Scaled Agile Framework Principles

10 Principles of Scaled Agile Framework

Are you in the software development field? Then you are familiar with agile as it corresponds directly to software development and the whole management process. It is all about a set of methods put in place to deliver valuable results to the customers. Therefore, software developers have to deliver the results in small and consumable increments to enhance productivity.

Well, you will find many other software development methods available with their respective tools and technologies that help developers to bring out desirable results. Agile, too, has a set of resources and technologies developers put in place for effectiveness. In this write-up, you will learn about scaled agile frameworks, popularly known as SaFe, and why they matter to every software developer. Keep reading for an insightful piece.

Scaled Agile Framework Definition

These are simply a set of organizational and workflow patterns designed to put in place agile practices on an enterprise scale. The structure has adequate knowledge that includes pre-defined roles, responsibilities, and an in-depth guide on managing work while keeping the required values. Therefore, the scaled agile framework simply enhances collaboration, alignment, and delivery when different agile teams are working together.

The core values of SaFe

The following are four major core values of the scaled agile framework:

  • Built-in quality

With SaFe, quality comes first. For instance, when handling a large-scale project, there is a possibility of untested batches piling up faster. In such a scenario, the developers must maintain a low error rate to enhance productivity instead of afterthoughts. So, the quality is always under the flow, code quality, architecture & design quality, release quality, and system quality.

  • Alignment

During agile scaling, all the teams should have a clear alignment and work towards achieving a common goal. This is especially significant for teams that are geographically dispersed, where there could be a possibility of hindering change in the organization. Therefore, with SaFe, each team has specific roles and synchronized activities that enable the company to manage competition even when it is stiff.

  • Program execution

The goal of the SaFe is to produce reliable and fully-functional software. So, as one of the core values of SaFe, the teams must collaborate and execute programs effectively to promote business value.

  • Transparency

In any organization where different teams are working together, transparency is a core value. Therefore, in SaFe, there should be transparency to ensure a full outlook of the team goals, breaking the workloads, and achieving the target within a short time frame.

A leader with a robust, agile mindset must support these four core values as a way of achieving the objectives of the organization. Above all, such a leader must have a strong urge to keep learning, especially the latest trends and advancing technologies, and learn how to put them into practice for the well-being of the business.

When you need to use the Scaled Agile Framework

While SaFe has a lot of benefits, especially for the team, you may wonder, is there an appropriate time and place you need to use the framework? Let’s check the instances below where there is no other way around other than implementing the scaled agile framework.

  • When you put in place agile in your organization but still have trouble attaining a uniform a consistent strategy across the different working departments in the organization.
  • When there is a need for the teams to work independently
  • When the team leader hopes to scale agile in the whole organization but is not sure of the appropriate roles to create, how to modify the already existing roles, and how the changes should look like.
  • When there is a need to implement agile across programs and multi-team portfolios consistently by a team.
  • When the organization realizes the competitor’s success after using SaFe and hopes to re-evaluate the operation of their respective department to attain the required success.
  • When varied teams are using their agile implementation brand but encountering obstacles, delays, and re-occurring failures.

Having mentioned the above scenarios, does any of them sound familiar to your organization? If yes, you need to implement the use of the scaled agile framework.

The 10 principles of SAFe

There are ten major principles of the scaled agile framework, which include:

Principles of Scaled Agile Framework

  • Take an economic view

Lean methodology is defined by good economics. Therefore, the SaFe approach encourages the idea of early delivery by applying the economics framework. As a result, this reduces the costs by shortening lead time and reducing delays.

  • Apply systems thinking

This principle includes three main concepts, which are: the optimization of the full value system, the solution as a system, and the enterprise building of the system as a system. The SaFe has a simplified solution in terms of development.

  • Create milestones on an objective evaluation of working systems

The working system as a model helps the teams make well-informed decisions as they plan the next step for the next milestone appropriately. These milestones include the design phase, the development stage, and the testing phase. Therefore, stakeholders ensure they get maximum ROI through this principle.

  • Assume variability; preserve options

This principle assumes that variability is inevitable in agile and that developers should not find ways to avoid it but put in place measures to manage it as required while preserving options through a set-based design. Therefore, developers create several design options; they analyze them as they filter until they have the best overall design.

  • Organize around value

In agile, the organization uses a given pattern set by SaFe. Therefore, with this principle, enterprises produce deliverables and act to the changing customer needs appropriately. The purpose of this approach is to optimize service delivery and add structure to an agile environment.

  • Build incrementally with fast integrated learning cycles

During the design process, it is possible to make errors, especially in the initial stages. This principle, therefore, helps developers minimize such risks. So, with this principle, developers get solutions by creating increments as they improve the previous solutions.

  • Apply cadence, synchronize with cross-domain planning

In design, there is what is called a rhythmic pattern of events, which adds structure and routine to the overall process of development. When such patterns take place, different events happen at the same time, thus creating different views that help in making constructive decisions.

  • Visualize, then limit work in progress, reduce batch sizes, and manage queue lengths

In design, there is a need to enhance the workflow. Therefore, according to SaFe, it can increase the processing rate to minimize wait time, create small batches to reduce transaction & holding costs, and board for great visibility by using Kanban.

  • Unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers

There is a need for leaders to motivate the workers in the design field. Therefore, through SaFe, the leaders can give team members autonomy in their work, listen to & offer regular feedback, and consider the role the compensation plays as an incentive.

  • Decentralize decision-making

Well, in many organizations, only top leaders make most of the decisions. However, in SaFe, other teams can take a chance and make an informed decision, thus making it easy for top leaders to focus on other useful priorities for the productivity of the organization.

So, are you looking forward to using the agile scaling framework in your organization? The above principles will be of great help as you plan to scale your enterprise higher.


While achieving market success is the key focus for most organizations, many companies only shift their focus to product development. However, for the effectiveness of your company, make sure you understand how to manage the projects well, especially when working with different teams.

Lastly, connect with us to know more about scaled agile framework principles.

Also read: Agile Transformation Journey

Written by:

Muzammil K

Muzammil K is the Marketing Manager at Aalpha Information Systems, where he leads marketing efforts to drive business growth. With a passion for marketing strategy and a commitment to results, he's dedicated to helping the company succeed in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Muzammil K is the Marketing Manager at Aalpha Information Systems, where he leads marketing efforts to drive business growth. With a passion for marketing strategy and a commitment to results, he's dedicated to helping the company succeed in the ever-changing digital landscape.