SAFe® Glossary

Welcome to the SAFe® Glossary

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) is an online, freely accessible knowledge database with proven, integrated patterns for implementing lean agile development. It provides comprehensive guidance for work at portfolio, large solution, program and team levels.

We are the first-mover with the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) in the German-speaking market. We implemented both the first Agile Release Train and the first SAFe® transformation, along with having the first certified SPC, SPCT, RTE and, since 2018, the first German SAFe® Fellow. KEGON now has 5 SPCTs (SAFe® Practice Consultant Trainer) and one SPCT Candidate.

Click here for more information on the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) and here for our SAFe® trainings.


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Agile Product Delivery (APD) competency is a customer-centric approach to defining, building, and releasing products and services in a continuous flow of value to customers and end-users.

The Agile Release Train (ART) is a long-lived team of Agile teams that incrementally develops, delivers, and often operates one or more solutions in a development value stream.

An Agile Team is a cross-functional group of typically ten or fewer individuals with all the skills necessary to define, build, test, and deliver value to their customer.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a term used to describe a wide range of smart machines capable of performing tasks that typically required human intelligence. AI can be applied at all levels of SAFe to build intelligent customer solutions, automate value stream activities, and improve customer insights. 

The Architectural Runway consists of the existing code, components, and technical
infrastructure needed to implement near-term features without excessive redesign and

The ART Backlog is a Kanban system that is used to capture and manage the features and enablers intended to enhance the solution and extend its architectural runway.

ART Flow describes a state where an ART delivers a continuous flow of valuable features to the customer.

Big Data refers to the roles and practices required to collect, manage, normalize and deliver large datasets that help enterprises make more informed, fact-based decisions.

Built-In Quality is a set of practices to help ensure that the outputs of Agile teams in business and technology domains meet appropriate quality standards throughout the process of creating customer value.

Business Agility is the ability to compete and thrive in the digital age by quickly responding to market changes and emerging opportunities with innovative, digitally-enabled business solutions.

Business and Technology describes the patterns that may be applied to realize Business Agility by applying SAFe principles and practices across the enterprise.

Business Owners (BOs) are key ART stakeholders who have the primary business and technical responsibility for return on investment (ROI), governance, and compliance.

CALMR is a DevOps mindset that guides the ART toward achieving continuous value delivery by enhancing culture, automation, lean flow, measurement, and recovery. 

A Capability represents large solution functionality whose implementation often spans multiple ARTs and is sized to be delivered within a PI.

The Cloud represents virtual, on-demand processing and storage services used for cost-effective and scalable infrastructure and operations, implementation of the DevOps toolchain, and development and hosting of AI applications.

Communities of Practice (CoPs) are organized groups of people with a common interest in a specific technical or business domain. They regularly collaborate to share information, improve their skills, and actively work on advancing their knowledge of the domain.

Compliance refers to a strategy and a set of activities and artifacts that allow teams to
apply Lean-Agile development methods to build systems that have the highest possible
quality, while simultaneously assuring they meet any regulatory, industry, or other

The Continuous Delivery Pipeline (CDP) represents the workflows, activities, and
automation needed to guide new functionality from ideation to an ondemand
release of value.

Continuous Deployment (CD) is an aspect of the Continuous Delivery Pipeline that automates the migration of new functionality from a staging environment to production, where it is made available for release.

Continuous Exploration (CE) is an aspect of the Continuous Delivery Pipeline that drives innovation and fosters alignment on what should be built by continually exploring the market and customer needs, defining a vision, roadmap, and set of features for a solution.

Continuous Integration (CI) is an aspect of the Continuous Delivery Pipeline in which new functionality is developed, tested, integrated, and validated in preparation for deployment and release.

The Continuous Learning Culture (CLC) competency describes a set of values and practices that encourage individuals—and the enterprise as a whole—to continually increase knowledge, competence, performance, and innovation.

Coordinate and Deliver describes the practices Solution Trains use to maintain the alignment and collaboration needed to continuously deliver value to large solution customers.

The four Core Values of alignment, transparency, respect for people, and relentless improvement represent the foundational beliefs that are key to SAFe’s effectiveness.

Customers are the ultimate beneficiaries of the value of the solutions created and maintained by a portfolio’s value streams.

Customer Centricity is a mindset that focuses on creating positive experiences for the customer through the full set of products and services that the enterprise offers.

Design Thinking is a customer-centric development process that creates desirable products that are profitable and sustainable over their lifecycle.

A Development Value Stream is the sequence of activities needed to convert a business hypothesis into a digitally-enabled solution that delivers customer value.

DevOps is a mindset, culture, and set of technical practices that supports the integration, automation, and collaboration needed to effectively develop and operate a solution.

Enablers are backlog items that extend the architectural runway of the solution under development or improve the performance of the development value stream.

The Enterprise represents the business entity to which each SAFe portfolio belongs.

The Enterprise Architect is responsible for establishing the portfolio’s technology vision, strategy, and roadmap.

