SAFe is a framework template designed to allow for agile practices to be scaled; importantly, it is a framework that covers the entire organization. It roughly operates on three levels:
The individuals working with Program Portfolio Management are responsible for Governance, Program Management and Strategy, and Investment funding. They are responsible for delivering the strategic themes and are stewards for the portfolio vision – determining value streams and allocating budgets to release trains.
A group of multiple agile teams are people working to deliver functionality together. This is also known as the Agile Release Train. They deliver Program Increments (PI)s across iterations. A PI will start with the entire train hearing the vision. Each team then goes away to plan how they will deliver their section in individual teams. The release train engineer and Scrum Master meet twice weekly to discuss progress with stakeholders.
Like conventional Scrum/Kanban/Scrumban process for delivering code via cross-functional teams in iterations, the SAFe Team is also coached and supported by the Scrum Master. One of the biggest benefits of SAFe is that it addresses the role of management in Agile. SAFe acknowledges that for the process to be successful within an enterprise scale organization, the management, leaders, and executives need to be trained and be the advocates.