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SAFe – Good But Not Good Enough

by Ron Jeffries, 27 February 2014 | The Agile Blogosphere

This post is from by Ron Jeffries. Click here to see the original post in full.

I recently took the SAFe SPC training, with instructors Jennifer Fawcett and Al Shalloway. My bottom line assessment is that it will be a marketing success, organizations trying it will see improvement, and some will see great improvement.

And I don’t like it. SAFe isn’t really Agile in its heart. It does have many good elements, which I’ll talk about here. And I still don’t like it. I’ll talk about that as well.

Part of what kept me from going entirely negative on SAFe was Al Shalloway’s contributions. His Agile values and approaches are quite good. That meant that his sections of the lectures, and his answers about what he’d do in real cases, shifted the balance from what I believe we’d have gotten from the other instructor alone.

SAFe contains many good elements, and if an organization actually did what it said, they would likely prosper and move more and more in a direction I consider to be “Agile”. I think an organization taking up SAFe will receive some very valuable advice and will likely improve. They are, however, in grave danger of never really making it to Agile as I understand it.

Still, there are some things in SAFe that might well generate more improvement than Scrum alone. That’s because Scrum chooses not to include elements that may be important to many projects, even to all projects....

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