SAFe® 4.0 Distilled Applying the Scaled Agile Framework® for Lean Software and Systems Engineering

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 4/7/2017
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
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SAFe® 4.0 Distilled is the book we’ve all been waiting for. It breaks down the complexity of the Framework into easily digestible explanations and actionable guidance. A must-have resource for beginners as well as seasoned practitioners.”

—Lee Cunningham, Sr. Director, Enterprise Agile Strategy at VersionOne, Inc.

Adapt or die. That’s not just a Darwinian adage or a corporate catch phrase. It’s a fact, proven daily in the marketplace. Remember Blockbuster, Kodak, Borders, Palm Computing, Nokia, and Compaq? Many companies that were recently industry leaders are no longer in existence, or are faint echoes of what they used to be.

Recognizing the need to evolve, especially in software and systems development, businesses have pursued the productivity principles first described in the groundbreaking Agile Manifesto. But many have been incapable of integrating these new behaviors. Evolving too slowly, or adopting piecemeal approaches, companies have failed to integrate Agile methods.

In SAFe® 4.0 Distilled: Applying the Scaled Agile Framework® for Lean Software and Systems Engineering, Lean-Agile thought leaders Richard Knaster and Dean Leffingwell explain how adopting SAFe can quickly improve time to market and increase efficiency, quality, and employee engagement. This book synthesizes the robust, transformative concepts now used by thousands of companies around the world, including Hewlett Packard, AstraZeneca, Cisco, and John Deere.

In SAFe 4.0 Distilled, readers will discover

  • The business case for SAFe: its benefits, the problems it solves, and when to apply it
  • An overview of SAFe across all parts of the business, levels it describes as “team, program, value stream, and portfolio”
  • An expanded overview of SAFe’s values and principles, which explains why SAFe works
  • The concepts behind systems thinking, Lean product development, and the value of taking an economic view
  • How management can “unlock the intrinsic motivation of today’s knowledge workers” and transition to become Lean-Agile leaders
  • How to align company efforts around common goals to speed development using a model called the “Agile Release Train”

In short, SAFe 4.0 Distilled will help you understand and implement the principles driving many of the most successful companies in the world. Enterprises that, in the face of rapid change, continue to thrive and grow.

Author Biography

Richard Knaster, SAFe Fellow and Principal Consultant at Scaled Agile, Inc., has more than 25 years’ experience in software development in roles ranging from developer to executive and has been involved in Agile for more than a decade. Prior to joining Scaled Agile, Inc., Richard worked at IBM, where his career spanned from product line management (PPM domain) and professional services to chief methodologist, Agile and Lean. Richard is a certified IBM Thought Leader and an Open Group Distinguished IT Specialist. He is also a certified SPC, PSM, Agile Certified Practitioner, PMP, and a contributor to the Disciplined Agile Delivery framework and PMI Portfolio/Program Management standards. He was a contributor to SAFe(R) 4.0 Reference Guide (Addison-Wesley, 2017).


Dean Leffingwell, creator of SAFe®, is widely recognized as the one of the world’s foremost authorities on Lean-Agile best practices. He is an author, serial entrepreneur, and software systems development methodologist. He is author of SAFe(R) 4.0 Reference Guide (Addison-Wesley, 2017). His two best-selling books, Agile Software Requirements: Lean Requirements Practices for Teams, Programs, and the Enterprise (Addison-Wesley, 2011), and Scaling Software Agility: Best Practices for Large Enterprises (Addison-Wesley, 2007), form much of the basis of modern thinking on Lean-Agile practices and principles.

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction
1. Overview of the Scaled Agile Framework
2. SAFe Core Values
3. Principles of Lean, Systems Thinking
4. Agile Manifesto


Part II: Agile Portfolio Management
5. Organizing for Value Delivery
6. Evaluating Ideas, Managing Demand and Flow
7. Governing with Agility and responsibility
8. Budgeting with Agility
9. Lean Thinking Leadership


Part III: Agile Programs (Teams of Teams)
10. Empowering Programs
11. Driving with Customer Vision
12. Planning on Cadence
13. Executing with Flow
14. Measuring Progress
15. Releasing on Demand
16. Improving Continuously


Part IV: Agile Teams
17. Enabling High Performing Teams
18. Aligning to a Common Mission
19. Delivering Code Quality
20. Developing Incrementally

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