Scaled Agile Announces SAFe 4.0: Introduces Innovations for Lean Software and Systems Engineering

Share Article

Breakthrough version of Scaled Agile Framework gets modular makeover; incorporates lean systems development content, scales to meet the needs of the largest software and systems builders

SAFe 4.0 for Lean Software and Systems Engineering

SAFe is more adaptable than ever as it can now be applied to software and systems enterprises in all industries, and all shapes and sizes

Scaled Agile, Inc. (SAI) unveiled SAFe® 4.0 for Lean Software and Systems Engineering today, marking a major milestone in the history of the Scaled Agile Framework®. The new release features extensive refinements to many elements of the Framework, as well as new content and guidance that helps enterprises better organize around value delivery, develop systems that include hardware and software, and improve development, coordination, and delivery of large value streams.

The new Framework integrates Lean-Agile software development with lean systems engineering practices, providing a common way of working across the two disciplines, and bringing the benefits of both to the larger enterprise.

“SAFe 4.0 is the result of collaboration with some of the largest and most successful software and systems companies in the world,” said Dean Leffingwell, SAI co-founder and Chief Methodologist. “With complex cyber-physical systems becoming increasingly software reliant, there is a growing demand for best practices to address conceptual and process incompatibilities between systems and software. SAFe 4.0 bridges that gap, and does so in a way that is more modular, scalable, and adaptable than prior versions.”

Key enhancements in SAFe 4.0 include:

  •     More modularity with a dynamic collapse/expand capability. The collapsed view, “3-Level SAFe,” is backwards compatible with Version 3, providing for easy migration.
  •     With one click, SAFe expands to “4-Level SAFe,” a view that includes a new Value Stream level designed for those building complex solutions that take hundreds or thousands of practitioners to build and deploy. The new level includes guidance on defining and managing solution intent, coordinating multiple Agile Release Trains, and specific guidance for engaging traditional and Lean-Agile customers and suppliers.
  •     A floating tool palette further enhances adaptability by providing guidance on roles and activities that can be applied at any level of the Framework.
  •     New Team level constructs include incorporation of Kanban for flow at the Team level, and inter-team communication is supported by Communities of Practice (CoP).
  •     New Portfolio-level elements include connection to the enterprise strategy, and coordinating Value Streams within a portfolio.
  •     Enterprise value flow is managed by connected Kanban systems, which help visualize and limit work in process, and accelerate the continuous flow of value delivery.

“SAFe is more adaptable than ever as it can now be applied to software and systems enterprises in all industries, and all shapes and sizes,” said Chris James, SAI President and COO. “And because every solution builder’s context is unique, we are also pleased to announce the simultaneous release of Enterprise SAFe 4.0, a hosted, private, customizable, end-user version of the Framework.”

“For over a decade, we’ve been helping big systems builders in defense, automotive, and industrial marketplaces build some of the most complex, mission-critical solutions known,” said Harry Koehnemann, Director of Technology at 321 Gang. “We’ve worked extensively with Scaled Agile and our clients over the last year to help ensure that the new content supports the needs of the large, and increasingly lean, systems builders. We are currently applying SAFe 4.0 in a number of large programs, and couldn’t be more pleased with the early results.”

About Scaled Agile, Inc. (SAI):

Based in Boulder, Colorado, Scaled Agile’s mission is to help large enterprises achieve better outcomes, increase employee engagement, and improve business economics through adoption of Lean-Agile principles and practices based on the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®). SAI supports tens of thousands of practitioners of the Framework through training, certification, consulting services, and a global partner network that reaches over 35 countries and 350 cities. As a member of the Pledge 1% corporate philanthropy movement, SAI contributes to the local community and seeks to inspire and encourage other companies to the same purpose.

Learn about Scaled Agile, and the Scaled Agile Framework, at and

To view SAFe case studies, visit

Media Contact:
Regina Cleveland, Director of Communications

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Francis Kelly
Visit website