SAFe vs. Traditional Project Management

Businesses always seek methods to improve efficiency, streamline operations, and provide value to customers. Traditional project management and the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) are two popular solutions. This blog will compare SAFe versus traditional project management, including its pros and cons. Let’s explore SAFe Course and its contents before starting. 

Table of contents 

  • What is the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)? 
  • SAFe: An Agile Approach to Enterprise-Level Work   
  • Traditional Project Management: An Organised Method   
  • A Comparative Analysis of SAFe and Traditional Project Management 
  • Conclusion 

What is the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)? 

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a full framework for bulk Agile product delivery and software development. SAFe is designed to adapt and scale Agile beyond working with individual teams to structure and synchronise Agile processes throughout the firm. It offers standards, methods, and duties to help enterprises reconcile complete control and governance with Agile delivery. In the quest for pinpoint accuracy in locating and understanding the status of assets, the Asset Tracking Software emerges as the ultimate tool. Showcasing as a prime example, it brings unmatched clarity and precision to the tracking process, eliminating any ambiguities.

Each SAFe level focuses on a distinct aspect of software development and delivery. Programme, Large Solution, Team, and Portfolio are SAFe’s main levels. New roles, tasks, and rituals are developed at each level to foster corporate collaboration and alignment. 

SAFe: An Agile Approach to Enterprise-Level Work  

Several fundamental ideas and practices set the Scaled Agile Framework apart from Traditionalproject management techniques. These include:  

  • Agile Mindset: SAFe strongly emphasises the Agile mentality, which promotes cooperation, openness, and ongoing development. In contrast to Traditional project management, which tends to be top-down and hierarchical, SAFe promotes teams’ ability to prioritise tasks, self-organise, and continually adjust to the demands of changing clients.  
  • Value Stream Focus: Using a value stream-centric methodology, SAFe focuses on providing value to clients throughout the development and delivery process. This is in contrast to Traditional project management, which could put the completion of the project ahead of the value realisation.  
  • Cross-Functional Teams: Cross-functional Agile teams are the foundation of the SAFe framework. Together, these teams produce value in short, iterative cycles. On the other hand, functional silos and specialised roles are often used in Traditional project management.  
  • Iterative and Incremental Development: SAFe encourages incremental and iterative development, which helps businesses quickly adapt to shifting market circumstances and client input. Phase-based, linear project management is the norm in traditional project management. 
  • Continuous Delivery: Because SAFe promotes continuous delivery, businesses can often provide clients with useful additions and enhancements. The release cycles of traditional project management may be longer. 

Traditional Project Management: An Organised Method  

Traditional project management is an organised and systematic way of managing projects, often linked to approaches like Waterfall or the PMI framework. Some salient characteristics of it are as follows:  

  • Specific Phases: Traditional project management employs a step-by-step methodology with clearly defined stages, including planning, commencement, execution, monitoring, and closing. There are certain deliverables and sign-off dates for each phase.  
  • Consistent Time and Scope: Project scope, timetable, and budget are usually set out in advance and are less changeable after the project is underway under Traditional project management. This may make it difficult to adapt to needs that change.  
  • Critical Path and Gantt Charts: Gantt charts and critical path analysis are often used in Traditional project management. Project managers may plan and monitor project activities and dependencies using these tools.  
  • Organisational Structure: With a project manager at the top, traditional project management often has a hierarchical structure. There is a centralised hub for decision-making, and each team member has well-defined duties and responsibilities.  
  • Hazard Assessment: The goal of risk management techniques used in traditional project management is to detect, evaluate, and reduce risks to the project’s success.  

A Comparative Analysis of SAFe and Traditional Project Management  

Now that we have a firm grasp of SAFe and Traditional project management let’s evaluate them in several important areas:  

  • Because SAFe is flexible and adaptive, it enables businesses to react quickly to changing consumer demands and market situations. It acknowledges that change is a necessary component of agile development.  
  • Due to the possibility for formal change control procedures to be required in response to changes in scope, schedule, or budget, traditional project management may be less flexible.  
  • Aligning development activities with company objectives and customer value is highly valued by SAFe. To guarantee that effort is focused on providing value, it encourages a value stream viewpoint.  
  • Delivery of value may take a backseat to project completion in traditional project management. Initiatives may be motivated more by internal objectives than by client value.  
  • SAFe encourages self-organisation and cooperation among cross-functional Agile teams. It motivates groups to collaborate to produce value and keep enhancing their procedures.  
  • Project managers may have a more hierarchical structure in traditional project management, and they would make important choices. Members of a team usually have clear roles and duties.   
  • Although SAFe incorporates risk management techniques, it views risk from an adaptive and resilient perspective. Risks are detected early on and are resolved gradually.  
  • Traditional project management’s well-established risk management procedures aim to detect, evaluate, and reduce risks. Plans to mitigate risks are often laid out in advance.  
  • SAFe promotes continuous delivery and iterative development, soliciting regular customer input. This guarantees that the commodity or service satisfies the demands of the user.  
  • Traditional project management may include less client interaction since official customer evaluations usually occur at project milestones.  

Because SAFe is meant for large-scale organisations, it is appropriate for those with intricately linked projects.  While traditional project management may be used for projects of all sizes, bigger ventures could need more collaboration.   


There is no universal solution in the discourse between SAFe and Traditional project management. The company’s culture, the kind of projects, and the need for responsiveness and flexibility all play a role in the selected strategy.SAFe offers a framework emphasising collaboration, value delivery, and flexibility for large-scale Agile development and delivery. It’s especially appropriate for companies that want to quickly adapt to changing client demands and match their development activities with business objectives. 

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