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SAFe 4.5 (Scaled Agile Framework) Foundations

Richard Knaster

SAFe® for Lean Enterprises is the world’s leading framework for enterprise agility. It consists of a freely available knowledge base, a navigable ‘Big Picture’ that covers the Lean-Agile Mindset, Core Values, principles and practice guidance, as well downloads and resources intended to help people who are building the world’s most important software and systems.

SAFe 4.5 Foundations Live Training is a hands-on course which provides an overview of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and approaches for implementing SAFe. Through live lectures, discussions, and activities you will learn what SAFe is, the benefits of adopting SAFe, and why businesses need SAFe in order to maintain a competitive edge. You will also discover the most critical factors in achieving a successful Lean-Agile transformation.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

  • Interpret the significance of the core values of SAFe
  • Recognize the importance of embracing Lean Thinking and Agility as the two primary aspects of a Lean-Agile mindset
  • Apply SAFe Lean-Agile principles to solution development
  • Formulate essential characteristics of the behaviors of Lean-Agile leaders
  • Apply the ten Essential SAFe elements
  • Explain the Solution Train as an important construct for building large and complex Solutions
  • Foster a Lean approach to Portfolio management
  • Delineate the steps in the SAFe Implementation Roadmap
  • Take concrete actions toward leading and implementing SAFe in your enterprise

This training course is for you because...

  • Your organization needs to build better systems, more quickly, in order to adapt to changing technology and economic conditions
  • You need to align solution development toward common business and technical goals
  • You need to make better decisions—and help others make better decisions—to improve economic outcomes
  • You need to create an environment that fosters collaboration, innovation, and relentless improvement
  • You need to organize more effectively in order to avoid delays and bureaucracy

This course is intended for:

  • Executives and technical leaders, managers, Directors, CIOs, and VPs
  • Development, QA, and Infrastructure Management
  • Program and Project Managers
  • Product and Product Line Management
  • Portfolio Managers, PMO, and Process Leads
  • Enterprise, System, and Solution Architects


  • Interest in the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)
  • Experience in software or solution development, testing, business analysis, product, or project management
  • Some familiarity with Agile development

Pre-Course To Do

NOTE: All course PDFs and files are included in the Resources folder during class and can be downloaded from DropBox

Preparation for Homework 1

Preparation for Homework 2

Preparation for Homework 3

Additional Course Preparation Resources:

Watch: Agile Planning Implementation (video duration: 1:48)

Watch: 3 Minute Pitch with Dean (video)

Read: Lean Portfolio Management (article)

Read: Strategic Themes (article)

Read: Enterprise (article)

Recommended Preparation:

Leading SAFe 4.5 LiveLessons (video)

SAFe Distilled (book)

SAFe 4.0 Reference Guide (book)

About your instructor

  • Richard Knaster, Author, SAFe Fellow, Methodologist at Scaled Agile Inc.

    Richard Knaster actively works on advancing SAFe’s Lean-Agile methods as a SAFe Fellow and principal consultant. He is passionate about helping organizations create a better environment to deliver value, improve quality, flow and being more engaging and fun. Richard is the co-author of two books on SAFe, SAFe Distilled and the SAFe Reference Guide.

    Richard has over 25 years’ experience in software and systems development, in roles ranging from developer to executive, and has been leading large-scale Agile transformations for well over 15 years. Richard is a certified IBM Thought Leader and Open Group Distinguished IT Specialist, as well as a PSM and SPCT.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Segment 1: Values, Mindset and Principles of SAFe (50 minutes)

  • Interpret the significance of the core values of SAFe
  • Relate the importance of embracing Lean Thinking and Agility as the two primary aspects of a Lean-Agile mindset
  • Recognize how SAFe principles support its roles and practices
  • Topic: Overview of mindset, values, principles and practices of SAFe.
  • Activities: Group/Individual activities and homework

Break: (10 minutes)

Segment 2: Essential SAFe (50 minutes)

  • Apply the ten Essential SAFe elements necessary to realize the majority of business benefits
  • Perform a diagnostic self-assessment by interpreting the ten Essential SAFe elements in your own business context
  • Topic: Discuss the ten essential elements of SAFe.
  • Activities: Participants will fill out the diagnostic self-assessment.

Break: (10 minutes)

Segment 3: Portfolio and Large Solution SAFe (50 minutes)

  • Differentiate the Portfolio and Large Solution configurations from Essential SAFe
  • Identify Strategic Themes
  • Examine roles, artifacts and events in Large Solution level
  • Topic: Overview of the Portfolio and Large Solution configuration
  • Activities: Group/individual activities and homework

Break (10 minutes)

Segment 4: Implementing SAFe (30 minutes)

  • Delineate the steps in the SAFe Implementation Roadmap
  • Take concrete actions toward leading and implementing SAFe in your enterprise
  • Topic: Overview of SAFe’s Implementation Roadmap