Difference Between Agile and SAFe Agile

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Apr 01, 2024

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What is the difference between Agile and SAFe Agile?

Before we get into 'Agile' and 'SAFe Agile,' it is essential first to understand the differences better, to better grasp the basic concepts of 'Agile' and 'SAFe Agile.'

What is Agile?

'Agile' refers to the disciplined and flexible project management methodology, which is mainly used for software development of new and innovative products, as they require rapid delivery of such products to gain competitive advantage. It is a leadership methodology created as a response to the traditional management philosophy known as the "Waterfall Methodology" and promotes teamwork, self-organisation, and customer collaboration.  

The roles & responsibilities of 'Agile teams' are as follows:

  1. Team Lead: Also known as "Scrum Master," the role involves managing the team, obtaining the necessary resources, and planning & scheduling of the relevant activities for the team as a whole.
  2. Team Members: They are responsible for getting the work done on time and maintaining high product quality.
  3. Product Owner: He is the executive or key stakeholder with a vision of fitting the end product in the company's long-term goals.

Today, it can be implemented in any business venture whose aim is to deliver high-quality products at a rapid rate to its' customers. 

What is SAFe?

'Scalable Agile Framework (SAFe)' allows for the enterprise-level application of lean-agile practices and is generally used in large-scale organisations to meet the needs of all stakeholders by guiding the projects pertaining to enterprise portfolio and value stream. 

SAFe brings drastic improvement in product quality, delivery time, and production efficiency due to the incorporation of transparency and team management in its framework.

SAFe has key roles at four different levels, which are as follows:

  1. Release Train Engineer: Ensures that Agile teams smoothly work together following the due processes
  2. Program Manager: Responsible for ensuring that the features are designed and communicated efficiently
  3. Solution Architect: Designing and sharing architectural vision across the teams
  4. Business Owner: The person who is responsible for the ultimate outcome of the business

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Difference between Agile and SAFe Agile?

1. Principles & Strategy :

Agile is an iterative method used for developing a product that focuses on the continuous delivery of tasks assigned. It is dependent on cross-functional teams, sprints(set of stories), and specific roles that help in delivering the assignment. Agile is mainly developed for a small team of ten or fewer people. SAFe, on the other hand, is an agile framework for an enterprise which is not limited to smaller teams and guides enterprises in scaling lean and agile practices.

2. Average Salary:

The average UK median annual salary for a SAFe agile certificate holder is 65k-70k pounds. Whereas, the annual salary of an agile coach on an average in India is INR 20-22 lakhs.

3. Benefits Received:

Agile provides project teams, sponsors, leaders, and customers many project-specific benefits, including -

  1. Reduced waste through minimisation of resources
  2. Faster turnaround time
  3. Optimised development processes
  4. Increased focus on specific customer needs
  5. Increased frequency of collaboration and feedback

Whereas, multiple business benefits provided by SAFe are as follows:

  1. Quicker codification of agile practices
  2. Provides a practical framework for practitioners as they can directly write processes without waiting for process development training sessions
  3. Leads to about 50% reduction in defects and a 35% increase in productivity
  4. Time-to-market is significantly increased (50% approx.)

4. Core Values:

The SAFe portfolio works on four core values of alignment, built-in-quality, transparency, and program execution. 

Likewise, the Agile manifesto is also based on the following four values:

  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  2. Working software over comprehensive documentation
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  4. Responding to change over following a plan

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SAFe is a methodology that uses the agile framework as per the specification. In the case of large organisations, which deal with large-scale and mission-intensive projects,  SAFe will be more beneficial as it uses a combination of existing lean and agile principles and combines them in a template framework. Also, SAFe allows people to use agile frameworks with large groups by adding an extra layer of communication and control.

However, there are various other factors such as involvement of management in the project, company structure, number of employees working, stakeholders requirement, etc. which will affect the organisation's decision to choose between the most suitable agile framework.

To understand how an Scrum Framework works , enrol for our Scrum Training  Course

To understand how a SAFe framework works, enrol for our SAFe Agilist Certification Online Training Course

For more details about courses, please reach us at +91 – 95133 93880

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