Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)-Pros and Cons You Need To Know

If you are in any way connected with software development, you definitely have the idea of how imperative it is to deliver high-quality software products faster.

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In software development is important to know how to achieve a goal. It is common for development teams to know what a product has to do, but it is different to know how to make the product on time and within budget. This is where you need a methodology to allow your testing and development teams to bring higher quality software to the market faster.

The software industry has adopted a number of approaches to deal with complex software development and keeping the process from development to market introduction simple and timely. Agile frameworks have provided the IT industry with the solution to keep teams aligned with the same end goal. But for large businesses are an enterprise scaling agile is problematic.

The solution for scaling agile practices and processes in an enterprise environment is provided by the Scaled Agile Framework or SAFe. So, what exactly SAFe entails and what are the pros and cons of this framework as compared to other agile methodologies?

Here we are going to discuss everything about SAFe you must know.

SAFe-An introduction

Developed in 2011, SAFe was designed with large software teams in mind that have over 100 members. The aim of the scaled agile framework is to help teams to develop better software products and deliver them to market faster. This framework combines the principle of agile and lean, which makes it possible for different teams to collaborate and align with central decision-making.

Depending on the size of the team, the scale agile framework offers multiple configurations that can be categorised into three levels: Teams, Program and Portfolio. The ultimate goal of SAFe is to allow large organisations to visualise the big picture that is involved in software development and map activities. Roles and responsibilities required. This helps organisations to have the answers for questions such as products initiative development and its alignment with business objectives and predicting the cost and delivery of the product. With SAFe you also have the power to measure success and identify opportunities to improve the entire workflow.

SAFe is designed entirely with the sole purpose of allowing enterprises to scale agile principles across their teams and bring a bottom-up mindset to the entire process of software development.

Pros of Adopting SAFe

SAFe is a relatively lightweight framework that allows large organisations to bring efficiency in software. Development while maintaining centralised decision-making that helps to keep teams aligned. SAFe extends the principles of agile beyond the software development front lines to software leaders, underlining qualities they must take to answer higher level strategy questions.

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So it inherently can handle large-scale and complex projects that involve teams of hundreds. The framework is much more efficient than any other traditional approach of complex software delivery.

If you have an organisation that usually requires work across teams. Then SAFe is ideal for you as it makes multi-team coordination possible due to centralised decision-making. It standardises the processes across teams that prevent any obstacles or delays that may crop up. Because of misalignment between the teams.

During complex project development that has a bottom-up approach. It is easier for teams to lose sight in an agile environment. It is because during search projects it is easier for developers and testers to lose sight of the bigger picture. The scaled agile framework brings top-down alignment and centralised decision-making to the entire process that ensures. The strategic objectives are always clear among the teams.

Cons of Adopting SAFe

This is interesting as SAFe is said to be one of the most efficient agile frameworks. But it comes with its drawbacks.

SAFe is so popular for an enterprise environment is because it provides an additional layer of oversight, administration and coordination. These additional layers make this framework suitable for large enterprises. But interestingly also bring it close to the waterfall approach that the whole idea industry is trying to avoid. There are many other agile frameworks like scrum that give developers more freedom to identify. Solve problems that can result from Sprint cadences and dependencies. SAFe calls for administrative rules to work on these problems rather than allowing developers to freedom. Because of its similarity to the waterfall model and taking away freedom from developers. SAFe can slow down the entire process and make it less flexible.

Furthermore, taking away the decision-making from front-line players, developers and product owners, SAFe also prevents decision-making among the teams. This isolation limits their understanding of the entire software development cycle, which hinders their ability to conduct well-planned sessions.

The emphasis of SAFe on the bigger picture can often lead to fixed roles. Longer planning cycles within the development process. This can make delivering new software to the market faster. Creating a continuous improvement loop to ensure quality difficult at times

Should you pick SAFe?

It allows large organisations to scale the agile approach of software development across teams with hundreds of developers and testers.

However, there is no right or wrong methodology when it comes to picking one for your organisation. Rather, you should train your teams and educate them about the different agile frameworks so that they can pick the best framework for their unique needs.

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