The Difference Between Scrum and SAFe®

Both Scrum and Scaled Agile Framework work under the basic Agile principles and values. Both of these frameworks are quite similar to one another and their very subtle differences. However, as a professional working with the Agile framework, it is essential to have a very clear understanding of the difference between SAFe® and Scrum. To begin with, SAFe® is a framework that utilizes scrum at an enterprise level. On the other hand, Scrum is a framework that is solely based on the principles and ethics of Agile. Let’s take a deeper look into understanding SAFe® vs. scrum.

What is Scrum?

SCRUM VS SAFE basically follows an interactive methodology when it comes to product development. It further breaks down the project into smaller segments which can then be completed by smaller teams of experts. This way, the project can be completed within a specified time period. The best part about scrum is that it works within the scope of regular frequency of delivery and works in a more balanced way. While there are some people involved in specific roles, a Certified Scrum Master generally takes the lead and guides the project in the right direction. The various types of scrum roles include the product owner, who is responsible for planning and organizing a project before communicating it with the company. The scrum master heads and guides the project, and finally, the scrum team is responsible for executing the job that is prescribed for them. 

What is SAFe®?

SAFe® or Scalable Agile Framework is another interactive model which takes into consideration the entire enterprise and does not explicitly focus on the team. While it is very similar to Scrum, SAFe® tries to incorporate the same task over bigger teams working on the same products, much like scrum. There are three levels of organization followed in SAFe®, which include the portfolio, program, and team. This model is generally accepted in large organizations as it allows a hierarchical structure for the steady completion of work. Some of the most important aspects of SAFe® include Agile software development, lean product development, and system thinking. 

The Main Difference

While the most essential difference between SAFe® and Scrum can be understood from a basic understanding of both, there are many other differences that one needs to keep in mind. For example, scrum is adopted by Agile teams that deal with cross functional systems in delivering products. On the other hand, SAFe® takes into consideration multi-geography teams and is adopted by an organization as a whole and not just a particular team. At the same time, program and portfolio management are very important parts of SAFe® while the middle management has no role in the Scrum framework. 

For the most part, scrum is a basic starting point through which one can understand how SAFe® works. SAFe® simply takes into account the entire organization instead of focusing on cross functional teams as is done in Scrum. These are incredibly important concepts in product development and delivery. 

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