Scrum vs SAFe: Key differences to consider?

Read it in 5 Mins

30th Dec, 2022
Scrum vs SAFe: Key differences to consider?

Scrum and Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®️) function under Agile values and principles. When it comes to Scrum vs SAFe, there are very small differences between them; it is important to understand the same clearly. Scrum is a framework based on the values and principles of Agile, whereas SAFe® is a framework that implements Scrum at an enterprise level. Signup for SAFe Agile certification to master agile concepts.   

Quick Differences between Scrum and SAFe® :

Sr. No.ScrumSAFe®️
1.Deals will be small, collocated, cross-functional teams.Deals with big, multi-geography teams.
2.Scrum is adopted by the Agile Teams.Adopted by enterprises as a whole, not just a team. (extension of Scrum)
3.The middle management plays no role.Program and Portfolio management are two important tiers of SAFe®️.
4.The basic construct is the Scrum Team.The basic construct is the Agile Release Train. (ART)
5.Scrum misses out on various essential aspects.With SAFe®️, all possible features and aspects of an organization can be managed.

While Scrum is an Agile way to manage software development, SAFe®️ is an enterprise-level establishment method.

Also, read about safe core values and 5 whys root cause analysis.

The major difference between the two depends on the way they choose to handle their work. In simple words, Scrum is basically used to organize small teams, while SAFe®️ is used to organize the whole organization. Moreover, Scrum tends to miss many important aspects that SAFe®️ manages to contain.

Scrum sounds simple in concepts but is hard to execute from the core.

Get to know more about agile vs traditional project management.


Scrum is an iterative method of product development that breaks down a project into small segments, which are then completed by small cross-functional teams within a defined period of time.  It focuses on a regular rhythm of delivery and relies on cross-functional teams, some specific supporting roles and a set of ceremonies to complete the delivery of the project.

To plan, organize, administer, and optimize a process, Scrum heavily depends on three roles:

Different types of scrum roles

  • Product Owner: He is responsible to plan, organize, and make communication with the company.
  • Scrum Master: It is the responsibility of a Scrum Master to look after the job during the sprints.
  • Scrum Team: The main objective of the Scrum Team is the execution of the prescribed job for each sprint.


It stands for ‘Scalable Agile Framework’. It is an approach which consumes the whole enterprise and not just a team. SAFe®️ scales Scrum to make it work for bigger enterprises and has bigger teams working on the same product than what Scrum recommends. SAFe®️ has described three levels in an organisation, viz Portfolio, Program, and Team. This structure is widely accepted in large organizations as it has a tiered approach for delivery of its work. Unlike Scrum, it focuses on retrospect and releases planning as well, so that improvements can be made.

The three important parts of SAFe® are:

  • Lean Product Development 
  • Agile Software Development 
  • System Thinking

To summarize, Agile is a mindset, a way of working; Scrum is a framework based on Agile values and principles, while SAFe®️ is a scaling framework that implements Scrum at an enterprise level. 

To Conclude:

The major difference between Scrum and SAFe®️ agile methods lie in the way they take into practice. SAFe®️ has been developed in such a manner that it fills the gap that Scrum had left behind. SAFe®️ focuses on release planning and retrospect for improvement, which Scrum lacks.



KnowledgeHut is an outcome-focused global ed-tech company. We help organizations and professionals unlock excellence through skills development. We offer training solutions under the people and process, data science, full-stack development, cybersecurity, future technologies and digital transformation verticals.
Want to find out which SAFe®️ certification is apt for you?

Avail your free 1:1 mentorship session.

Your Message (Optional)