Constructively (rather than Destructively) Adopting and Sustaining the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

Brad Barton, Mark Ferraro, and I recently published Adopting and Sustaining the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) — after repeatedly witnessing the ongoing “excessive suffering” of many people and organizations confronting the challenge of achieving greater Agility at scale, particularly with the SAFe (among other approaches). And while there is a more-general Dual-Track Value Co-Creation metaphor or pattern — which includes Strategy, Discovery, Delivery, and Infrastructure — for achieving scalability (and Agility at Scale), this book focuses on the SAFe (again, among other approaches).

While Scaled Agile, the organization behind the SAFe, readily acknowledges that the “SAFe does not implement itself and indeed makes no attempt to describe the significant organizational change management, cultural impacts, implementation strategies, and training and services provisioning that are typically required for successful implementation” and only offers brief “recommendations for implementation,” far too many practitioners are seemingly overlooking this acknowledgement and are using the “recommendations” as the way to “implement” the SAFe, which can be very “destructive”!

Adopting and Sustaining the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) offers an approach — with roots in decades of practice across many industry domains — for adopting, scaling, and sustaining Agility using the SAFe along with other approaches in Waterfall, Agile, and “mixed” enterprises.

Furthermore the “pure” or non-SAFe approach is known as Conscious Agility, and this brief book could have been easily named Conscious Agility for the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)!

Additionally, the image of a maze on the cover of the book really emphasizes that the SAFe can be a bit of a “maze” to navigate and a bit of a “maze” to adopt and sustain — “with all due respect” — as one can get lost in a “maze” or hit a dead-end!!!

The intent of this brief book is not to answer all the possible questions or provide all the possible guidance, but to address some questions as well as establish the context (via the change journey) for addressing other questions and leveraging other guidance in a more “healthy” or “constructive” and less “toxic” or “destructive” manner. If you have specific questions you’d like us to address, don’t hesitate to reach us via LinkedIn or About.Me.

Not only does Adopting and Sustaining the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) offer a means for adopting, scaling, and sustaining Agility with the SAFe, but it also offers the ability to integrate aspects from any approach (from those already mentioned among others) together while explicitly recognizing and appreciating the nuances of the context in which adopting, scaling, and sustaining is to occur.

Most attempts to achieve greater Agility fail because of being exclusive to one approach, ignoring contextual nuances, or fundamentally overlooking the “human element” throughout the change journey.

Our approach’s uniqueness in being agnostic and embracing an all-inclusive viewpoint while integrating relevant perspectives yet keeping the “human element” paramount makes it only that much more essential for successfully adopting, scaling, and sustaining Agility.

Again, there is no need to “excessively suffer” — there is a more “healthy” or “constructive” and less “toxic” or “destructive” change journey possible!

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