

    The Solution Backlog is the holding area for upcoming Capabilities and Enablers, each of which can span multiple ARTs and is intended to advance the Solution and build its architectural runway.

  • Solution Context

    Solution Context identifies critical aspects of the operational environment for a Solution. It provides an essential understanding of requirements, usage, installation, operation, and support of the solution itself. Solution context heavily influences opportunities and constraints for releasing on demand.

  • Solution Demo

    The Solution Demo integrates the development efforts from all ARTs and suppliers on the Solution Train every PI and makes them visible to Customers and other stakeholders for evaluation and feedback.

  • Solution Intent

    Solution Intent is the repository for storing, managing, and communicating the knowledge of current and intended Solution behavior. Where required, this includes both fixed and variable specifications and designs; reference to applicable standards, system models, and functional and nonfunctional tests; and traceability.

  • Solution Management

    Solution Management is responsible for defining and supporting the building of desirable, feasible, viable and sustainable large scale business solutions that meet customer needs over time.

  • Solution Train

    The Solution Train is the organizational construct used to build large and complex Solutions that require the coordination of multiple Agile Release Trains (ARTs), as well as the contributions of Suppliers. It aligns ARTs with a shared business and technology mission using the solution Vision, Backlog, and Roadmap, and an aligned Program Increment (PI).

  • Solution Train Engineer (STE)

    The Solution Train Engineer (STE) is a servant leader and coach for the Solution Train, facilitating and guiding the work of all ARTs and Suppliers in the Value Stream.

  • Spanning Palette

    The Spanning Palette contains various roles and artifacts that may apply to a specific team, program, large solution, or portfolio context.

  • Spike

    A Spike is a type of exploration Enabler Story that gains the knowledge necessary to reduce the risk of a technical approach, better understand a requirement, or increase the reliability of a story estimate.

  • Sprint

    Sprint is a term that comes from the Scrum method and is synonymous with the term Iteration in SAFe.

  • Stories

    Stories are short descriptions of a small piece of desired functionality, written in the user’s language. Agile Teams implement small, vertical slices of system functionality and are sized so they can be completed in a single Iteration.

  • Story Map

    A Story Map is a design thinking technique that organizes a sequence of stories according to the tasks a user needs to accomplish their goal.

  • Story Point

    A Story Point is a singular number used in relative estimating that represents a combination of quantities: volume, complexity, knowledge, and uncertainty.

  • Strategic Themes

    Strategic Themes are differentiating business objectives that connect a portfolio to the strategy of the Enterprise. They influence portfolio strategy and provide business context for portfolio decision-making.

  • Sunk Costs

    Sunk Costs refers to money already spent, which should be ignored when making future investment decisions to pivot effectively.

  • Supplier

    A Supplier is an internal or external organization that develops and delivers components, subsystems, or services that help Solution Trains and Agile Release Trains provide Solutions to their Customers.

  • SWOT Analysis

    SWOT Analysis is a strategic planning technique used to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to the current business situation as part of a SAFe portfolio vision.

  • System Architect/Engineering

    System Architect/Engineering is responsible for defining and communicating a shared technical and architectural vision for an Agile Release Train (ART) to help ensure the system or Solution under development is fit for its intended purpose.

  • System Demo

    The System Demo is a significant event that provides an integrated view of new Features for the most recent Iteration delivered by all the teams in the Agile Release Train (ART). Each demo gives ART stakeholders an objective measure of progress during a Program Increment (PI).

  • System Team

    The System Team is a specialized Agile Team that assists in building and supporting the Agile development environment, typically including development and maintenance of the toolchain that supports the Continuous Delivery Pipeline. The System Team may also support the integration of assets from Agile teams, perform end-to-end Solution testing where necessary, and assists with deployment and Release on Demand.

  • Systems Thinking

    Systems Thinking takes a holistic approach to solution development, incorporating all aspects of a system and its environment into the design, development, deployment, and maintenance of the system itself.


  • Team and Technical Agility

    The Team and Technical Agility competency describes the critical skills and Lean-Agile principles and practices that high-performing Agile teams and Teams of Agile teams use to create high-quality solutions for their customers.

  • Team Backlog

    The Team Backlog contains user and enabler Stories that originate from the Program Backlog, as well as stories that arise locally from the team’s local context. It may include other work items as well, representing all the things a team needs to do to advance their portion of the system.

  • Team Kanban

    Team Kanban is a method that helps teams facilitate the flow of value by visualizing workflow, establishing Work In Process (WIP) limits, measuring throughput, and continuously improving their process.

  • Team Topologies

    Team Topologies define four organization types that provide a clear model for organizing Agile teams and ARTs.

  • Technical Debt

    Technical Debt reflects the implied cost and accumulating interest of future work that is commonly caused by knowingly or unknowingly choosing a suboptimal or incomplete solution.

  • Test-Driven Development

    Test-Driven Development (TDD) is a mindset and practice that involves building and executing tests before implementing the code or a component of a system.

  • TOWs Analysis

    TOWS Analysis is used in conjunction with a SWOT analysis to help identify strategic options to create a better future state as part of a SAFe portfolio vision.


  • U-curve Optimization

    The U-curve Optimization for batch size determines the optimal batch size by balancing transaction costs and holding costs.

  • Uncommitted Objectives

    Uncommitted Objectives help improve the predictability of delivering business value since they are not included in the team’s commitment or counted against teams in the program predictability measure. Teams can apply uncommitted objectives whenever there is low confidence in meeting the objective.


  • Value

    Value represents the benefits an enterprise delivers to its customers and stakeholders and appears in different contexts in SAFe.

  • Value Stream Coordination

    Value Stream Coordination defines how to manage dependencies and exploit the opportunities that exist only in the interconnections between value streams.

  • Value Stream Identification

    Value Stream Identification is an activity that portfolios use to identify development value streams and the operational value streams they support.

  • Value Stream KPIs

    Value Stream Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the quantifiable measures used to evaluate how a value stream is performing against its forecasted business outcomes.

  • Value Stream Management (VSM)

    Value Stream Management is a leadership and technical discipline that enables maximum flow of business value through the end-to-end solution delivery life cycle.

  • Value Stream Mapping

    Value Stream Mapping is an essential tool to improve the flow of value across the continuous delivery pipeline by providing the visibility needed to identify bottlenecks and problem areas to flow that cause delays.

  • Value Streams

    Value Streams represent the series of steps that an organization uses to implement Solutions that provide a continuous flow of value to a customer.

  • Velocity

    Velocity is equal to the sum of the points for all the completed stories that met their Definition of Done (DoD).

  • Vision

    The Vision is a description of the future state of the Solution under development. It reflects customer and stakeholder needs, as well as the Feature and Capabilities proposed to meet those needs.


  • Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF)

    Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF) is a prioritization model used to sequence jobs (for example, Features, Capabilities, and Epics) to produce maximum economic benefit. In SAFe, WSJF is estimated as the Cost of Delay (CoD) divided by the job duration.

  • Work in Process

    Work in Process (WIP) represents partially completed work. Having too much WIP confuses priorities, causes frequent context switching, and increases overhead.

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