SAFe 4.5 can be configured for four development environments (Essential SAFe (simplest), Portfolio SAFe, Large solution SAFe and Full SAFe (most advanced) and SAFe 4.5 is backwards compatible with SAFe 4.0 (available through June, 2018).
The big picture is a little bit more user friendly (some details / icons are taken out) and you can select the environment you want to use (and as a result the picture will only show the corresponding parts). I think some more icons on the big picture can be removed too if Scaled Agile creates a specific big picture on their homepage for their online knowledge wiki which contains hyperlinks to all topics. A big picture to explain SAFe can work without icons for SPC, Lean-Agile Leaders, the implementation Roadmap and topics like the Continuous Delivery Pipeline.
Most important changes:
- Faster innovation with Lean Startup and Lean UX
- Epic Value Statement and Light weighted Business Case are replaced by Epic Hypothesis Statement and Lean Business Case
- Feature delivery with Scalable DevOps and Continuous Delivery Pipeline
- SAFe implementation Roadmap
- Value Stream has been changed to Solution (Value Stream Backlog > Solution Backlog, Value Stream Engineer > Solution Train Engineer, …) and a Solution Train has been added (several ARTs and Supplier forms one Solution Train)
- Compliance has been added to the Solution Intent
- Program Portfolio Management (PPM) has been replaced by Lean Portfolio Management
- Increased alignment with the Scrum Guide
Impact on my book Scaling Agile in organisaties is minor. For the coming year, SAFe 4.0 is still valid. In the next print of my book I can make adjustments regarding the name changes (Value Stream, PPM). The SAFe Implementation Roadmap was already incorporated and topics like faster innovation with Lean Startup can be added.
More information on SAFe 4.5 can be found on www.scaledagileframework.com. At the homepage you can with to SAFe 4.0 too.