SAFe 5.1 Big Picture- Key Updates - American Technology Consulting

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SAFe 5.1 Big Picture- Key Updates

Manasi Srivastava

Published May 5, 2022

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The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) has been gaining a lot of traction in the past few years as organizations strive to become more agile. Version 5.1 was recently released and it promises to bring even more value to adherents of the framework. This blog post will give you an overview of what's new in SAFe 5.1 and will help you get up to speed quickly if you are preparing for the SAFe 5.1 exam.

What is SAFe 5.1 Big Picture?

SAFe 5.1, also known as the SAFe Big Picture, is a comprehensive framework for managing complex business systems. By breaking down large projects into smaller, more manageable components and setting clear timelines and expectations for each stage of development, the SAFe model ensures that teams are cohesive and focused on achieving common goals. Additionally, SAFe supports collaboration between teams, helping to ensure that all aspects of the organization are working in sync. Whether you're looking for a way to streamline your business processes or just trying to keep track of multiple projects at once, the SAFe 5.1 Big Picture framework can help you navigate even the most complex situations with ease.


The SAFe framework is designed to help businesses succeed by creating effective structures and processes for managing large, complex projects. At the core of SAFe are four layers: essential, portfolio, large, and full. Each of these layers serves a different purpose. The essential layer is centred on the core activities needed to run the business, including leadership and basic decision-making functions. The portfolio layer supports new product development strategies and investment in prioritized initiatives. Meanwhile, the large layer reinforces organizational growth and scale through relevant programs, teams, practices, and demonstrators. Finally, the full SAFe layer is intended for organizations that are ready to commit fully to SAFe principles across all aspects of their business. Ultimately, which layers a business uses depends on its unique needs and goals. But no matter what stage it is at in its use of SAFe principles, every organization can benefit from this powerful framework for success.

The SAFe 5.1 Big Picture introduces a host of new features including:

Operational Value Streams

Created by thought leaders in the field of agile innovation, SAFe is an approach that emphasizes continuous improvement and collaboration throughout an organization's supply chain. One major addition to the framework in version 5.1 is the concept of an operational value stream. This new operational value stream allows companies to carefully delineate how various teams can deliver optimized products and services to their customers as efficiently as possible. By optimizing across all stages of production, delivery, and support, organizations can ensure that they are meeting the needs of their customers while improving efficiency and reducing waste. Whether you are working on a brand new product or simply looking to improve your current operations, utilizing the principles of SAFe will allow you to offer unbeatable value to your customers.

Participatory Budgeting 

Lean Portfolio Management, or LPM, is a key process within SAFe 5.1 that helps to keep the portfolio of projects in line with the overall strategic goals of an organization. One important aspect of LPM is participatory budgeting, which involves taking into account both technical and business factors when allocating the portfolio's budget across different development value streams. This approach helps ensure that resources are efficiently allocated and that all projects are aligned with organizational priorities. Additionally, by involving stakeholders from across the organization in this process, participatory budgeting ensures that everyone feels invested in the success of the portfolio. Overall, then, this method for budgeting provides a powerful tool for managing and maximizing the potential of a Lean portfolio under SAFe 5.1.

Updated customer engagement Kanban

The new version of the SAFe 5.1 Big Picture has been updated to include a customer engagement Kanban. This particular feature is designed to help product teams better collaborate with their customers and stakeholders, ensuring that everyone is involved as early and as often as possible in the development process. The customer engagement Kanban allows you to easily adjust your product roadmap based on feedback from your team and your customers, creating a more structured and productive collaboration environment. Whether you're looking to build stronger relationships with your customers or simply want an easier way to manage your work, this updated feature is sure to benefit your product development process.

Continuous delivery for large solutions

The SAFe 5.1 Big Picture is all about continuous delivery, with a strong focus on the software release pipeline. This pipeline consists of several steps that take code from initial development all the way through to the end-user. These steps include planning and building, verification and validation, deploying and releasing, testing, as well as monitoring and operations. By following this orchestrated process, teams can make sure that each stage is completed properly before moving on to the next one. Additionally, by automating these stages wherever possible, you can dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to get new software out to your customers or users.

Development Value Streams 

When it comes to managing complex software projects, having a clear strategy is essential. And at the heart of any good strategy lies the concept of value. In SAFe 5.1, this concept has been updated to reflect modern software development teams' changing needs and priorities. The new term for value stream is Development Value Stream, which indicates solutions in the portfolio rather than deliverables. This change recognizes that today's software projects involve not just internal teams, but also external partners and stakeholders who are all working together to create quality solutions that add real value to businesses and customers alike. By taking a holistic approach to managing these interconnected web-like value streams, development teams can achieve great success in even the most challenging environments. With SAFe 5.1 as their guide, they have everything they need to bring their software projects from ideation through delivery with speed, efficiency and ease.

Advanced Roadmap management

Businesses today need to be able to quickly respond to changing market conditions and evolving customer needs, while also maintaining tight control over costs and resources. One approach that has shown great promise in meeting these often-difficult challenges is SAFe 5.1 Big Picture Advanced Roadmap management. With its powerful combination of streamlined planning processes, cutting-edge visualization techniques, and robust reporting tools, SAFe offers a simple yet highly effective way to manage large organizations efficiently and effectively. Whether your organization is just getting started with SAFe or is a longtime practitioner, this innovative management framework can offer valuable insights into how you can improve your own operations for even greater success in the future.

At its core, SAFe 5.1 is all about helping organizations become more agile, flexible, and collaborative. The framework lays out a practical plan for implementing effective change management processes and supporting teams and individuals as they work to achieve their goals.

SAFe 5.1 Exam Tips:

  • Make sure you understand the exam format and content areas. The SAFe 5.1 exam is divided into four sections: Foundations, Lifecycle, Practices, and Dimension. Each section contains a number of topics, and you will be expected to answer questions on all of them.
  • Familiarize yourself with the SAFe 5.1 Framework. The best way to do this is to read through the SAFe 5.1 website and/or attend a SAFe course.
  • Understand the difference between the theoretical and practical aspects of SAFe 5.1.
  • Be prepared to answer questions on both the technical and non-technical aspects of SAFe 5.1. The exam covers both areas equally.
  • Practice answering sample questions. This will help you get used to the exam format and understand what types of questions are likely to be asked.
  • Relax and don't stress out! The SAFe 5.1 exam is not meant to be a test of your knowledge or abilities, but rather a way for you to demonstrate your understanding of the framework. If you’re looking to get the SAFe 5.1 certification, contact us today! Our team of experts are ready and waiting to partner with you to create a stellar certification program that will help you and your team implement SAFe successfully.

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