War stories and conclusions about Scaled Agile Framework by Tomasz Pająk

Speaker Tomek Pająk
War stories and conclusions about Scaled Agile Framework
  • talk
  • 30
  • 45
  • enterprise
  • management
Presentation language

Ken Schwaber and Dean Leffingwell argue what Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is and what is not. For sure the conflict isn't purely technical and one can smell politics behind it. But, who am I to state the ultimate truth?

Nevertheless, I will tell you war stories when a company (Seamless Payments) with its product (mobile payments system - SEQR) crosses the chasm between early adopters and early majority as defined by Geoffrey A. Moore in his book. When Sales and Marketing departments (and therefore a product) scale faster than Software Engineering department - it is definitely not funny for the latter. 'Ah, you should do Scrum of Scrums to solve your problems' was a piece of advice given to us by theorists. Having this context in mind - how does SAFe fit into Greiner Growth Model for organizations?

I would like to show you mistakes we had to make, evolution we had to undergo to achieve a state when our work is structured, it scales but there is no bureaucracy. We still do Scrum, we still take advantage of concepts from Lean world (eg. visualisation + flow optimization, A3s for requirements and documentation), we still have room for innovation but we gained a framework which helps us comprehensively define strategy for the product including business epics and architectural epics which focus on delivering business value as fast as possible.

Our conclusion is that Scrum and SAFe are not in conflict but are rather complementary which may be unacceptable to some :).


1. What are business incentives to use Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)? Which kind of crisis according to Greiner Growth Model does SAFe try to solve?

2. Why did we fail with scaling Scrum at certian point of our product development?

3. Scaling Agile vs scaling organization.

4. SAFe primer.

5. What did we achieve by using SAFe?

6. Custom modifications to SAFe.

7. How is SAFe complementary with Scrum and what does it take from Lean?

8. Change management in SAFe (organization transformation)

User Persona
  • coach
  • executive
  • product owner
  • manager
  • team lead
Constraints and Class Arrangement

Overhead projector and a mic. :)

Session History

You can check my 'by example' talk about SAFe at Agile By Example'14: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QdlCLcmzY

Last Updated 22 Dec 09:33