The Main Differences Between DA FLEX and SAFe

1. DA FLEX is not a framework. Frameworks provide the illusion of a solid solution but limits what options are available and almost never fit the real need of the organization. see Frameworks contrasted with Disciplined Agile’s toolkit approach for more.

2. DA FLEX is based on patterns and systems-thinking

3. DA FLEX is organized around the value stream, not levels. This makes it clear how the different parts of the organization work together and provides an easier way to improve end-to-end user experience. See View SAFe from a value stream perspective for more. It also enables starting across an entire value stream unlike SAFe’s common way of starting only at the program level.

4. DA FLEX uses explicit agreements between people about the way they work together based on what they’re trying to accomplish, not merely following the framework.

5. SAFe’s modifications of what a value stream is makes it harder to untangle the value streams. Value streams are the workflows, not the people in the workflows. See SAFe’s redefinition of a value stream obscures the insights they can provide for more.

6. DA FLEX uses Minimum Business Increments to be a container for both what’s of value and what’s required to get it.

7. DA FLEX has a WSJF more true to Don Reinertsen’s approach and uses it on MBIs, not epics and features which is not effective.  See Improving SAFe’s WSJF and Why WSJF Should Be Done on MBIs and Not Features or Epics for more

8. DA FLEX’s product management is organized around MVPs and Minimum Business Increments. This avoids much of the unnecessary complexity of SAFe’s product management system.

9. DA FLEX has several techniques for improving value creation structures. These are necessary in order to align teams with products. See Improving Your Value Creation Structure for more.

10. DA FLEX provides alternative practices to enable the company to choose their own way of working

11. DA FLEX can provide contextually based prescriptions so that people start with an approach that’s fit for purpose. This makes it much easier to adopt. The process of creating the prescription also sets the stage for people to learn how to do guided continual improvement.

12. DA FLEX can be applied to other methods to improve them since its both agnostic and is based on principles. This flexibility enables you to switch from whatever approach you are using without having to abandon the positive work you’ve accomplished.