Great commentary David. Much of it aligns with many thought leaders we both know (I'll presume you follow signers of the agile manifesto!) Ron Jeffries comes to mind and you can find his critique on his site.

I think your description of the SAFe is "not wrong." Also, I also believe you've articulated some experiences that I have had in de-SAFeing an organization after a particularly dogmatic individual left the company.

A brilliant fellow Canadian, Craig Larman, is a leading proponent of de-scaling and reducing bureaucracy in agile. I am sure you know of his work.

Many of the criticisms of SAFe are similar and echo to the roll out of the Rational Unified Process, which dates me, and indicts me too, as a RUP consultant back in the day. Thanks putting yourself out there in a controversial way.

Expand full comment

Hi Joe,

Thanks for connecting and I appreciate your encouraging words.

I'm aware of Ron's and Craig's position and have learned much from their work. I'll add Ken's position he articulated years ago: https://kenschwaber.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/unsafe-at-any-speed/

Expand full comment

Thanks David. I'm quite familiar with Ken's views and read that commentary prior (I should have mentioned it.) In some ways, I am more attracted to Jeff Sutherland's thinking on Scrum and tend to recommend him (in addition to Ken on the origin of Scrum.) Like you I am very wary of individuals who have never practiced Scrum showing up and trying to scale agile in hapless orgs. You do have to hand it to SAFe having "normed" their practices so well. I find that about 80% of the SAFe certified individuals are pretty ineffective and can't run a daily stand up. lol

Expand full comment