Agile Scaling

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With Agile methodologies gaining traction in larger organizations, the topic of scaling Agile practices across multiple teams and departments has become a significant focus. Frameworks such as SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) and LeSS (Large-Scale Scrum) are frequently discussed and debated. So what is the difference?

Scaled Agile

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a comprehensive and widely-used framework designed to enable organizations to apply Agile principles and practices at scale. SAFe addresses the challenges of implementing Agile methodologies in large enterprises with multiple teams, departments, and complex projects.

The Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) is the leading system for scaling agile, trusted by thousands of enterprises. SAFe has shown double-digit improvements in time-to-market, productivity, quality, and employee engagement. Gartner has found SAFe to be the #1 most considered and adopted framework for scaling agile. 

Scaled Agile Framework(SAFe)

Key components of SAFe

  1. Agile Teams: SAFe maintains the Agile principles at the team level, with cross-functional teams practicing Scrum, Kanban, or other Agile methodologies to deliver incremental value.
  2. Program Level: SAFe introduces the concept of an Agile Release Train (ART), which aligns multiple teams to a common mission and cadence. The ART ensures synchronized development, integration, and delivery of larger solutions.
  3. Large Solution Level: This level addresses the coordination and alignment of multiple ARTs that collaborate on complex solutions. It includes practices for architecture, integration, and solution delivery.
  4. Portfolio Level: At the highest level, SAFe offers portfolio management practices that guide the selection, prioritization, and funding of initiatives. This ensures alignment with the organization’s strategic goals.
  5. Roles and Responsibilities: SAFe defines roles such as Release Train Engineer (RTE), Product Manager, Business Owner, and more, to ensure clear responsibilities and effective collaboration.
  6. Ceremonies: SAFe introduces ceremonies like PI (Program Increment) Planning, Scrum of Scrums, and Inspect and Adapt events, facilitating regular synchronization and continuous improvement.
  7. Artifacts: SAFe introduces artifacts like the Program Backlog, Portfolio Backlog, and Value Stream, which help visualize and manage work across different levels of the organization.

SAFe aims to strike a balance between the flexibility of Agile methodologies and the structured governance required by large organizations. It provides guidance on how to implement Agile practices at scale, offering a clear framework for organizations to effectively navigate the complexities of modern business environments.

Large Scale Agile

Large-Scale Agile Framework is a structured approach to implementing Agile principles and practices across multiple teams, departments, or even entire organizations. It’s designed to address the challenges that arise when applying Agile methodologies to large and complex projects, ensuring that Agile values such as collaboration, adaptability, and customer-centricity are maintained while achieving alignment and efficiency at scale.

It refers to any approach or methodology designed to apply Agile principles and practices to large and complex projects or organizations

It’s a broader term that encompasses various frameworks and methodologies used to scale Agile practices beyond individual teams, including SAFe, Large Scale Scrum (LeSS), Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD), etc.

SAFe is a specific Large-Scale Agile Framework developed by Scaled Agile, Inc. It provides a structured and prescriptive approach to scaling Agile practices across an organization.

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