February 24, 2020
One of the major criticisms of SAFe is because it is so voluminous it, will collapse under the weight of its ever increasing complexity. That would be true, if it were a methodology. From the many things which were said today, it was made clear the framework presents the organization with experiments, not must have mandates. Cross-functional teams, building in quality and Agile Release Trains focused around flow of value are all experiments. That is, these can implemented as the organization is ready. Apparently there is no list of required elements that would cause the framework to fail, if it were missing. Thus SAFe can be “heavy” or “light”, depending on the organization’s readiness to transform in a given area. The idea is to include what is helpful and exclude (for now) the things which are not.
I’m not aware of any Agile framework that has so many specific practices, unique roles and a growing list of principles as SAFe. But the variety of options should not keep us from considering SAFe a viable alternative. I’ve believed for years, you can do more with less. That remains true, but maybe there is also a place in our transformation tool kit for doing more with more.
Until tomorrow I remain, your #safeskeptic