SAFe is a hot topic. Every once in a while, someone asks me my thoughts on the topic. And while ostensibly, SAFe may only apply to large enterprises, it also seems to get some traction even in small companies. I once worked with a company using SAFe for just 3 Scrum teams.
I have two core thoughts about SAFe:
SAFe is a terrible name, becuase there’s very little “agile” about it. As I’ve said before, I think the very concept of “scaling agile” is flawed. Maybe I’ll start calling it S*Fe for that reason. 🤔
Agile Manifesto S*Fe Individuals and interactions over processes and tools A very complicated process Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Barely mentions the customer at all (only once in the standard chart) Responding to change over following a plan Built on an 8-12 week plan
S*Fe can still be a big improvement for companies that have a slow, bureaucratic process.
Just because something isn’t completely “agile” doesn’t mean it’s bad, right? If your organization is benefiting from S*Fe, don’t be ashamed. Embrace what works.
I just hope you’ll also be free to explore new options when S*Fe is outgrown at your organization!