SAFe resources to get you started right

SAFe resources for everyone

The creators of SAFe (the Scaled Agile Framework) designed it to help scale an existing methodology (Agile) to the enterprise level. You could say it can make product development across the entire company agile. A Scaled Agile Framework provides a structure that is not limited to the team level and integrates those of the programs, more comprehensive solutions, and portfolios right up to practices integrated into the fabric of the entire organization.

If you're new to SAFe, it's worth noting that SAFe isn't just a methodology of its own. To fully understand SAFe, you’ll need to understand its foundational methodologies. Understanding the intricacies of the SAFe methodology is key to applying it successfully. The first step in efficiently scaling agile should be an enterprise-level awareness of the methodology. From our experience, organizations and teams are more likely to effectively implement SAFe if they have the knowledge-based foundation required to build proficiency in SAFe.

SAFe builds on methodologies like Agile, Scrum, Kanban, and even DevOps. While it might not be necessary to individually master each of these methodologies, having an idea of these unique frameworks could significantly enhance your understanding of SAFe. Wondering what resources you can use to understand SAFe? Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or expert user, the resources you choose to use will influence your understanding of SAFe. The following resources will not just help you to start, but to start right.

Websites 

One of the easiest ways to start learning SAFe is through reliable websites that cover the topic of SAFe extensively. 

Where best to learn about SAFe than from the founders' website, Scaled Agile? As the most authoritative source in the SAFe world, the authors of the Scaled Agile SAFe Blog have loaded it with tons of information on SAFe updates and real-world applications. While the blog doesn't contain much theoretical information on SAFe, it has several stories and lots of news to get you excited about learning SAFe.

Atlassian is a well-known authority in the Agile community. The Atlassian website is often referenced by many experts all around the world, and rightly so. Atlassian's no-nonsense guide to agile development, The Agile Coach, features an extensive knowledge base of SAFe and its foundational methodologies. Atlassian's well-organized web resource allows you to choose from a list of Agile related topics, including SAFe.

At Seibert Media, we're deeply passionate about everything Agile and have helped other corporations learn and adopt Agile. Seibert Media is a SAFe partner with years of experience in building Agile enterprises. We produce lots of SAFe resources here on our website, including in-depth blog articles, interviews, and case studies on enterprises that are actively using SAFe. 

Netmind’s website focuses on mentoring and coaching organizations, but it also features a few resources on Agile and SAFe. Their blog features SAFe resources as they apply to real organizations. You can also find interviews of SAFe industry leaders, including Chris James, CEO of Scaled Agile. 

The BMC website, like Netmind, isn't solely dedicated to SAFe. However, they have a few SAFe articles that are perfect for a beginner looking to overview SAFe quickly. Their blog post, "The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe): What To Know and How To Start." comes highly recommended. This eight-minute read gives a general overview of SAFe in a more simplified language without going too deep into complex analogies. 

Podcasts/Audio

If you prefer audio resources, you might find podcasts more interesting than web-based articles. Like website articles, there are several podcasts on the topic of SAFe. 

Scaled Agile hosts the SAFe Business Agility Podcast. This decent collection of SAFe audio material has some of the latest information on SAFe and probably more than you'll find anywhere on the web—the SAFe Agility Podcast features content from a community of practitioners, trainers, consultants, and experts. You can also easily access the podcasts on mobile via Google Play, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts.

PlayerFM is a well-known audio platform that features many podcasts on different topics, and one of those is Agile. The easiest way to find SAFe podcasts on PlayerFM is through the Scaled Agile Category. The platform features a good number of SAFe Agile channels, including the renowned Scaled Agile.

Podbay is much like PlayerFM. Although not entirely dedicated to SAFe, the Podbay platform features topics on SAFe. You'll find a decent collection of SAFe podcasts from different standpoints and in multiple languages. We recommend that you start with the Agile Amped Podcast by Accenture and SolutionsIQ.

