Following recent critiques from Ken Schwaber and David Anderson, a few people were wondering whether leading SAFe proponents were planning to issue a formal response. I didn’t see anything from Dean Leffingwell, but Al Shalloway did helpfully say that while he wasn’t going to directly comment, he would answer any direct and specific questions.

Taking him up on that, I posed a few, as did Agustin Villena, and with everyone concerned’s permission, I reproduce the (unedited in content) conversation below for reference.

  1. @alshalloway @martinburnsuk Let´s play! Is “imposed-from.the-top change” the SAFe´s change management strategy?
  2. @agustinvillena nothing can be imposed. but context must be created at scale. not doing so leads to failiure.
  3. @agustinvillena @martinburnsuk btw impositions from the top do occur. individuals don’t get to decide on products company will build
  4. @martinburnsuk @agustinvillena @kschwaber i don’t know that SAFe provides the patterns but it definitely is about stopping some bad ones
  5. @alshalloway @agustinvillena @kschwaber To what extent is it a defined but tailorable ‘to be’ state for the target audience?
  6. @martinburnsuk @agustinvillena the structure is a starting point. one can modify as one adopts things. but must follow lean principles
  7. @alshalloway @agustinvillena @kschwaber Does the method define a change approach to get to the ‘to be’ state/pattern?
  8. @alshalloway @agustinvillena @kschwaber To what extent are Team-level ppl empowered 2 define own method as long as they deliver 2 cadence?
  9. @martinburnsuk @agustinvillena @kschwaber fully. kanban and/or scrum can be used at the team level

If anyone else asked questions I didn’t see, I’m happy to add them, plus answers, with the permission of the authors.

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Martin Burns

Transformation Consultant at CA Inc (formerly Rally)
Previously: Leader of software delivery portfolios in large scale orgs.
Specialism: Transforming complex delivery organisations to be more Lean/Agile.
Mindset: Continuous Improvement Obsessive
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CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 SAFe Twitter Q & A with Al Shalloway by Martin Burns is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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