Using ArchiMate with SAFe

SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework)  can be supported with an EA modeling tool for visualization purposes. SAFe encourages to utilize Lean & Agile practices in different development levels: Team-, Program- and Portfolio levels, and also in optional “Value Stream” level. SAFe development approach is based on project level agile practices and methods such as Scrum. According to SAFe, those team level practices can be applied to wider and more general levels too. ArchiMate though, grounds in Enterprise Architecture (EA), which can be categorized as a bridging practice between business and IT. SAFe concepts can be mapped to ArchiMate concepts, and ArchiMate can be used to support SAFe and Model-Based Systems Engineering.

The figure below shows the core concepts of the SAFe Requirements Model.

SAFe Requirements Model (simplification).

Mapping SAFe Requirements Model to ArchiMate

The figure below illustrates the concept mappings between SAFe and ArchiMate.

SAFe to ArchiMate mapping.

ArchiMate “Goal” -concept can be used to model those SAFe core concepts as shown in the figure above. There is a specific “Requirement” -concept in ArchiMate, but according to SAFe, there is slight difference between e.g. “User Story” and “Requirement”: “stories are not requirements” [SAFe].

ArchiMate has a built-in specialization mechanism, which enables new concepts to be introduced based the core concepts of the ArchiMate metamodel. Here is an example of this kind of specialization, where the “Goal” -concept is specialized to more specific concepts to support SAFe Requirements Model concepts (figure below).

Goal Specializations View.

ArchiMate for SAFe visualizations

ArchiMate can be used to support SAFe at enterprise level. For example, enterprise (and portfolio) level epics can be managed with a (Portfolio) Kanban board, which can be visualized by an EA tool. All the modeled EA diagrams can be published from an EA-tool to e.g. HTML format, to make models visible to all the relevant stakeholders.

Here is an example Portfolio level Kanban that is modeled with ArchiMate (by the Archi-tool ). The structure of the Kanban board can be customized according to what is appropriate and needed in the case.

Kanban Board (EA).


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