The SAFe framework considers Lean Manufacturing and the Agile Manifesto as the foundational pillars of its culture. To illustrate the fusion of these two cultures, SAFe employs its vision of the House of Lean: the SAFe House of Lean. This representation differentiates itself from the conventional Lean model.
While many agilists reject the SAFe framework, viewing it as non-agile, others embrace it wholeheartedly. However, what surprises me is that SAFe has never claimed to be purely “Agile.” Instead, the creators emphasize that it is a Lean-Agile framework. The SAFe House of Lean aptly encapsulates this blend of cultures.
SAFe House of Lean
SAFe offers two different representations: the light version and the complete version.
This simplified version is intriguing because, although its visual representation resembles the Lean version, the content diverges. Below is the classic version for comparison, highlighting the differences:
Notably, the foundation of the SAFe House of Lean is “leadership,” not “stability.” This reflects a different approach by the SAFe authors, suggesting that successful transformation hinges on effective leadership.
The roof, symbolizing the reduction of costs and time coupled with an increase in quality, evolves into “value delivery.” This phrase resonates with the Agile Manifesto.
The four pillars signify the modern agile culture: “flow,” “innovation,” “relentless improvement,” and “respect for people and culture.” These pillars hint at the influence of lean startup concepts.
Complete SAFe House of Lean
This version provides detailed descriptions of each component within the representation. Below is the complete SAFe House of Lean:
Elaborating on each point is unnecessary; simply refer to the image above for an in-depth understanding.
In conclusion, if you’re considering joining a company that has implemented SAFe, embracing the culture depicted in this SAFe-adapted House of Lean is crucial. It’s important to recognize that the concept of lean-agile has subtle distinctions from conventional agile.
So, is SAFe an agile framework?