Candid, Unscripted Conversation About SAFe, with Mike Cohn



I (Gene here) had the pleasure of having a candid, unscripted conversation with Mike Cohn – one of the best known names and biggest contributors to what is known today as Agile and Scrum.  Mike openly shared some of his thinking that went into creating L.A.F.A.B.L.E. web page, a few years ago, where he described some of his sentiments about SAFe – in a funny and a bit sarcastic way.

The topics we discussed:

  • L.A.F.A.B.L.E: RUP-like, very process-intense framework
  • “Jambalaya”: Many good ingredients all mixed together: Will they still taste good?
  • Benefits of experimenting with SAFe: learning the hard way what NOT to do 😉
  • Local Optimization: Backlog of backlogs/product backlog/team backlogs/personal backlogs (could mean that product definition is weak)
  • “Stroll master” (ex-manager). “Pair managing”. “Ivory Towers” of Architects. Architects-Kings.
  • Components vs. feature teams. Estimation.
  • “Nailing before scaling”: don’t look for perfection on a small scale before you scale up. But DO pay attention to what has been already done/experimented/experienced

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