Adopting SAFe to scale agile in a globally distributed organization

Maria Paasivaara*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Large software development organizations adopting agile methods need solutions and models to help scale agile to fit their needs. During recent years, several frameworks for scaling agile have been created by consultants, including the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Large-scale Scrum (LeSS) and Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD). However, research on how these frameworks are adopted in practice is seriously lacking. In this paper we describe how Comptel, a globally distributed software development company, adopted the SAFe framework in two business lines. Based on eleven interviews we present why and how the organization adopted SAFe, and discuss related challenges and success factors. The comparison of the two adoptions showed that investing in SAFe trainings, engaging people and change agents, hiring a coach, investing in a full-time release train engineer, preparing well for the first planning event and continuously improving and customizing SAFe led to good results.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2017 IEEE 12th International Conference on Global Software Engineering, ICGSE 2017
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781538615874
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2017
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventIEEE International Conference on Global Software Engineering - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Duration: 22 May 201723 May 2017
Conference number: 12


ConferenceIEEE International Conference on Global Software Engineering
Abbreviated titleICGSE
CityBuenos Aires


  • Agile adoption
  • Global software development
  • Scaled agile framework


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