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Differences Between Safe Agile Vs Agile

It was solely a comparatively few years in the past that conventional waterfall challenge administration was fairly a lot the one method to go. And whereas it labored nicely for a lot of tasks – particularly ones thought of ‘predictive’ – it didn’t work so nicely for ones we are going to name adaptive. And so, over the previous 20 years and particularly the final 10 or so, agile has been more and more utilized in tasks, primarily software-based ones.  

To outline our phrases, according to the Venture Administration Physique of Information Sixth Version, “in a predictive or waterfall life cycle, the challenge scope, time, and value are decided within the early phases of the life cycle. In an adaptive or agile life cycle, the “deliverables are developed over a number of iterations the place an in depth scope is outlined and accredited for every iteration because it begins. 

On this submit, we’ll have a look at Agile vs scaled Agile, particularly the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) developed by Dean Leffingwell. 

Distinction between Agile and SAFe®  Agile

The Scrum Information states that, the “essence of Scrum is a small crew of individuals.” Which might be advantageous if all our tasks had been small and didn’t must scale past that small crew. We will deal with scaling between capabilities or groups through the use of native Scrum of Scrums. However as soon as we scale a lot past that then it’s vital to start contemplating a scalable framework. 

So, the primary distinction between Agile and Scaled Agile is that Agile was designed for small groups with particular roles, whereas Scaled Agile is designed to scale all the way in which as much as the enterprise.  

Comparability of Scrum and Scaled Agile Framework

Agile SAFe®
Has outlined roles – (Kanban doesn’t) Has a number of outlined roles
Small core crew measurement Small core crew measurement
Planning is finished previous to the primary dash and originally of every dash Planning is finished at a timebox known as a Program Increment.
Scales between groups Scales to the enterprise
Framework has no outlined ranges Framework has 4 outlined ranges
Has core values – Agile Manifesto and twelve ideas Has core values – Constructed-in high quality, transparency, program execution and alignment
Is concentrated on buyer and enterprise worth Is concentrated on buyer and enterprise worth
Doesn’t describe worth stream Worth stream is a key aspect
Strives to realize steady supply Strives to realize steady supply

What precisely is Agile?

Based on the Agile Alliance, Agile is “the flexibility to create and reply to vary. It’s a means of coping with, and in the end succeeding in, an unsure and turbulent surroundings.”  

It’s set of values and ideas as expressed within the Agile Manifesto. Whereas it may be used for quite a lot of tasks it usually refers to a gaggle of approaches to software program improvement utilizing iterative (repeated processes) and incremental (successively added performance) improvement. 

The Agile Manifesto states that: 

We’re uncovering higher methods of creating software program by doing it and serving to others do it. By way of this work now we have come to worth: 

  • People and interactions over processes and instruments 
  • Working software program over complete documentation 
  • Buyer collaboration over contract negotiation 
  • Responding to vary over following a plan 

That’s, whereas there’s worth within the objects on the fitting, we worth the objects on the left extra. 

There’s additionally an underlying set of 12 ideas. The primary two ideas state that “our highest precedence is to fulfill the client by early and steady supply of priceless software program” and that we “welcome altering necessities, even late in improvement. Agile processes harness change for the client’s aggressive benefit. 

A few of the extra widespread Agile strategies embody Scrum, Excessive Programming (XP), Kanban, and Characteristic-Pushed Growth (FDD.) Of those, Scrum is by all accounts probably the most in style, so we’ll focus there.  

For probably the most half, all Agile methodologies have sure issues in widespread – they use timeboxes, which Agile Alliance describes as “a beforehand agreed time period throughout which an individual or a crew works steadily in direction of completion of some aim. 

They make use of iterations to “develop the product by a collection of repeated cycles and increments to successively add to the performance of the product. The graphic beneath shows the Agile Scrum course of. The Agile Scrum Framework at a Glance

On the finish of a timebox – or dash – your complete Scrum Crew is accountable for making a priceless, helpful increment. Common interactions with stakeholders, small batches of labor, common opinions and retrospectives enhance course of and due to this fact, product.  

