Customizing and Tailoring in Applied SAFe

Are you looking to create clarity and focus for people so they can get straight to work with no doubts as to what they need to do?

Applied SAFe’s architecture and implementation are built to be customizable and extendable in order to reduce your adoption and creation investment. With the platform, you are able to customize with >440 Built-in configuration & tailoring options. Tailoring is done by the Scrum Master, RTE’s, etc. and it is for the Master of Ceromonies for end-users.

Applied SAFe comes with a predefined assisted tailoring option which allows tailoring ‘out-of-the-box’ and specific needs of a company, portfolio, programs, and teams. By using the pre-built tailoring option you can make use of different possibilities like:

  • Allow coordinating the Program Backlogs of several ART‘s for a Value Stream on Portfolio.
  • Allow ART‘s to run their own Program Epic KANBAN.
  • Set up a portfolio and its sub-instances either in a 3-Level or 4-Level SAFe configuration.

This video will give you a walkthrough of the Assisted Tailoring option in Applied SAFe and how it works:


The assisted tailoring is built upon a hierarchical question tree. The Process Model consists of an infinite number of nested Process Elements and some Tailoring Questions. Depending on your answer there will be follow-up questions asked or some of the Process Elements will be added or removed. It’s common that a tailoring question can influence Processes, Roles, Activities, Work Products, Pictures, and more.

As a Tailoring violates a requirement as defined in a compliance mapping to an existing reference model; a warning will be displayed. Applied SAFe also provides predefined compliance mappings to CMMI, IEC 62 304, and Automotive SPICE 3.0.

Always remember, tailoring is possible on several levels. The grade of tailoring depends on your need for customization. You can adapt the process by using one of the following possibilities:

  • Tailoring Assistant
    Prebuild automated tailoring by answering clear questions allows you to quickly adopt the process to your needs. Unnecessary process elements like roles, activities or work products are altered based on your answers.
  • Manual Tailoring 
    Specific elements of a process model can be modified additionally
  • Comprehensive enhancements 
    Applied SAFe can be used as a core model and completely enhanced and altered while still keeping the upgrade capability to later Applied SAFe-Versions.

You can also apply different instances to refine and better structure your process models within Applied SAFe.

If you are looking to customize Applied SAFe, this means you are looking to really change the model. This is normally done by Process Engineers and/or the Lean Agile Center of Excellance (LACE) team. They would also be providing the possible tailorings or extending Applied SAFe with their own processes. If this is something you would be interested in then you would need to take the Applied SAFe Quality Manager and the Applied SAFe Process Engineer trainings.

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