Classical painting of a black bloody-mouthed devil holding two children. Animated to shake violently.
Classical painting of a black bloody-mouthed devil holding two children. Animated to shake violently.

Beware SAFe (the Scaled Agile Framework for Enterprise), an Unholy Incarnation of Darkness

A graph that shows a trend that increases upwards almost linearly.
A graph that shows a trend that increases upwards almost linearly.
Google search term interest for “SAFe agile” since 2011
An intimidating and complex graphic laying out roles and processes
An intimidating and complex graphic laying out roles and processes

SAFe enables bureaucratic, top-down control

SAFe (often) comes bundled with Rally — FURTHER limiting team autonomy

SAFe takes the worst possible approach to managing dependencies

SAFe is excessively oriented around planning

A schedule with events related mostly to planning
A schedule with events related mostly to planning
The recommended standard two-day PI Planning agenda

SAFe is oriented around volume, not value

SAFe is unnecessarily complex

SAFe limits retrospectives and continuous improvement

SAFe degrades the concepts it aggregates

SAFe is not Agile

What about all the case studies where SAFe is shown to have worked?

A stock chart that goes down sharply at the beginning of 2016 and continues downwards
A stock chart that goes down sharply at the beginning of 2016 and continues downwards

It’s OK as a transitional step though, right?

A roadmap with red circles drawn at every stage
A roadmap with red circles drawn at every stage
The SAFe Implementation Roadmap with circles added to all the points where consultant services are needed

These problems are broadly experienced

Jared Spool, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Center Centre-UIE
Jeff Gothelf, Co-author of Lean UX
Allen Holub, Agile Consultant & Computer Scientist
Some silly meme account

Stay safe out there (not SAFe)

Sr Product Designer @ Cigna. Join me on my crusade for smarter UX & product design. linkedin.com/in/seandexter1/

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