Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) thoughts…

I like it.  I admit I was skeptical.  There were sound bytes I wasn’t quite certain about but, I’m on board.  While I long for a huge company to really and truly embrace all the awesome that is Agile, there are some minds which only have some much capacity to shift and absorb change.  I’ve said it before, there’s some faith you have to have when transitioning to Agile and it’s a scary leap to take.  I have only recently been able to put myself in the executive shoes and look at an Agile transformation from their viewpoint.  SAFe satisfies some needs of large organizations that cannot be ignored and, yes, it can all be addressed with Scrum or Kanban.  There’s no reason why it can’t but, I would MUCH rather have a company make the Agile leap than not and I believe the SAFe framework will make it easier for larger organizations and their executives to get behind it.  Let me be very clear – SAFe does not deviate from Agile principles in any way so let’s just not even go there.  Here are some reasons why I like it:

  1. It satisfies the PMO/Portfolio level nicely
  2. The architects are working a couple sprints ahead and laying an architectural runway for the teams
  3. It incorporates LEAN principles/concepts.  You cannot ignore them and, really, why would you?
  4. There’s a pretty picture which lays it all out in a way anyone can understand.  You think that’s silly.  Executives LOVE it.
  5. Teams are highly collaborative.  They have to be.  Multiple teams.  It’s agile on steroids.
  6. Reporting needs are satisfied in a way executives can relate and support and it’s not dashboards or red, yellow & green stuff either.  It’s about VALUE! 
  7. The entire framework exists to enable and empower teams to deliver value while keeping all those not on teams engaged, informed and happy

It drives me batty when teams are “Agile” and no one else is.  Here is a way which requires engagement and participation from all.  You would be challenged to maintain old ways and have teams be “Agile”.  You can’t fake it.  I encourage you to explore it at scaledagileframework.com.

Now that I’ve learned about SAFe I’m off to explore other solutions and see what else is out there. 

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