The Scrum variant of Agile defines three essential roles: 

  • A Product Proprietor orders the work for a posh downside right into a Product BacklogHe or she’s additionally answerable for developing and explicitly speaking the Product Objective, ordering Product Backlog objectsand ensuring that the Product Backlog is clear, seen, and understood. 
  • The Scrum (or Growth) Crew turns a choice of the work into an increment of worth throughout a Dash. The Scrum Crew and its stakeholders examine the outcomes and alter for the following Dash. They’re cross practical, self-organizing and determine methods to do the work.  
  • The Scrum Grasp is accountable for the Scrum Crew’s effectiveness. They do that by enabling the Scrum Crew to enhance its practices, throughout the Scrum framework and by eradicating impediments.  

Scrum makes use of a number of occasions or “ceremonies” to examine progress towards the dash aim and adapt the dash backlog (objects to be labored on) as wanted: 

  • Each day Scrum – The aim of the 15-minute Each day Scrum is to examine progress towards the Dash Objective and adapt the Dash Backlog as vital, adjusting the upcoming deliberate work. 
  • Dash Assessment – The aim of the Dash Assessment is to examine the end result of the Dash and decide future diversifications. The Scrum Crew presents the outcomes of their work to key stakeholders and progress towards the Product Objective is mentioned. 
  • Retrospective – The aim of the Dash Retrospective is to plan methods to extend high quality and effectiveness. The Scrum Crew inspects how the final Dash went close to people, interactions, processes, instruments, and their Definition of Completed. 

As an alternative of command and management as practiced in conventional waterfall, agile employs servant management which is a philosophy and observe of management based mostly on listening, empathy, therapeutic, consciousness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, dedication, and neighborhood constructing.  

What precisely is SAFe® Agile?

As talked about above, Agile was designed for small groups and SAFe® was designed to scale to numerous ranges, from important to full SAFE®. It rests on the Agile basis and expands on it.  

Cprime just lately printed a report known as Agile at Scale 2020. The report was based mostly on a survey of corporations who’re scaling Agile past small groups and sometimes to the enterprise. The scale of improvement groups ranged from <50 (32%) to an astonishing 1001+ (18.four%).  

Based on the identical examine, the main framework at 34% is SAFe® whereas “Scrum solely” is at 24%. The examine doesn’t dig deeper into these numbers but it surely’s reasonable to assume that as corporations scale to the enterprise, they require one thing greater than Scrum solely.  

SAFe® for Lean Enterprises is a information base of confirmed, built-in ideas, practices, and competencies for attaining enterprise agility utilizing Lean, Agile, and DevOps. It has a number of ranges to which one can scale: 

Important SAFE®  incorporates the minimal set of roles, occasions, and artifacts required to constantly ship enterprise options by way of an Agile Launch Prepare (ART) as a Crew of Agile Groups. 

Giant Resolution SAFe® describes further roles, practices, and steering to construct and evolve the world’s largest purposes, networks, and cyber-physical techniques. It incorporates an extra competency known as Enterprise Resolution Supply. 

Portfolio SAFe® aligns technique with execution and organizes answer improvement across the stream of worth by a number of worth streams. It’s the smallest configuration that can be utilized to realize Enterprise Agility and provides the core competencies of Lean Portfolio Administration, Steady Studying Tradition, and Organizational Agility. 

Full SAFe® represents probably the most complete configuration. It helps constructing massive, built-in options that usually require a whole lot of individuals to develop and keep.  

Like Agile, the SAFe® framework has a number of outlined roles, a few of that are depending on the extent to which one aspires.

Key SAFe® roles at Important stage   

The important thing SAFe® roles and predominant obligations at Essential stage are: 

  • Enterprise Proprietors – key stakeholders who’re in the end answerable for the enterprise final result. 
  • System Architect/Engineer – answerable for designing and sharing the architectural imaginative and prescient throughout the agile launch prepare, which implies the work delivered will probably be match for function. 
  • Product Supervisor – answerable for prioritizing options and making certain they’re nicely described and understood 
  • Launch Prepare Engineer – answerable for making certain the agile launch prepare (the crew of agile groups) work nicely collectively and observe the processes 
  • Agile Crews – answerable for supply and high quality of the work undertaken. 
  • Scrum Grasp – answerable for making certain the crew works nicely and follows the processes. 
  • Product Proprietor – answerable for prioritizing tales and making certain they’re nicely described and understood. 

