Benefits and Challenges of Adopting SAFe - An Empirical Survey

During the last two decades, turbulent business environments tempted firms to adopt agile methods to cope with the ever-changing customer demands. The success of agile methods in small and co-located teams inspired companies to apply them to large-scale endeavors. Agile scaling frameworks, such as the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) have been proposed by practitioners to scale agile large projects and enterprises. Companies are increasingly taking these frameworks into use. However, the number of quantitative empirical studies assessing the benefits and challenges of adopting the agile scaling frameworks is still limited. This paper starts filling in this gap by presenting the results from a survey of 100 industry participants around the world on their perception of the benefits and challenges of adopting the SAFe framework. Our results show that the SAFe adoption improves transparency, and collaboration and dependency management between agile teams. The most commonly mentioned challenges of the SAFe adoption are organizational politics, difficulties in establishing an agile mindset, and change resistance.

Author of report: Abheeshta Putta, Ömer Uludag, Maria Paasivaara and Shun-Long Hong

Putta Abheeshta
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