Although there are significant differences in how change is approached, here are some similarities between SAFe and LeSS, aka, Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and Large Scale Scrum (LeSS).
Similarities Between SAFe and LeSS
- Both SAFe and LeSS address organizing multiple teams in an agile work environment (stating the obvious here, perhaps, but just to be clear 🙂
- Both include a new view of management which is more agile, supporting change, practices, value delivery and developing people
- Both SAFe and LeSS include software craftsmanship/technical excellence practices of continuous integration, test-driven development (TDD), Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD/BDD), test automation, refactoring, pairing.
- Both include Lean Thinking
- Both include Systems Thinking
- Both SAFe and LeSS are based on years of experience, supported by books authored by the originators, and with some community support in refining the approach.
Differences Between SAFe and LeSS
There are significant differences between SAFe and LeSS (which I’ll get into later), but because of those, perhaps:
- One approach tends to work better for given cultures. For instance, at one of our recent coaching engagements, the culture was such that a very structured, planned and coordinated approach was the best direction (SAFe). At another coaching client, the culture is less structured but follows some detailed principles and framework (LeSS) and has taken some time for their leadership group to agree on exactly what that is. With another agile coaching and training customer, the approach was even more open (Open Space), but we’ll save that a for another discussion. Different cultures, different approaches. The leadership at each are quite pleased with the results. Please let us know if you’d like to hear more about their stories.
- SAFe would be an incremental step towards LeSS
- LeSS would have broader support from Scrum trainers, where as SAFe from consultants
- Fewer steps are required to become a SAFe trainer than a LeSS trainer
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