Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is one of those fairly new agile scaling frameworks gaining ground today. SAFe is mainly for IT product development, actually there’s no such thing as a “project” within the framework. SAFe adresses enterprise development from strategy to operations by adding four different levels to their “big picture” model. These are portfolio, value stream, program and team levels. While adressing the entire enterprise, the model implicitly adresses architecture. Although the model necessarily not mention architect roles at each and every level, you could easily draw an almost transparent model of the Iasa Engagement Model on top of the SAFe “big picture”:
The One and Only Product Inc.
The One and Only Product Inc. is an IT product company, developing the “one and only product”. As you might guess the company has only this one product within its range. The company is quite fortunate, they don’t have that many competitors and a large market share. From an IT perspective, the product has a quite homogeneous architecture. There are no external dependencies, no integration with other enterprises and products, and software architecture based upon only one technical platform. That said, development is far from easy. They have quite many customers with different ideas, needs and requirements, that has to be prioritized within product management. There are approximately 200+ developers working on the product in a 20+ agile teams. All the teams has to be highly synchronized to manage each product increment and the release schedule. The One and Only Product Inc. has choosen SAFe as their product development framework.
Jane is a business architect. She is also the Product Manager as defined by the SAFe framework. TODO…
Brian is a solution architect…..
Jim is a software architect. He’s also a Java development champion. Jim is also a full member of one of the 20+ agile teams, taking the architecture lead and acts as a facilitator regarding development within the team.
Steve is an infrastructure architect. Since DevOps is essential to SAFe, Steve’s also repsonsible to keep development and infrastructure team synchronized within the Agile Release Train.