What are the pros and cons of using SAFe vs Scrum @ Scale (S@S) as your enterprise framework?

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Senior Director Engineering in Travel and Hospitality, 10,001+ employees
SAFe at times pushes the management to completely reskill and take alternate roles which causes a lot of disruption. S@S sort of extends the existing structure to work at scale which helps retain talent and keep the management layer technically and structurally involved
Chief Technology Officer in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Scrum at scale:

- allows an organisation to grow organically
- unlimited Scrum teams can be coordinated
- teams can develop creative solutions to complex problems
- defines the concept of a minimum viable bureaucracy or minimum number of governing bodies and processes, thus increasing decision-making speed

- framework is intentionally incomplete and some organisations may prefer something more prescriptive
- need to already be able to implement Scrum to implement Scrum @ scale

- if organisations don't understand Agile they won't understand S@S


- has demonstrated examples of improving business agility and time-to-value
- scalable across different organisational levels, including C-suite
- project increment planning is at the core, giving a clear vision into what's needed to complete and release the increment

- very complex
- more top-down than grassroots with multiple layers of admin that can detract from problem-solving itself
CTO in Healthcare and Biotech, 2 - 10 employees
I’ll preface this with a disclaimer that we have only used workflow tools like these in small teams. Large teams are less agile and productive so I’d be hesitant to use either at ‘scale’. As far as one or the other, I truly don’t think it matters. The main benefits of using a framework like these are for strategy alignment, transparent progress, and task-organized documentation. Any modern framework will satisfy these and more. I’d pick the simplest and cheapest tool and focus time on ensuring each user is aligned with the meanings and expectations of each feature.
VP of Engineering in Education, 10,001+ employees
SAFe is a framework that needs to be applied at an entire organizational level. It starts with the strategy and how to create portfolios and journeys to fulfill that strategy. Then it whittles down to how to set up teams, select projects, and measure your programs' success. It is not just a method of scaling your Agile software teams. Unfortunately, people jump into implementing SAFe without thinking through how they would use the framework to transform their organization. This also means it is very complex and can be daunting. However, there are mechanisms to implement it though it requires long vision. 

S@S, on the other hand, is more bottoms-up approach (you have teams and they need to learn to work together) that can be applied without trying to do an organizational transformation across all functions. It is intentionally left open so that practitioners can expand and plug to other things. 
Solutions Architect in Software, 501 - 1,000 employees
The main difference is that Scrum aims to improve performance in small teams by simplifying processes and packaging change management in small predictable iterations, while SAFe is aiming to drive agile practices across the whole organization.

Keeping this in mind, the downsides are quite straightforward:
- Scrum will underperform for large organizations.
- SAFe will bring a lot of redundancy for a small team.
Vice President Global Head of Value Engineering in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Scrum is a technique that works best for local optimisation, for small projects, for small teams where collaboration is not that critical and for simple org structures. Whenever we need to scale a scrum type environment to larger/global projects, involve bigger teams that have interdependencies, needs focus on value stream mapping & portfolion management capabilities, and has matrixed org structures, SAFe is a much better option. Outcomes of SAFe for such projects include better time to delivery & value, team member engagement and improved efficiencies.
VP of Engineering in Software, 11 - 50 employees
Both frameworks have pluses ands minuses. The real question is which framework is best suited for your organization. If some team members already know one or the other, the best option may be to go with it and expand it, as retraining is usually costly in time and money.

The basic structure of SAFe is the Agile Release Train (ART). It is considered as a team of Agile teams that takes care of the processes, development, and delivery, together with all other project stakeholders.

When compared to Scrum at Scale, the SAFe framework may not be as customizable. This means that SAFe has a more complex structure and adds more processes, layers, functions and tools to the project’s value delivery.

By comparison, the modular approach of Scrum at Scale helps to properly scale the Agile culture, enabling the alignment of the entire organization to share the same goals in the project and the process.
Sr. Director of Engineering in Software, 51 - 200 employees
There are many factors that are to be taken care in mind while making a choice between SAFe and S@S for an enterprise. The organisation size, teams/projects , avg. team size and adoption scale are few of these factors. While SAFe and S@S are there to ensure structure, predictability and disciplines across deliveries, bring agility and continuous integrations of different teams. There applicability in one env will be not be same as different env. Like S@S may work for orgs with small team sizes and fresh adoptions but it will not be suited for very large orgs with thousands of teams and projects. Also, migration from already adopted SAFe setups to S@S will cause disruptions as well. While SAFe has proven its value with widespread adoptions across industries , S@S is early in the evolution and adoption game. 
Co-founder & CTO in Finance (non-banking), 51 - 200 employees
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best enterprise framework for a given organization depends on the specific needs and goals of that organization. However, some general pros and cons of SAFe and Scrum @ Scale (S@S) as enterprise frameworks can be outlined as follows:

SAFe Pros:
- SAFe is a tried-and-tested framework that has been used by many organizations with success.
- SAFe is a comprehensive framework that covers all aspects of enterprise software development, from product planning and delivery to portfolio management.
- SAFe includes built-in support for scaling Agile practices to the enterprise level.

SAFe Cons:
- SAFe can be complex and difficult to implement, particularly for organizations new to Agile.
- SAFe requires a high level of commitment from senior management in order to be successful.
- SAFe can be inflexible, and may not be the best fit for organizations with very specific needs.

Scrum @ Scale (S@S) Pros:
- S@S is a simpler and more lightweight framework than SAFe, and is therefore easier to implement.
- S@S is more flexible than SAFe, and can be customized to better fit the needs of specific organizations.
- S@S includes built-in support for scaling Agile practices to the enterprise level.

Scrum @ Scale (S@S) Cons:
- S@S is a newer framework than SAFe, and has not been used as widely or for as long.
- S@S is not as comprehensive as SAFe, and does not cover all aspects of enterprise software development.
- S@S may not be the best fit for organizations with very complex needs.

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