SAFe has made a name for itself in the last decade after being introduced at large enterprises. The latest version, 4.5, was released in the summer of 2017. Although not fundamentally different from the previous version, the differences are significant enough to require some re-education.
What is SAFe?
SAFe is a methodology that can be applied to organizations and initiatives of all sizes and complexities. SAFe is able to serve the smallest groups of 4-6 people on the Team level, all the way to the largest of Enterprises of 100,000+ people on the Portfolio level.
What makes SAFe unique is its ability to bring together historically disconnected departments (IT, Ops, Business, Finance, etc.) to work together toward a singular vision and/or goal. It is able to handle multiple large-scale engagements and break them down into the smallest size tasks, while being predictive of dependencies and remaining transparent to the enterprise and the customer. The ability to accommodate all initiative sizes and the power to unify, be transparent, and versatile is what makes SAFe uniquely different from Scrum and Kanban. It is especially popular with larger enterprises because of the ability to scale, which the other methodologies significantly lack. For more information about SAFe, visit Scaled Agile Framework.