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SAFe Glossary

Authors

A

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

B

  • Built-In Quality

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

  • 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 business solutions.

  • 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.

C

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

D

  • Design Thinking

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

  • 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.

E

  • 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 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.

F

  • 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).

  • 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.

I

  • 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.

  • 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. The recommended duration of the timebox is two weeks. However, one to four weeks is acceptable, depending on the business context.

  • 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.

L

  • 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.

  • 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 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 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 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.

M

  • 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, program, and 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.

  • 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.

N

  • 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.

O

  • 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.

P

  • 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).

  • 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 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.

  • Product Management

    Product Management is responsible for defining and supporting the building of desirable, feasible, viable, and sustainable products that meet customer needs over the product-market lifecycle.

  • Product Owner (PO)

    The Product Owner (PO) is a member of the Agile Team responsible for defining Stories and prioritizing the Team Backlog to streamline the execution of program priorities while maintaining the conceptual and technical integrity of the Features or components for the team.

  • 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 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.

R

  • 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.

  • Roadmap

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

S

  • 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 a knowledge base of proven, integrated principles, practices, and competencies for achieving business agility by implementing Lean, Agile, and DevOps at scale.

  • 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 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

    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 being followed. They also help remove impediments and foster an environment for high-performing team dynamics, continuous flow, and relentless improvement.

  • ScrumXP

    ScrumXP is a lightweight process to deliver value for cross-functional, self-organized teams within SAFe. It combines the power of Scrum project management practices 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.

  • Solution

    Each Value Stream produces one or more Solutions, which are products, services, or systems delivered to the customer, whether internal or external to the Enterprise.

  • Solution Architect/Engineer

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • System Architect/Engineer

    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.

T

  • 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.

V

  • 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 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 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.

  • 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.

W

  • Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF)

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

© 2021 Scaled Agile, Inc. All rights reserved.