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What's New in SAFe 4.6?

We are delighted to announce the introduction of SAFe 4.6, highlighting the introduction of the
five core competencies of the Lean Enterprise. They are now the primary lens for understanding
and implementing SAFe. Mastery of these five competencies enables enterprises to successfully
navigate digital disruption and to effectively respond to volatile market conditions, changing
customer needs, and emerging technologies. To read information on our FAQ on training,
certification and more go to: https://www.scaledagile.com/knowledge-base/category/safe-

Each competency is summarized in a new overview article and is also reflected in related
guidance throughout the SAFe website. Each competency is described in the sections below.

Figure 1. New SAFe 4.6 Big Picture, highlighting the introduction of the five competencies of
the Lean Enterprise

Lean-Agile Leadership
The Lean-Agile Leadership competency describes how Lean-Agile Leaders drive and sustain
organizational change by empowering individuals and teams to reach their highest potential.
They do this by learning, exhibiting, teaching, and coaching SAFe’s Lean-Agile mindset, core
values, principles, and practices.

Figure 2. Lean-Agile Leadership competency, highlighting related article change

Lean-Agile Leadership Related Article Changes

• The prior Lean-Agile Leaders article was combined with the Lean-Agile Leadership
competency article
• The SAFe principles have been updated with a redraft of Principle #3 — Assume
variability and preserve options
• A new advanced topic article, Evolving Role of Managers describes the changes and
ongoing responsibilities of line management in the new way of working

Team and Technical Agility

The Team and Technical Agility competency describe the critical skills and Lean-Agile
principles and practices needed to create high-performing teams who can create high-quality,
well-designed technical solutions in support of current and future business needs.
• Team agility - enables high-performing Agile teams that are organized and operate with
basic and effective Agile principles and practices
• Technical agility - provides Lean-Agile technical practices to create high-quality, well-
designed technical solutions that support current and future business needs

Figure 3. Team and Technical Agility competency, highlighting related article changes

Team and Technical Agility Related Article Changes

• The entirely new Built-In Quality article describes the five dimensions that enable
building in quality – flow, architecture and design quality, code quality, system quality,
and release quality
• Product Owner, Scrum Master, Dev Team, and Agile Teams articles were changed to
reflect the new guidance and thinking from the Team and Technical Agility
competency and their responsibilities in Behavior-Driven Development (BDD)
• New advanced topic articles on:
o Test-Driven Development (TDD) - TDD is a philosophy and practice that
recommends building and executing tests before implementing the code or a
component of a system.
o Behavioral Driven Development (BDD) - BDD is a Test-First, Agile
Testing practice that provides Built-In Quality by defining (and potentially
automating) tests before, or as part of, specifying system behavior.
o Agile Testing - is a comprehensive overview of Agile testing strategies using the
updated Agile testing quadrants.
DevOps and Release on Demand
The DevOps and Release on Demand competency describe how the principles and practices of
DevOps provide the enterprise with the capability to release value (in whole or in part), at any
time necessary to meet market and customer demand. Along with the associated articles, this
new competency revises and enhances the depth of guidance on implementing a full continuous
delivery pipeline.

Figure 4. DevOps and Release on Demand competency, highlighting related article changes

DevOps and Release on Demand Related Article Changes

• Deeper and more advanced Continuous Delivery Pipeline guidance that includes mapping
the current delivery pipeline and assessing and improving flow with the DevOps and
Release on Demand health radar (contains 16 dimensions).
• All new Continuous Exploration, Continuous Integration, Continuous Deployment and
Release on Demand articles, which reflect the 16 dimensions of the health radar
• Updates to the DevOps article to reflect changes resulting from the DevOps and Release
on Demand competency
• Updates to the Feature article to describe its role in BDD
Business Solutions and Lean Systems
The Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering competency describe how enterprises can
develop large and complex software and cyber-physical systems using a Lean, Agile, and flow-
based, value delivery-model. This model optimizes the activities necessary to specify, design,
construct, test, deploy, operate, evolve and ultimately decommission solutions.