Videos

Videos are a great way to learn the complexities of SAFe while keeping it visual. While YouTube has the most video resources on SAFe, Scaled Agile remains the world's most comprehensive resource on everything SAFe. With over 11,000 subscribers, the Scaled Agile YouTube channel features many exciting topics, including platform partner demos, customer stories, and SAFe execution guides.

iZenBridge is also one of the few channels dedicated to SAFe-related topics. Not surprising that they are a Bronze level Partner with Scaled Agile Framework and a member of ICAgile. This channel features lots of tutorial-style videos with visual aids. If you're a SAFe beginner, you might want to see their Introduction of Scaled Agile Framework ( SAFe)

Safe in the Real World videos are more suitable for people with primary or prior knowledge of SAFe. Started by Ahmed Syed, a SAFe Enterprise Agile Coach with over 15 years of experience, this channel is packed with useful information. Featured on this channel are many informative videos on Product Increment Planning (iterative planning for the product). 

Books

Books, of course, are more long-form and can be densely packed with information. If you’re someone who immediately buys a book when you need to learn more about a topic, here are a few suggestions to get you started:

The book, Agile Software Requirements is the one that started it all. Written by Dean Leffingwell (Founder of SAFe) and Don Widrig, the book helps you "leverage the benefits of Agile without sacrificing the value of effective requirements discovery and analysis." This book draws ideas from three effective practices: classical management practices, Agile methods, and lean product development.

The SAFe Distilled Series by Richard Knaster and Dean Leffingwell is an informative book series that looks into how enterprises can adopt SAFe. The book builds on proven methodologies, including Agile, Lean, and DevOps, to show how enterprises can remain competitive while delivering complex, technology-based business solutions in the shortest possible time. 

Speaking of DevOps, The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations has countless positive reviews, having sold over 500,000 copies. It is perfect for anyone who is part of or runs an IT enterprise. The book explores the DevOps methodology to help organizations increase productivity and profitability.

The Rollout by Alex Yakyma is great for those who enjoy a storytelling approach rather than an academic one. The Rollout is "A Novel about Leadership and Building a Lean-Agile Enterprise with SAFe." The story follows how the main character Ethan, struggles to cope with the increasing complexities of building competitive communication solutions and how he finds success with Agility at a much larger scale. We love that this book emphasizes the role of mindset in scaling Agile.

And lastly, The ART of Avoiding a Train Wreck is perfect for intermediate to advanced level SAFe professionals or anyone looking to implement SAFe in their organization.  Readers have described this book as a 'coach in your pocket' and rightfully so. In this practical book by Em Campbell-Pretty and Adrienne L. Wilson, you'll learn valuable, expert tips on Agile Release Trains.

Courses/Coaching

A great way to get started on your journey to SAFe is by taking a course. One great resource is the Scaled Agile Certification page. You can choose SAFe courses in the Foundational, Intermediate, or Advanced level. If you would prefer to work with a coach, we've put together a list of SAFe consultants and Agile Coaches for Scaled Agile.

Agile MeetUps and Conferences 

Meetups and conferences are a great way to learn about SAFe. Conferences and Meetups are an excellent resource for people looking to meet other SAFe experts and hear real stories of their agile scaling experience. 

One such conference is the Global SAFe Summit. The Global SAFe Summit brings together SAFe practitioners worldwide who share their stories on successfully implementing SAFe in their organizations. If you're in Europe, you could opt for the Europe SAFe Summit. The organizers held both conferences virtually in 2020 to help curb the impact of Covid-19.

If you're not one for crowds, you could connect with other SAFe practitioners/enthusiasts in your location by using meetup. Connecting with other Agile practitioners local to you is a valuable asset, not just for learning but also for networking.

Now that you have the resources at your fingertips, nothing is stopping your journey with SAFe. Would you like to learn more about SAFe or Agile Hive? Contact Us!

Further Reading