Never trust organizations who claim to have adopted the agile mindset, saying they use SAFe or Scrum or w\e, unless the teams themselves say that they have full autonomy for the release process. Because the upper management is not agile. Especially in older organizations. Typically they are the ones who will have the final say if teams don't have autonomy.

As a consultant, I joined a team on an organization who says that they're using SAFe. "Scaled Agile Framework". There is absolutely nothing agile in that horrid process.

Agility only happens at the team level. That's where we seem to improve the ways of working. Levels above, nothing happens.

I've been on this team for a year and we haven't released ANYTHING to customers. So those "release trains" are sitting on their stations.

Upper management refuses to green light a product release to customers that doesn't contain everything they want in it. In their mind they have the "perfect product" in mind and it needs to be perfect before it can be delivered to anyone. Fighting them on that idea has proven pointless. They don't understand what an agile mindset it. At the moment we are providing zero value to customers.

The MVP release date has been pushed for over 6 months now because nobody can come to a conclusion as to what needs to be finished before the release. They can't accept that we'd just release it now and keep iterating it. Everyone from the team members to the organization leader to their grandmother has to green light a release. People argue about minor nuances. Semantics. Big manual regression tests are needed to make sure that everything works. When a minor bug appears, PO's lose their minds and start calling out developers to investigate and fix it, and to set up more gateway checks that these things don't happen.

Organizations don't adapt the agile mindset very easily. Frustration sets in. Waterfall is forever.

  • 2
    frAgile MVP Waterfalls, this is what happens when management think they know best.

    There was a time we used to do deployments weekly / biweekly at the worst. Now it's anywhere between 3 weeks and 18 months per release.

    The only thing agile about this process is the never ending stand ups of uselessness and scrum meetings of feature harvesting. No one gives a shit anymore and it's just a blur in the day now.

    I miss the old days before management decided they know the "right" way of doing things.
  • 0
    @C0D4 This is why organizations that have successfully adopted the agile mindsets leave those things to the teams. Management doesn't get involved. Teams need that autonomy, otherwise it's waterfall.
  • 0
    We do use SAFe but it only governs inter team dependencies and overall goals.

    Actual team planning is done at the team level and we release on our own schedule, its only what we should prioritize from a business perspective that is handled in SAFe, and as I said, whenever we need to sync with other teams.

    Its not perfect but we do have quite a lot of autonomy.

    But with very interconnected systems we just cannot be completely autonomous.
  • 1
    Agile SAFe is bullshit, or rather, it's a business. At a previous project we had a 2-day intro course to SAFe, presented by smooth consultants and accompanied with insanely cluttered process graphs.

    What they said was vague as hell, sometimes directly contradicting the real Agile principles, and sometimes just sales talk to sell their super-expensive certificate trainings.

    The business ended up calling their "trains" LEGO and Playmobil, and after that I just left because I didn't want to be part of the joke
  • 0
    @webketje well, yes its very vague as such and it requires that the organization really understands whats important and adopts it in line with their own requirements.

    Its not something that will work out of the box.

    The whole organization need to understand the basics AND management must understand where the boundary is for team responsibility and trust the teams.

    Without that understanding its going to be another top down system grinding progress to a snail pace.
Add Comment