Figure 5. Business Solutions and Lean Systems competency, highlighting related article changes

Business Solutions and Lean Systems Related Article

• New specific guidance — eight practices for building large and complex solutions — in
the new Business Solutions and Lean Systems Engineering competency article
• New Economic Framework with four primary elements:
1. Operating within Lean budgets and guardrails
2. Understanding solution economic trade-offs
3. Leveraging Suppliers
4. Sequencing jobs for the maximum benefit (using WSJF)
• All new Roadmap article introduces multiple planning horizons and the
Solution Roadmap, which provides a longer-term—often multiyear—view, showing the
key milestones and deliverables needed to achieve the solution Vision over time. The
roadmap also contains new guidance on understanding and applying market rhythms and
Lean Portfolio Management
The Lean Portfolio Management competency describes how an enterprise can implement Lean
approaches to strategy and investment funding, Agile portfolio operations, and Lean governance
for a SAFe portfolio.

Figure 6. Lean Portfolio Management competency, highlighting related article changes

Lean Portfolio Management Related Article Changes

• Updated strategy formulation in the Enterprise article and a definition of the portfolio.
• Updated Strategic Themes resulting from the new Lean Portfolio
Management competency.
• New Portfolio Canvas describes how a portfolio of solutions creates, delivers and
captures value for an organization. The portfolio canvas also helps define and align the
portfolio’s value streams and solutions to the goals of the enterprise and provides a basis
for how it can be evolved to meet the vision of a future state.
• New Lean Budget Guardrails article provides guidance on how to ensure that the right
investments are being made within the portfolio’s budget. For example, these guardrails
help balance near-term opportunities and long-term strategy, and continuous business
owner engagement helps assure that investments in technology, infrastructure, and
maintenance aren’t routinely ignored.
• Updated Lean Budgets article provides new guidance for moving from traditional
budgets to Lean budgets, guiding investments by horizon and applying participatory
• Updated Value Streams article, which includes a section on defining value streams and a
revised Development Value Stream Canvas that aligns better with the new Portfolio

SAFe for Government

The new SAFe for Government article describes a set of success patterns that help public sector
organizations implement Lean-Agile practices.

Figure 7. SAFe for Government

The SAFe for Government article will also serve as a landing page for a more comprehensive
treatment in applying SAFe in a national, regional or local government context. This work-in-
process provides specific guidance to address the following concerns:

• Building a foundation of Lean-Agile values, principles, and practices

• Creating high-performing teams of government teams and contractors
• Aligning technology investments with agency strategy
• Transitioning from projects to a lean flow of epics
• Adopting Lean budgeting aligned to value streams
• Applying Lean estimating and forecasting in cadence
• Modifying acquisition practices to enable Lean-Agile development and operations
• Building in quality and compliance
• Adapting governance practices to support agility and lean flow of value

It’s important to note that these recommendations for Lean-Agile adoption in government do not
require a different version of SAFe or suggest modifying SAFe terms and practices to fit
government protocols. In fact, experienced practitioners in government services have reported
that they achieve the best results when the SAFe model and terminology are used without

New SAFe Implementation Roadmap

The SAFe Implementation Roadmap has been updated to include three new courses:

• SAFe DevOps
• Agile Software Engineering
• SAFe System and Solution Architect

Additionally, a 'Waterfall/Ad hoc agile' starting point was added to the front of the roadmap to
acknowledge where most organizations begin their transformation journey. Also, all 12 SAFe
Implementation Roadmap articles have been updated to reflect the new competency guidance.

Figure 8. New Implementation Roadmap

Other Important Stuff
In addition, we’ve made a number of enhancements and changes to the site itself:

• Improvements to the performance of the SAFe website, especially for countries outside
of North America
• Revised glossary translated in 10 languages
• Improved top menu navigation
• New tabs to select the configurations of SAFe. Each configuration can be referenced by a
separate URL
• New download posters page where you can now also order fabric posters for all
configurations of SAFe and the Implementation Roadmap