Why Scaled Agile Framework will succeed Even If You Do No Like It!!!
WHY SCALED AGILE FRAMEWORK (SAFE) WILL SUCCEED EVEN IF YOU DO NOT LIKE IT!!!!
Hi guys, during last weeks a lot of things have been discussed about Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). Until now, I didn’t respond to these discussions, but I think it´s time for me to say something about it. People that knows me, they know that I try to be an agilist, I do not care if it´s Scrum, UnScrum, Kanban, Unkanban, Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), UNSAFe, Risky or UNRisky.
Life showed me that there is no silver bullet for everything, each different situation requires a different approach and most of the times some customisation is needed to be successful.
Almost six months ago, I joined a fantastic company (hybris software). I acceded to this company as an Agile Coach, and one of my responsibilities is to help my team to make Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) a case of success.
When I joined the company, I was part of that 99,9 % of people that lately speak a lot about Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), but do not understand it at all, because they never tried it 🙂 🙂 And yes, when I looked at Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) for the first time, I thought: “Oh my god, this is so heavy, this is not Agile at all, but let´s see where does it take us”.
Six months passed and now I am in a much better situation to do the first analysis of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). This post is not an explanation of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), for that, please check the official website here.
This post is a small personal explanation why I think Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) will succeed.
I believe the way how Dean created the framework is simply fantastic. Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is designed in a way that can be implemented in both types of companies: the ones who know what they are doing and the ones that do not have any clue :D.
This framework was created in a way that allows typical old waterfall companies to adopt Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) without changing most of their processes, and at the same time having the stamp saying “We are Agile”. In my opinion, this is one of the huge reasons why Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) will grow during the upcoming years.
Is Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) helping these companies? I do not think so, but like I say: “Organisations have what they deserve if they do not have good people making decisions and steering the company in the right direction, they deserve to die.
Faster they die, better for the society, because it allows others to learn from their mistakes and create a better society.”
So how can Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) help companies that know what they are doing?
I believe, one of the biggest problems with traditional Agile adoptions happens on Top Level. Agile is usually something seen as a “development” thing, nothing to do with Top Management, and this is where Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) can help.
Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) brings all company together and more important; it creates a connection between top management and development, something that other frameworks were not able to solve.
I see the PSI planning a fantastic way to enable collaboration between top management and development. During a couple of days, we have top management presenting their wishes to teams and discuss together with them what they can deliver.
When I am talking about top management, I am referring to VPs and C-level, and now please let me know how many companies out there (I am not talking about start-ups, I am talking about companies with almost 1000 employees) are able to get C-level people together with developers seated on the same table negotiating about what can be delivered. This is where Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) will succeed.
One thing that I believe we must improve is on this “three months up front commitment”. Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) refers that each release train should take more or less five sprints where the scope, is decided upfront in an event called PSI planning, most of the people including myself would say this is not agile at all, how can we commit for ten weeks?
During these 10 weeks we got high important requests that were not part of the original plan, and still we were able to insert them on the release backlog, of course taking something out from the original plan (fix the date, change the scope), but somehow this three months up front commitment is something that I believe we need to improve.
I have a vision for Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) implementation in our company, I hope one day we will have such a strong connection between top management and development, that we do not need PSI planning anymore, we will run Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) as a pure Scrum or Kanban development (each team will choose how they want to work) where top management and development are constantly aligned and where every check-in is a potential release.
Until that moment, Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) with the original format will play a big role in the success of software development in our company, but for sure we will not stop improving ourselves to get leaner and faster!
Looking forward to some interesting debates.
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