Austrian Post started its agile transition in 2016. As is often the case, a grass root movement lead to the first couple of agile teams, working with scrum. A continuous increase in development teams resulted in a diverse and complex environment, where development processes were not aligned, and agile values were only valued in small pockets. In a large initiative in 2019, this time driven by management, Post decided to introduce a scaling framework. After careful consideration Post concluded that implementing SAFe would be the best fit for the organization. Three years later, the authors saw themselves confronted with an implementation of SAFe that had evolved into a large and very complex construct, valuing process over everything else. Bureaucracy stood in the center of the framework, resulting in meetings where the purpose wasn’t clear, roles with no clear responsibilities that stepped on each other’s toes, release trains lacking focus and – in general – a complex, long-winded and in-transparent flow of features. This experience report describes the context of the situation and the problems of SAFe within that context. Furthermore, it explains the radical actions taken to restart scaled agile development by removing SAFe and introducing a simple framework, that moves the process to the back and highlights the role of the individual teams in the development of software. Last but not least, we address what has worked, and where there is still work to be done.
Piet Heinkade 179
Amsterdam 1019 HC
Individuals + Interactions over Processes + Tools Transformation