Master
Techniques

SAFe™

Published: Jan 28, 2015
Last Updated: Apr 13, 2021
Apr 2021
Hold?

Our positioning regarding "being agile before doing agile" and our opinions around this topic shouldn't come as a surprise; but since SAFe™ (Scaled Agile Framework®), per Gartner’s May 2019 report, is the most considered and most used enterprise agile framework, and since we're seeing more and more enterprises going through organizational changes, we thought it was time to raise awareness on this topic again. We've come across organizations struggling with SAFe's over-standardized, phase-gated processes. Those processes create friction in the organizational structure and its operating model. It can also promote silos in the organization, preventing platforms from becoming real business capabilities enablers. The top-down control generates waste in the value stream and discourages engineering talent creativity, while limiting autonomy and experimentation in the teams. Rather than measuring effort and focusing on standardized ceremonies, we recommend a leaner, value-driven approach and governance to help eliminate organizational friction such as EDGE, as well as a team cognitive load assessment to identify types of teams and determine how they should better interact with each other.

Scaled Agile Framework® and SAFe™ are trademarks of Scaled Agile, Inc.

Apr 2016
Hold?

The Scaled Agile Framework® (aka SAFe™) continues to gain mindshare in many organizations at scale. In addition, tools and certification are becoming a significant aspect of the adoption of SAFe™. We continue to be concerned that actual adoptions are prone to over-standardization and are tending towards large release practices, resulting in practices that hinder agile adoption. In its place, we continue to recommend lean approaches that include experimentation and incorporate continuous improvement practices like the Improvement Katas offer organizations a better model for scaling agile.

Scaled Agile Framework® and SAFe™ are trademarks of Scaled Agile, Inc.

Nov 2015
Hold?
May 2015
Hold?

Scaling agile across enterprises is a continuing challenge. Several approaches have been proposed, with SAFe™ being one gaining significant mindshare. While SAFe™ provides a useful checklist for areas of concern, they are easy to misuse, by introducing the same kind of large release tendencies like the release train and gated control processes that agile removes. Enterprises in particular look for a degree of commonality across endeavors that SAFe™ seems to provide, promoting aggressive standardization when some degree of customization provides significant value. Other lean approaches that include experimentation and incorporate continuous improvement practices like the Improvement Katas offer organizations a better model for scaling agile.

Scaled Agile Framework® and SAFe™ are trademarks of Scaled Agile, Inc.

Jan 2015
Hold?