SAFe Role Dictionary


Team Level

The team level roles help coordinate and synchronize team level events, through which the Agile Teams build and deliver value in the context of the Agile Release Train (ART):

  • Agile Team – A cross-functional ScrumXP or Kanban team which consists of the Dev Team as well as Scrum Master and Product Owner. This team of five to ten people have the ability and authority to define, build, and test an element (Story or Enabler) of solution value within an Iteration.
  • Development Team (Dev Team) – A small, cross-functional team of developers, testers, and other specialists, that work collaboratively to deliver a vertical slice of functionality. The Dev Team is a subset of the Agile Team.
  • Product Owner (PO) – a member of the Agile Team and is the content authority for the Team Backlog. The PO is responsible for defining Stories and prioritizing the backlog. The PO is the only team member empowered to accept Stories as done.
  • Scrum Master – a member of the Agile Team, the Scrum Master is a servant leader and Agile Team coach. The Scrum Master helps the team to remove impediments, facilitates team events, and fosters an environment for high performing teams.

Program Level

The program level roles help teams align to a common mission, coordinate the ARTs and provides the necessary governance:

  • System Architect/Engineer – is an individual or small cross-discipline team that truly applies systems thinking. They define the overall architecture of the system, help define nonfunctional requirements, determine the major elements and subsystems, and help define the interfaces and collaborations among them.
  • Product Management – is the internal voice of the Customer and works with Customers and Product Owners to understand and communicate their needs, define system features, and participate in validation. They are responsible for the program backlog.
  • Release Train Engineer (RTE) – is a servant leader and the chief Scrum Master for the train. The RTE facilitates optimizing the flow of value through the program using various mechanisms, such as the Program Kanban, Inspect & Adapt workshop, PI Planning, and more.
  • Business Owners – are a small group of stakeholders who have the primary business and technical responsibility for fitness for use, governance, and return on investment (ROI) for a Solution developed by an (ART). They are key stakeholders on the ART and actively participate in key ART events

Large Solution Level

The large solution level roles help coordinate multiple ARTs and suppliers, and provide the necessary governance:

  • Customer – Is the ultimate buyer of every solution. An integral part of the Lean-Agile development process and value stream, they have specific responsibilities in SAFe.
  • Solution Architect/Engineering – Represents an individual or small team that defines a common technical and architectural vision for the solution under development.
  • Solution Management – Has the content authority for the large solution level. They work with customers to understand their needs, create the solution vision and roadmap, define requirements (capabilities and enablers), and guide work through the solution Kanban.
  • Solution Train Engineer (STE) – Is a servant leader and coach who facilitates and guides the work of all ARTs and suppliers.
  • Supplier – Is an internal or external organization that develops and delivers components, subsystems, or services, which help Solution Trains deliver solutions to customers.


The portfolio-level roles provide the highest level of accountability and governance, including the coordination of multiple value streams.

  • Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) – This function represents the individuals with the highest level of decision-making and financial accountability for a SAFe portfolio.
  • Epic Owners  – They take responsibility for coordinating portfolio epics through the Portfolio Kanban system.
  • The Enterprise Architect – This person works across value streams and programs to help provide the strategic technical direction that can optimize portfolio outcomes. The enterprise architect often may act as an epic owner for enabler epics.

Other Supporting Roles/Functions

  • System Team– The System Team is a special Agile team that provides assistance in building and using the Agile development environment, including continuous integration, test automation, and continuous deployment. The System Team assists with the integration of assets from Agile teams, performs end-to-end Solution testing where necessary, and assists with deployment and release.
  • Lean User Experience (Lean UX) – Lean User Experience (Lean UX) design is a mindset, a culture, and a process that embraces Lean-Agile methods. It implements functionality in minimum viable increments and determines success by measuring results against an outcome hypothesis.
  • Lean-Agile Leaders – Lean-Agile Leaders are lifelong learners who are responsible for the successful adoption of SAFe and the results it delivers. They empower and help teams build better systems by learning, exhibiting, and teaching and coaching SAFe’s Lean-Agile principles and practices.

Last Updated:  26 September 2017