Key SAFe® roles at Giant Resolution stage  

The important thing SAFe® roles and predominant obligations at massive answer stage embody all of the above and: 

  • Resolution Architect/Engineer – answerable for designing and sharing the architectural imaginative and prescient throughout a number of agile launch trains, which implies the options delivered will probably be match for function. 
  • Resolution Administration is answerable for defining and supporting the constructing of fascinating, possible, viable and sustainable large-scale enterprise options that meet buyer wants over time. 
  • The Resolution Prepare Engineer (STE) is a servant chief and coach for the Resolution Prepare, facilitating and guiding the work of all ARTs and Suppliers within the Worth Stream. 
  • Buyer – consumes the output from the agile launch prepare. Might be exterior prospects or folks throughout the group. The shoppers are the individuals who can have the ultimate view on whether or not the output was priceless. 

Key SAFe® roles at Portfolio stage  

The important thing SAFe® roles at portfolio stage are: 

  • Epic House owners – answerable for defining an epic, articulating its advantages, and facilitating its implementation. 
  • Enterprise Architect – drives architectural initiatives for the portfolio. 

Full SAFe® has no new outlined roles.  


Whereas both Scrum and Agile plan their work originally of every dash, SAFe® has a novel occasion, known as a Program Increment. Key to that is the Agile Launch Prepare (ART) which is a long-lived crew of Agile groups, which, together with different stakeholders, incrementally develops, delivers, and the place relevant operates, a number of options in a worth stream. 
A Program Increment (PI) is a timebox throughout which an Agile Launch Prepare delivers incremental worth within the type of working, examined software program and techniques. PIs are usually eight – 12 weeks lengthy.  

Usually, there are 4 improvement Iterations, adopted by one Innovation and Planning (IP) Iteration. A PI is to an Agile Launch Prepare (ART) (or Resolution Prepare), as an Iteration is to the Agile Crew. It’s a hard and fast timebox for planning, constructing, and validating a full system increment, demonstrating worth, and getting quick suggestions. 

Every PI 

  • Plans the ART’s subsequent increment of labor 
  • Restrictwork in course of (WIP). Limiting work in course of is from Kanban, and contributes to higher focus, clearer communication, and extra reasonable evaluation and projection.  
  • Summarizes newsworthy worth for suggestions 
  • Guarantees constant, ARTbroad retrospectives  

The Program Board is used when groups come collectively for two-day planning periods 

program Board

 Image Source

It ought to be famous that SAFe® makes use of an idea known as Worth Streams. Worth Streams characterize the collection of steps that a corporation makes use of to implement Options that present a steady stream of worth to a buyer. 

SAFe® portfolio incorporates a number of worth streams, every of which is devoted to construct and assist a set of options, that are the merchandise, companies, or techniques delivered to the Buyer, whether or not inside or exterior to the Enterprise. 

How are Agile, Scrum and SAFe® related? 

Scrum, like XP and Kanban is a kind of Agile. So, all Agile varieties are related in that they work briefly bursts of labor and keep in shut contact with prospects. So, the actual comparability is between Scrum and SAFe®. 

Scrum/Agile and SAFe® are related in that they use roles outlined within the Scrum Information akin to Product Proprietor, Scrum Grasp and Groups. The identical guidelines apply about utilizing sprints, dash opinions and retrospectives.  


A few of the advantages of Agile embody: 

  • Buyer satisfaction- their common involvement assures that they’ll get what they need 
  • The flexibility to shortly pivot away from suboptimal options 
  • Decreased dangers on account of shorter timeboxes and high quality built-in into the crew 
  • Permits for steady enchancment on account of common retrospectives 

SAFe® has all these advantages but additionally provides the flexibility to not solely have a look at work when it comes to worth streams but additionally to think about the portfolio that’s linked to the technique of the enterprise.  


Agile has developed over time right into a framework that gives enterprise agility, permitting organizations to stay versatile of their method to getting work carried out. Outlined roles, small batches of labor and common cadence all contribute to a concentrate on product supply whereas minimizing danger.  

Nevertheless, Agile focuses on small groups and as soon as work expands to the enterprise, a scaling methodology is required to allow groups to work whereas nonetheless specializing in the bigger strategic image. Scaled Agile Framework is one such methodology. It maintains the core concepts of Agile however provides roles and ceremonies that permit it serve at no matter stage of the group is required.