The Enterprise Solution Delivery competency describes how to apply Lean-Agile
principles and practices to the specification, development, deployment, operation, and
evolution of the world’s largest and most sophisticated software applications, networks,
and cyber-physical systems.

The Epic Owner is responsible for coordinating epics through the portfolio Kanban system.

An Epic is a significant solution developement initiative.

Essential SAFe provides the minimal elements necessary for Agile Release Trains to deliver solutions and is the simplest starting point for implementation.

A Feature represents solution functionality that delivers business value, fulfills a stakeholder need, and is sized to be delivered by an Agile Release Train within a PI. 

The Innovation and Planning (IP) Iteration is a unique, dedicated iteration that occurs every PI. It provides an estimating buffer for meeting PI Objectives and dedicated time for innovation, continuing education, PI Planning, and Inspect and Adapt (I&A) events. 

The Inspect and Adapt (I&A) is a significant event held at the end of each PI, where the current state of the Solution is demonstrated and evaluated. Teams then reflect and identify improvement backlog items via a structured problem-solving workshop.

Iterations are a standard, fixed-duration timebox during which Agile Teams and ARTs individually and collectively deliver incremental customer value while working towards the PI objectives.

Iteration planning is a SAFe Scrum event where all team members determine how much of the Team Backlog they can commit to delivering during an upcoming Iteration. The team summarizes this work as a set of committed iteration goals.

The Iteration Retrospective is a regular event where the team members discuss the results of the iteration, review their practices, and identify ways to improve.

The Iteration Review is a regular SAFe Scrum event where the team inspects the iteration increment, assesses progress, and adjusts the team backlog.

Large Solution SAFe is for enterprises building large and complex solutions that do not require portfolio concerns.

Lean Budget Guardrails describe the policies and practices for budgeting, spending, and governance for a specific portfolio.

Lean Budgets is a financial governance approach that funds value streams instead of projects, accelerating value delivery and reducing the overhead and costs associated with traditional project cost accounting

The Lean Portfolio Management competency aligns strategy and execution by applying Lean and systems thinking approaches to strategy and investment funding, Agile portfolio operations, and governance.

Lean User Experience (Lean UX) is a team-based approach to building better products by focusing less on theoretically ideal design and more on iterative learning, overall user experience, and customer outcomes.

The Lean-Agile Leadership (LAL) competency describes how leaders drive and sustain organizational change and operational excellence by empowering individuals and teams to reach their highest potential.

The Lean-Agile Mindset is the combination of beliefs, assumptions, attitudes, and actions of SAFe leaders and practitioners who embrace the concepts of Lean Thinking and the Agile Manifesto.

Measure and Grow is an approach SAFe enterprises use to evaluate progress towards Business Agility and determine improvement actions.

Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is the practice of developing a set of related models that help define, design, simulate, and document a system under development.

Nonfunctional Requirements (NFRs) are system qualities that guide the design of the solution and often serve as constraints across the relevant backlogs.

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is a collaborative framework for establishing clear goals and measurable outcomes.

An Operational Value Stream (OVS) is the sequence of activities needed to deliver a product or service to a customer.

The Organizational Agility (OA) competency describes how Lean-thinking people and Agile teams across the enterprise optimize their business processes, evolve strategy with clear and decisive new commitments, and quickly adapt the organization as needed to capitalize on new opportunities.

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is collaborative process for allocating the portfolio budget to its value streams.

PI Objectives summarize the business and technical goals that teams and trains intend to achieve in the upcoming PI.

PI Planning is a cadence-based event for the entire ART that aligns teams and stakeholders to a shared mission and vision.

A Planning Interval (PI) is a cadence-based timebox in which Agile Release Trains deliver continous value to customers in alignment with PI Objectives.

The Portfolio Backlog is a Kanban system that is used to capture and manage the business and enabler epics intended to create and evolve the portfolio's products, services, and solutions.

Portfolio Flow describes a state where Lean Portfolio Management provides a continous flow of new epics to Solution Trains and ARTs to achieve the portfolio's vision and strategic themes.

Portfolio SAFe provides strategy and investment funding, Agile portfolio operations, and Lean governance for one or more value streams.

The Portfolio Vision describes the future state of a portfolio's value streams and solutions.

Pre–Plan describes the activities that align and prepare ARTs within a Solution Train for PI planning.

Product Management is the function responsible for defining desirable, viable, feasible, and sustainable solutions that meet customer needs and supporting development across the product life cycle.

The Product Owner (PO) is the Agile team member primarily responsible for maximizing the value delivered by the team by ensuring that the team backlog is aligned with customer and stakeholder needs.

Program Increment (PI) Planning is a cadence-based, face-to-face event that serves as
the heartbeat of the Agile Release Train (ART), aligning all the teams on the ART to a
shared mission and Vision.

