#57 – The SAFe Protest

Authors’ Comments:

<Rant on>

Sometimes, it can seem like, if you really want to position yourself as a true agilist, you need to bash SAFe once in a while. And yes, we admit it; we’ve done it ourselves in previous Comic Agilé strips.

However, the agile community should really take a moment to acknowledge how widely adopted SAFe is amongst enterprises all around the world, and how that has increased the awareness of agile among organizations. Though you can (and will) argue how purely agile the framework is, no one can deny that SAFe has put the agile practices, mindset and values on the map among the management of many large companies. Though Scrum has been out there for ages and slowly started moving out of the realms of software teams into “the business”, it wasn’t until SAFe made its loud entrance that decision-makers started taking agile seriously as a way of increasing the enterprise-wide value-add.

Therefore, instead of complaining about how SAFe has skewed the purpose and dynamics of agile, let’s appreciate how the work of Dean Leffingwell, et. al. actually has helped companies to start working with increments, feedback loops, business value, decentralized decision-making, transparency, a common way of prioritizing, managing and eliminating dependencies between teams, etc. And if SAFe hasn’t really made your organization more agile than it was, it isn’t necessarily because of SAFe – maybe you’re just lousy at adapting it to the context of your company.

<Rant off>