How SAFe Core Values stabilize and accelerate the progress of agile teams?

How SAFe Core Values stabilize and accelerate the progress of agile teams?

SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) Core Values are responsible for ordering the behavior and action of an organization working in a SAFe portfolio. Determining core values of an organization is an essential part of its success. Adhering to these values makes the path to accomplishing your business objectives consistent and creates a unified thriving culture for its participants.

The four Core Values of Scaled Agile Framework are

  1. Alignment
  2. Built-In-Quality
  3. Transparency
  4. Program Execution.

Their importance is described below

1. Alignment

It is necessary for keeping an organization in line with adapting to evolving business requirements and coordinating work of multiple teams that may or may not be situated in different geographical locations. Different perspectives presented by a diverse group of individuals support the creation of strategic themes at the portfolio level. 

Alignment helps in understanding to provide visibility and transparency to the vision and the program backlogs that formulate these strategic themes. The objectives set in the Program Increment convey what has to be achieved. Alignment is ensured by cadence and synchronization, where cadence sets a routine for the team and synchronization ensures that the development team and the business stakeholders are on the same page. Lean prioritization is effective in keeping the stakeholders involved in prioritizing requirements as to changing conditions. Program architecture ensures that the solution is technologically sound.


Quality is of paramount importance. Built-In-Quality is a primary requirement for Lean Development and should be seen in every increment.  Practices for ensuring quality are different for software, hardware and system integration.

For ensuring software quality, the team can apply any practice that suits them, from the practices listed below:

  • Extreme Programming (XP) — An agile process which produces high-quality software which satisfies the customer’s needs and allows the developers to adapt to changing requirements.
  • Test Driven Development – Write code that fails first then make code which passes and then refactor.
  • Acceptance Test Driven Development – An agile process which focuses on customer collaboration to create stories that enable the developers to visualize what the customer wants in terms of features.
  • Behavior Driven Development – The natural behavior of a user and their requirements are converted into executable tests.
  • Continuous Integration – Integrating code from multiple developers into a shared repository.
  • Refactoring – Restructuring existing code without changing its external behavior.
  • Pair Work – to learn and improve together by reviewing each other’s work.

For hardware quality, these are the matters that need to be addressed:

  • Hardware needs to follow strict compliance standards.
  • Develop one feature by a specific date with Commitment-Based Project Management.

Finally, system integration is critical. Different subsystems need to be integrated in a way to provide an effective solution. This is ensured by the following practices:

  • Frequent system and solution level integration.
  • Solution level testing of Functional and Non-Functional Requirements.
  • System Demos.


Trust is important for creating large and complex solutions with hundreds of team members. It emanates confidence, integrity and transparency. This makes sure that the work is clearly visible and that nothing is hidden from the developers to the top level management and the business stakeholders.

To ensure transparency, the strategies, program backlogs, goals of the Program Increment and architecture are accessible to all the individuals in the portfolio.

4.Program Execution

For successful program execution, Scaled Agile Framework lays great emphasis on continuously delivering value. Supported by effective Lean-Agile leaders, delivering solutions incrementally keeps the team and the customer in synchronization with each other. The Agile Release Train coordinates multiple agile teams and their work. The Value Streams produce a tangible value that gets feedback from the customers. Inspect and Adapt sessions are important to shed light on the mistakes made.