Release on Demand is an aspect of the Continous Delivery Pipeline that releases new functionality immediately or incrementally based on business and customer needs

The Release Train Engineer (RTE) is a servant leader and ART coach who facilitates ART events and processes, and supports teams in delivering value.

The Roadmap is a schedule of events and milestones that forecasts and communicates planned
solution deliverables over a time horizon.

SAFe is the world's leading framework for Business Agility. SAFe integrates the power of Lean, Agile, and DevOps into a comprehensive operating system that helps enterprises thrive in the digital age by delivering innovative products and services faster, more predictably, and with higher quality.

SAFe for Government is a set of success patterns that help public sector organizations
achieve better solution development outcomes by implementing SAFe Lean-Agile values, mindset, principles, and practices.

The SAFe Implementation Roadmap consists of an overview graphic and a 14-article
series that describes a strategy and an ordered set of activities for successfully implementing SAFe.

SAFe is based on ten immutable, underlying Lean-Agile principles. These tenets and economic concepts inspire and inform the roles and practices of SAFe.

SAFe Practice Consultants (SPCs) are certified change agents who combine their technical knowledge of SAFe with an intrinsic motivation to improve the company's software, systems, and Agile business processes.

SAFe Scrum is an Agile method used by teams within an ART to deliver customer value in a short time box. SAFe Scrum teams use iterations, Kanban systems, and Scrum events to plan, execute, demonstrate, adn retrospect their work.

SAFe Team Kanban is an Agile method used by teams within an ART to continously deliver value. SAFe Kanban teams apply a flow-based process to their daily work and operate within the ART iteration cadence.

The SAFe Scrum Master/ Team Coach (SM/TC) is a servant leader and coach for an Agile team who facilitates team events and processes, and supports teams and ARTs in delivering value.

Set-Based Design (SBD) is a Lean development practice that keeps requirements and design options flexible for as long as possible during the development process.

Shared Services represents the specialty roles, people, and services required for the
success of an ART or Solution Train, but that are not dedicated

A solution is a product, system, or service that provides value to internal or external customers.

Solution Architect is responsible for defining and communicating a shared
technical and architectural vision for a Solution Train to help ensure the solution under development will be fit for its intended purpose.

Solution Context identifies the critical aspects of the environment in which a solution operates.

The Solution Demo provides stakeholders an integrated view of the contributions of multiple ARTs and suppliers to obtain objective evidence of solution performance and to gather feedback.

Solution Intent is the repository for storing, managing, and communicating the knowledge of current and intended solution behavior and design.  

Solution Management is the function responsible for defining desirable, viable, feasible, and sustainable large solutions that meet customer needs and for supporting development across the solution life cycle.

The Solution Train is the organizational construct used to build large solutions that requires the coordination of multiple ARTs and suppliers.

The Solution Train Backlog is a Kanban system that is used to capture and manage the capabilities and enablers intended to enhance the large solution and extend its architectural runway.

The Solution Train Engineer (STE) is a servant leader and coach who facilitates Solution Train events and processes, coordinates the work of ARTs and Suppliers, and supports ARTs in delivering value.

Solution Train Flow describes a state where a Solution Train delivers a continous flow of valuable capabilities to the customer.

Stories are short descriptions of a small piece of desired functionality written from the user's perspective. 

Strategic Themes are portfolio-level business objectives that provide competitive differentiation and strategic advantage. They provide business context for portfolio strategy and decision-making, representing aspects of the enterprise's strategic intent.

A Supplier is an internal or external organization that develops and delivers solution components, subsystems, or services to ARTs and development value streams.  

The System Architect is responsible for defining and communicating a shared technical and architectural vision for the solutions developed by an ART.

The System Demo provides stakeholders an integrated view of new features for the most recent iteration delivered by all the teams on the ART. Each demo provides an objective measure of progress and the opportunity to give feedback.

The System Team is a specialized Agile Team that assists in building and supporting the Agile development environment, including developing and maintaining the Continuous Delivery Pipeline. They may
also support the integration of assets, end-to-end solution testing, DevOps mindset and practices, deployment, and release on demand.

The Team and Technical Agility (TTA) competency describes the critical skills, principles, and practices that high-performing Agile teams on an Agile Release Train use to create high-quality solutions for their customers.

The Team Backlog is a Kanban system that is used to capture and manage the user stories and enablers intended to enhance the solution.

Team Flow describes a state in which Agile teams deliver a continous flow of value to the customer.

Value Stream Coordination describes how to manage dependencies between value streams and exploit the opportunities that exist in the interconnections.

Value Stream Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the quantifiable measures used to evaluate how a value stream performs against its business objectives.

Value Stream Management (VSM) is a leadership and technical discipline that enables the maximum flow of business value through the end-to-end solution delivery life cycle.

The Vision is a description of the future state of the solution under development. It
reflects customer and stakeholder needs and the features and capabilities proposed to meet those needs.

Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF) is a prioritization model used to sequence work for maximum economic benefit. In SAFe, WSJF is estimated as the relative cost of delay divided by the relative job duration.