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The Pros and Cons of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

If you’re involved in software development, you’re fully aware of the pressure to provide higher-quality software faster.

There are numerous reasons to achieve this aim, and teams no longer need to buy into the idea of speeding up their operations. Knowing what you need to accomplish, on the other hand, is one thing. Knowing how to get there is a different story.

So, how might testing and development teams speed up the delivery of higher-quality software? In recent years, a variety of ways to answer this topic have evolved. SAFe, or the Scaled Agile Framework, is one of the most popular techniques today. But, exactly, what does SAFe entail? What are the advantages and disadvantages of adopting it versus agile?

Safe Introduction

In 2011, SAFe was created to assist software development teams in bringing better products to market faster. Scaled Agile Framework, which is based on a mix of agile and lean concepts, encourages strong collaboration and alignment among teams while also attempting to centralize decision-making. SAFe covers three levels: Team, Program, and Portfolio, and offers different configuration options based on the size of the team.

Finally, by mapping roles, responsibilities, and activities essential for software development, SAFe helps organizations to visualize the overall picture. It does so by assisting enterprises in answering concerns regarding the alignment of a software development program with business objectives or its predictability. It also aids in determining how to measure performance and identifying ways to improve workflows.

SAFe was created with the purpose of making agile concepts scalable for large organizations, and the framework’s ability to centralize decision-making and bring a top-down perspective to a traditionally bottom-up process achieves that goal.

Pros of Adopting SAFe

The advantage of adopting SAFe is the ability to use a very lightweight framework to increase software development efficiency. While preserving the centralized decision-making required at the business level. SAFe, in essence, takes agile beyond software development and applies it to leaders who must solve higher-level challenges.

  • SAFe can readily handle a coordinated strategy for large-scale and complicated projects with teams.  Numbering in the hundreds because it was built to preserve a big picture view of software development. It is, nevertheless, more efficient than traditional software delivery methodologies because it is based on agile and lean concepts.
  • SAFe is very useful for enterprises that need to collaborate across teams because of its centralization, which allows for multi-team coordination.
  • It provides for consistent processes across teams in this circumstance. Which helps to minimize hurdles and delays that may arise when diverse teams must collaborate.
  • Another major advantage of SAFe is its ability to keep teams aligned with corporate objectives. This alignment can be lost in agile organizations that use a bottom-up strategy.
  • SAFe’s top-down alignment and centralized decision-making, on the other hand, ensure that strategic objectives are kept in mind at all times and that all decisions are taken in support of those goals.

Cons of Adopting SAFe

Although SAFe has a lot of advantages, it also has certain disadvantages. Many teams, for example, believe SAFe is too top-down in its approach.

  • Additional layers of oversight, administration, and coordination are provided by SAFe. These layers make SAFe popular with larger businesses, but they also make it look a lot like the waterfall method that many teams are seeking to get away from. Whereas scrum gives developers more freedom to discover and address problems that arise as a result of the varied sprint, dependencies. SAFe requires administrative roles to supervise many projects and coordinate releases and dependencies. In taking away developers’ independence and returning to a waterfall environment,
  • In the same vein, SAFe’s top-down, big-picture approach excludes front-line participants like developers, testers, and product owners from decision-making and even from each other. As a result, their awareness of the complete software development lifecycle may be limited. They may be unable to conduct well-informed and collaborative planning sessions.
  • Finally, SAFe’s emphasis on the broad picture can lead to lengthier planning cycles and more set responsibilities within development cycles. Which are at odds with the principles of delivering new software in short sprints and creating a continuous loop to ensure quality.

Will You Play it SAFe?

SAFe, at the end of the day, adds a lot to the table, notably by allowing enterprises of a certain size to adopt a more agile software development approach. However, it’s evident that SAFe has a number of flaws that teams should be aware before implementing the framework.

When it comes to whether or whether your organization should implement SAFe, there is no right or wrong answer, as there is with many approaches. Rather, it’s all about educating yourself on your options as well as the specific demands of your business. So that you can choose the best strategy for your team.

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