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7 Resources to Learn More About SAFe


Whether you a.) heard something about SAFe and are not sure what it is, b.) want to learn more, or c.) just need to refresh your knowledge, here is a list of resources that will come in handy.

1. The Book

The seminal book “Agile Software Requirements – Lean Requirements Practices for Teams, Programs and the Enterprise” by Dean Leffingwell was first published in December 2010. This was one of the first books to address the specific needs of multiple collaborating Agile teams, and then extending to the program and portfolio levels. It was based on proven enterprise adoptions - none more so than Nokia.

I guess the inspiration for the Scaled Agile Framework® came from this book. The Scaled Agile Framework is now at version 4.0, and, when you first look at the ‘big picture’, it’s not unusual for your reaction to be ‘ Wow – that looks complicated’.


Actually, when you start to peel ‘the big picture’ back, it’s much simpler than on the first look. That said, there is still a vast body of knowledge that sits behind the framework, which is freely revealed, because every icon on the big picture is clickable. As is normal, sometimes it is difficult to decide where to start.

Well, help is at hand. After years of people asking for a book, the folks at Scaled Agile Inc. have published the “SAFe® 4.0 Reference Guide, Scaled Agile Framework® for Lean Software and Systems Engineering”.

The guide provides the content from
 the Scaled Agile Framework website, but in book 
form for easy reference. It’s available in 
paperback and eBook formats, 
including Kindle.

Like the SAFe website, the book
 provides comprehensive guidance for work at the enterprise Portfolio, Value Stream, Program, and Team levels.

The book includes the various roles, activities, and artifacts at the Program and Team levels. It also lists the various roles, activities, and artifacts that constitute the Framework, along with the foundational elements of values, mindset, principles, and practices.

2. The White Paper

So maybe the book is a bit too much to consume and you just need an overview of the Scaled Agile Framework. Look no further than the White Paper that Scaled Agile Inc. published in June 2016:

SAFe® 4.0 Introduction  - Overview of the Scaled Agile Framework® for Lean Software and Systems”.


The white paper distills the essence of SAFe from hundreds of website pages to just twenty-five, and provides a high-level overview of the Framework, including its values, principles, practices, and strategy for implementation.

Still too much?

3. The Blog Post

The folks at Scaled Agile Inc. also received lots of comments that they needed something simpler to understand. An essential view as a clear aid to understand the minimum roles and practices that are necessary to be successful with a SAFe implementation.

Hence the blog post.

Still too much?

4. The Video

Again, the folks at Scaled Agile Inc. have made efforts to make SAFe more accessible. That’s why they released a short, informal five-minute video, which gives a brief overview of SAFe and how it works.



It’s a really handy, short introduction for anyone new to SAFe.

5. The Website

Want more? You can, of course, still go to The Website. ☺

6. The Meetup

If your learning style is more about experiencing and doing, why not join the London SAFe Meetup Group? With monthly events, learnings cover various formats - from presentations, case studies, to simulations and games.

The London SAFe Meetup Group is a chance for you to learn from fellow practitioners and adopters, PLUS have beer and pizza!

Join the Meetup group here.



7. The Training Courses

Would you like to combine theoretical knowledge with thorough explanations and hands-on exercises? The SAFe training courses can provide you with all these, plus get you SAFe-certified.

SAFe training courses available are:

  • Leading SAFe
  • SAFe Advanced Scrum Master.

View more info & Book


Darren Wilmshurst

Darren Wilmshurst

With his strategic C-suite-oriented approach to IT leadership – and his infectious energy – Darren has successfully delivered multi-million pound business transformations for e-commerce sites, ERP implementations, outsourcing and offshoring, including multiple Agile transformations. Read more