February 27, 2020

I grew up an evangelical fundamentalist. That’s about as hard core protestant as it gets. Lutherans had one foot in hell, Catholics were full on idol worshipers, Methodists were heretics. My favorite were Pentecostals. They were downright demon possessed. If you find this world view a bit restrictive, you’re right.

In the book Wisdom of Crowds James Surowiecki, gives three conditions for unlocking this wisdom. These are,

  1. The questions must be specific and quantifiable
  2. The group has to be diverse
  3. Those who decide must be acting independently from each other

If you’re wondering how we ended up with demon possessed Pentecostals, that would be due to conditions two and three. First of all, we all thought alike. We had to think alike to belong to the “tribe”. There were variations of the same beliefs, but disagreement was not allowed. We were not willing or able to decide independently. Thus our circle was tight, small and had no impact on society.

This week’s SAFe training made it clear that our Agile community is much larger and more diverse than I thought. The training was intense, the framework is extensive, but there is nothing fundamentally “non-Agile” about any of it.  SAFe is like well structured classical music and there is nothing in SAFe that forces clients to accept anything. Most importantly the focus is also on “Transforming the World of Work”. I would hate to think that our minds or so focused on what we believe is important, that we would allow ourselves to engage in “I’m better than you are” debate.

Agile frameworks like Kanban, Scrum, Scrum@Scale, LeSS and SAFe  are having an amazing global impact. In this age of innovation, our clients need frameworks that fit their culture and most importantly lower their anxiety. If we focus on our customer’s needs and not our preferences, we will find ourselves smack in the middle of this world wide transformative movement.

Thus I remain fully #safeopen.