Scrum processes work very well at the individual team level. However, when scaling to larger number of teams problems such as Reliability & Consistency, Quality, Coordination and Communication become a huge challenge. Employing a scaling framework such as LeSS (Large Scale Scrum) or SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) helps alleviate these challenges.

Identifying the specific challenges at the portfolio, program and team levels and recommending framework modifications and tweaks takes the expertise of experienced Agile Coaches. Note that these frameworks need to be tailored and customized for individual program needs.

So, LeSS or SAFe?

While LeSS follows the principle of Less is More and is a Set of rules and principles; SAFe is highly prescriptive on the processes to be followed. SAFe scales well at the portfolio, program and team levels, while LeSS is more at the team level. Inter-team coordination is via a structured, formal release planning process in SAFe. LeSS advocates less structure and relies more on how well team coordinate among themselves. SAFe relies on incremental planning and demo sessions. LeSS relies on Stable, long-lived, cross-functional teams. LeSS focuses on working together to deliver a specific product. SAFe focuses on managing and creating a centralized strategy to deliver value.

“More with LeSS”. Is a set of rules and principles Highly prescriptive on the processes to be followed
LeSS works very well at the team level Scales well at the portfolio, program and team levels
Advocates less structure and relies more on how well team coordinate among themselves Inter-team coordination is via a structured, formal release planning process
Relies on Stable, long-lived, cross-functional teams Relies on incremental planning and demo sessions
Focus on working together to deliver a specific product Focus on managing and creating a centralized strategy to deliver value

So, what works for you?