Agility and Flexibility are Core Elements
I wrote about this topic a while ago, and it has been top of mind recently both from personal experience as well other articles that have come out. So I wanted to dive a little deeper.
From my original post:
SAFe is another embodiment of project thinking. While product thinking is the solution for product development, it is easy to slip back into a project mindset where the goal is to map out features and outputs and then simply focus on delivering them on a specific timeline. And that is what SAFe does: it puts the focus on outputs rather than outcomes. Success is measured on committing to features and then delivering them throughout the quarter. Of course, this is great if you’re right about all your guesses ahead of time, but that won’t generally be the case. And when processes take the place of outcomes, it’s not good for teams, organizations, or users.
Simply throwing around the term "agile" does not an agile team make. But everyone wants to think of themselves and their teams and their organizations as agile. Unfortunately, simply using the term or using frameworks loosely associated with agile will not make you agile or flexible or dynamic.
SAFe, as a framework, is way too complex and puts too many barriers in place. It literally removes teams several steps back from customers and the impact of that becomes obvious quickly.
You can read more about it here: The Major Problems with SAFe
Understanding Fake Agile
"A particularly worrying variant is the Scaled Agile Framework or SAFe. Essentially this is codified bureaucracy, in which the customer is almost totally absent."
Stepping Back from the Scaled Agile Framework
I saw Al talking about this on Twitter, and found this article about stepping away from SAFe. It's not as dramatic a call out as "Fake Agile", but it does acknowledge SAFe as generally too complex.
The Horror of the Scaled Agile Framework
A quick rant, but it's fun to see the emotion that SAFe can elicit. I often feel the same way.
Favorite Books from the Past Month:
Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions
This was a great read that dove not only into computer science, but how we can apply it (or not) to our lives. Really worthwhile.