Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) 4.5 Portfolio process template

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) methodology is an industry standard framework for helping organizations scale agile and lean practices to an enterprise level. Use this template to establish a Portfolio tooling environment for the Portfolio SAFe 4.5 configuration. This environment is associated with one or more Essential SAFe Program or Team tooling environments.


The template has one top-level Portfolio Roadmap iteration, which contains one Program Agile Release Train (ART) Cadence iteration. Within this Program ART Release Train Cadence, you deliver features in Program Increment (PI) iterations.


Table 1. SAFe 4.5 Portfolio process roles: Portfolio level
Role Description
Portfolio Manager Leads the Portfolio Management Team, moving large programs from development to deployment and providing status and financial reporting.
Business Analyst Refines initiatives (Portfolio Epics) into Business and Enabler efforts and determines the impact on the internal and external value streams of the enterprise. In SAFe, business analysts are typically Epic Owners.
IT Director The executive in charge of the portfolio.
Stakeholder A member of the portfolio management team that contributes to the generation of new ideas into the system.
Enterprise Architect Defines a technological vision and implementation scenarios that support the business strategy. Typically, this role articulates Architectural Epics and works collaboratively with Program-Level System Architects.
Table 2. SAFe 4.5 Portfolio process roles: Program level
Role Description
Program Lead The role defined in a portfolio to allow the Product Manager, Release Train Engineer, and Business Owner roles in a Program to participate in Portfolio Planning.

Work item types

The SAFe 4.5 Portfolio process defines the following work item types:
  • Portfolio Epic: Portfolio Epics are enterprise initiatives that affect multiple organizations and program increments. A Portfolio Epic affects multiple release trains.
  • Learning Milestone: Learning milestones mark specific progress points on the timeline and can be invaluable in measuring and monitoring the progress and risk of a program.
  • PI Objective: Describes a specific goal with planned and assessed business value for Capabilities, Features or Stories delivered in a specified Program Increment or Iteration. The PI Objective can be at the program, team, or value stream level.
  • Task: Defines a unit of work planned for a program increment and is estimated in hours.
  • Defect: Defines a bug, error, or flaw in the solution.
  • Risk: A risk is a potential event or future situation that could affect, prevent, or limit a project's success. Project risks might be seen as threats or opportunities.
  • Retrospective: A Retrospective is an event to discuss what went well and what did not go well, and to define improvement for the upcoming period. Use a Retrospective work item type to ensure that this event occurs and to track the team's comments and plans.

Project area initialization

When you create and initialize a project area based on the SAFe 4.5 Portfolio process template, a work item with the Summary of Post-Project Initialization is created. The Description in the new work item includes a link to a web page that describes how to configure your project area.

Work item templates

Project areas that are based on the SAFe 4.5 Portfolio process template include the following templates that you can use to create work items:
  • Portfolio Management: Use this work item template to create typical SAFe portfolio management tasks.

Work item calculated values script

Project areas that are based on the SAFe 4.5 Portfolio process template include the Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF) calculated values script, which is used to calculate the WSJF attribute value in Portfolio Epics, Value Stream Epics and Capabilities. The template also includes Calculated Achieved Value and Exposure Provider calculated value scripts. For details about the WSJF algorithm, see For details about using calculated values scripts, see Configuring calculated value attribute customizations.

For additional details about the SAFe 4.5 Portfolio process template, navigate to the Templates tab in the web client. Click the Edit Process Description (Edit Process Description icon) icon in the Actions column for SAFe 4.5 Portfolio Template. For guidance on working on a team that uses the SAFe process, see Scaled Agile Framework.

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