Apparently there’s some confusion out there regarding SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework for the Enterprise) and Scrum of Scrums (SoS). SAFe is not Scrum of Scrums and Scrum of Scrums is not SAFe. There’s a difference and, hopefully, this helps clear it up.
Scrum of Scrums (also known as Meta Scrum) is defined by The Agile Alliance as “A technique to scale Scrum up to large groups (over a dozen people), consisting of dividing the groups into Agile teams of 5-10” – See more at: Agile Alliance. SAFe, on the other hand, is a complete framework which addresses all the layers of an organization. Dean Leffingwell has laid out the complete picture at his site: Scaled Agile Framework and defines it as a framework “for implementing Agile practices at enterprise scale”. Let’s dig in a little deeper.
|SAFe||Scrum of Scrums|
Another key differentiator may be that SAFe describes itself as a means to implement Agile whereas Scrum of Scrums does not. SoS assumes you have already implemented Agile and are at the point of needing to scale. To me, it’s all in the approach. SAFe is the Red Bull of Agile at Scale. You’re at 0 and want to be at 100. Scrum of Scrums is a deliberate, natural progression for an organization with several successful teams already needing a tool to help nudge it a little to the next level. A sip of coffee maybe?
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