Essential SAFe gives a set of roles, events, artifacts for Agile Release Train (ARTs) where the Agile teams work together to continuously deliver the viable solution(s) in a flow-based system.
ARTs are like virtual organisations that are formed with functional boundaries that adhere to SAFe Lean-Agile principles, thus removing the wastages like hand-offs, and aligning the group towards a goal.
The following are the three core competencies in the Essential SAFe configurations:
Team and Technical Agility – Critical skills and Lean-Agile principles and practices for creating high-quality solutions through high-performing teams for the customers.
Agile Product Delivery – It is a customer-centric approach to defining, building, and releasing a continuous flow of valuable products and services to customers and users.
Lean-Agile Leadership – It shows how Lean-Agile Leaders drive and sustain organisational change and operational excellence by empowering team members.
System Architect/Engineering is a role that is responsible for defining and sharing the technical and architectural vision for an Agile Release Train (ART). The role helps to ensure the system or Solution being developed is aligned with the purpose.
During every Program Increment (PI) which is typically 8 – 12 weeks duration, the Innovation and Planning (IP) Iteration occurs for serving multiple reasons. In order to meet the PI Objectives, the IP iteration helps as an estimating buffer for PI Planning, and also provides time for innovation, learning activities, and Inspect and Adapt (I&A) events.
The Essential SAFe is the elementary configuration of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe. For organisations that want to adopt and implement SAFe at the initial level, Essential SAFe is useful and provides the necessary elements needed to gain the framework’s benefits and practice Lean-Agile principles that covers Team and Program levels. The Agile teams work towards delivery of Agile Release Trains (ART) for organisations at the program level.
At the Portfolio Level, strategic themes are planned which sets the objectives for a Value Stream and hence building the solution that Enterprise needs to meet its strategic goals. The organisations that have successfully implemented the Essential SAFe, can go for Portfolio level to scale further.