Scrum at Scale or SAFe – Find the Agile Framework that works best for Your Team

Agile is a new way of working, which is a change in the mindset of project progress.

So, what to choose: Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) or Scrum at Scale? Both are among the most used agile frameworks that promote several benefits for project management and increase companies’ productivity.

Whichever you use to apply, you must consider the work environment, specific goals of each project, and even the company structure.

Therefore, the advantages and disadvantages of each framework are the important points to decide on your application.

Do you want to know more about choosing between the agile SAFe or Scrum at Scale frameworks? Keep reading this GitScrum article!

What are the advantages and disadvantages of agile frameworks?

Agile is increasingly present in the industrial panorama for projects and changes of the corporate culture.

This adoption of the agile culture does not imply immediate success. Whether it’s SAFe or Scrum at Scale and even other agile frameworks, will depend a lot on the company to say which is the best in due course.

These different forms of agile allow a great exchange of thoughts and ideas. With them, organizations and companies can adapt their culture to the agile format. This choice can also guide your company’s strategic vision.

These two agile frameworks stand out due to their scope of application and capillarity. So, either SAFe or Scrum at Scale is suitable for this application.

SAFe – Scaled Agile Framework

SAFe is one of the most popular frameworks in the business world when it comes to scaling the agile culture in large organizations.

As an example, an important point of SAFe with a focus on the Information Technology world is its birth already encompassing the DevOps ideology, which is increasingly important in the agile landscape and as a culture to promote more agility in value delivery.

This framework defines an approach that can scale Scrum in the scenarios of large companies, with large teams and working on the same product at the same time.

This framework is ideal for dealing with large teams that are geographically separated and deals with the agile culture at a much higher level than just teams, applying this culture throughout the organization.

It also describes the organization at three levels: the portfolio level; the program level; and the level of the team. As it has a more general and systemic view of the company, it can be better used in managing the portfolio and its programs.

The basic structure of SAFe is the Agile Release Train (ART), considered as a team of Agile teams that takes care of the processes, development, and delivery together with other project stakeholders.

Compared to Scrum at Scale, SAFe may not be as customizable, and here comes a disadvantage. This comparison with Scrum shows that SAFe has a more complex structure and adds more processes, layers, functions, and tools to the project’s value delivery.

Scrum at Scale

Scrum is considered to be a faster and more iterative method of applying the agile culture in a business landscape.   As an agile methodology, it focuses on the regular delivery cadence.

By concept, it is an extension of the core Scrum framework and scales to larger organizations and is also a great solution for companies of all sizes.

The modular approach present in Scrum at Scale helps to properly scale the Agile culture to align the entire organization to share the same goals in the project and the process.

Another relevant point is that this modular approach provides an adequate scaling according to the company’s culture and the reality in which it lives.

Because it is modular, developers and team members can adapt modules that are interesting for the project. Also, they can promote the application of specific modules in specific environments.

These advantages make Scrum at Scale an ideal framework for application in specialized company processes that have a high level of customization. Especially when dealing with non-traditional environments.

This advantage is ideal for companies that have a strong organizational culture and that need an application of agile culture following that organizational culture.

Other frameworks

In addition to SAFe or Scrum at Scale, there are other frameworks for the application of agile models and project development. Mainly, adopting some characteristics that can be adapted to other organizational scenarios.

DAD (Disciplined Agile Delivery) encourages choices at different stages and points of product delivery. Also, it provides general guidance for choosing structures, practices, and combinations for applying the agile culture.

Another example of an agile framework is Lean Product Delivery, a system that aims to reduce waste in products and processes by eliminating everything unnecessary, especially steps that are excessive in the project or unnecessary features for delivery.

Kanban is also a good example that can you can apply with other frameworks to bring more organizations to an agile culture.

With a board system, Kanban promotes the overview of the process and the offer of work at the limit of each professional’s capacity.

You use Cards to signal the stages of tasks. Card accumulation indicates some bottlenecks in this process.

Main reasons for Scrum at Scale adopting agile methodologies

Relying on agile is a practice that offers several advantages, both in the short and long term.

1. Less rework

Agile methodologies allow frequent deliveries, reduce team rework, as the customers provide more feedback and validate the product in small parts.

2. More transparency in processes

Agile methodologies increase the knowledge of teams about the present quality of work products, for example. Visual management allows everyone to be aware of everything, improving productivity and the alignment of tasks.

3. Business valuation

A company that aligns processes with the strategy and goals, allows a greater delivery of value to the user.

Thus, agile methodologies are the right path for managers to increase the quality of their deliveries to the customer. Moreover, they eliminate the waste of time on things that do not add value.

4. Greater customer satisfaction

Any business depends on satisfied customers to be successful. Satisfied customers are those who meet both their explicit requirements and their expectations.

The adoption of agile methods is very useful in this search for meeting both explicit needs and implicit expectations. Well-developed products, aligned with requirements and delivered on time certainly make the customer feel happy and satisfied.

It is important to seek to extract the best from everyone on the team, by providing our consulting service. Several practices that we use have been useful for companies that want to increase productivity.

Several beneficial practices bring true integration with the various departments interested in the product. So, everyone can have the necessary vision of how things work.

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