Configuring the SAFe® Methodology in Engineering Lifecycle Management (ELM)

Amy Silberbauer, IBM
Bhawana Gupta, IBM

Last Updated: 04 June 2020
Build basis: Engineering Lifecycle Management (ELM), formerly Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management, 7.x

Products referenced in this article were renamed in version 7.0. You might see a mix of old and new product names in this article and in any attachments.

Adopting the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe) methodology in the ELM solution can be accomplished in one of two ways:

  1. Configure existing project areas based on non-SAFe templates like Scrum to support the SAFe methodology using the guidance in this article
  2. Configure new project areas using the SAFe template(s) delivered in ELM out of the box, or using the SAFe 4.5 “beta” templates published in the SAFe® 4.5 “Beta” Templates article

The purpose of this article is to provide documentation for configuring SAFe in existing project areas. SAFe can be configured in any existing project area via the standard customization capabilities available in the ELM solution. The documentation provides step-by-step guidance and screen shots based on our own work to create the SAFe templates.

How to use the documentation

IBM has supported SAFe since version 3.0. This first version was supported via configurations on top of an existing project area based on the Scrum template in Engineering Workflow Management, formerly Rational Team Concert. As subsequent versions of SAFe were released and supported, documentation for each of those versions builds upon the previous version’s documentation. As a result, depending upon where you are starting and which version of SAFe you would like, you may need to use multiple documents to get you from start to finish.

We always recommend that you instrument existing project areas to support the latest version of SAFe, which is currently 5.0. Based on that recommendation, here is how you get to SAFe 5.0 from various starting points:

Starting Point: SAFe 4.6

Starting Point: SAFe 4.5

Starting Point: SAFe 4.0

Starting Point: SAFe 3.0

Starting Point: Scrum (or other non-SAFe methods, including customized methods)

Supplemental files

The files here can be used to supplement your configuration of SAFe. Where applicable, the configuration guidelines will reference these files.

Icons: SAFe 4.0 Icons (2016-07-20)

Work Item Templates:
safe_4.5_work_item_templates (zip file)
safe_4.6_work_item_templates (zip file)

SAFe Template Delta Changes

The following document describes the set of fixes and enhancements made to the various SAFe templates by release. This is a “living” document that will be updated each release with known changes.

Need help? Contact the SAFe team:

About the author

Bhawana Gupta is a part of the IBM Engineering Offering Management team driving the solution and capabilities for agile@scale and SAFe in the Engineering Lifecycle Management solution. She can be contacted at

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