2017/09/12: SAFe Training: Day 1a

by Gene Kim on


2017/09/12: SAFe Training: Day 1


  • over 100K people trained to date
  • all knowledge publicly available: and figure out what people are willing to pay for, which is courseware
  • goal is not to build a big business, but build a highly leveraged business: that’s the role of partners
  • Jim Fowler, MSFT IT
  • SolutionsIQ, now an Accenture company
  • started course 9 years ago: after huge Scrum transformation; conclusion: mistake: teach the teams a way of working when the managers don’t understand
  • the benefits of small team agility are dramatic
  • SAFe: train the leaders first
  • 2 day training: but SAFe has grown
    • 2 day Leading SAFe
    • 3 day Implementation
  • BNSF Safety Briefing: railroad is an unforgiving environment: 1-2 minutes: leader #1 priority
  • Friday Open Space
  • 1986: took 2 day course from Goldratt
  • branched: 3 layer SAFe didn’t scale: 1000 people contributed to this router, so how do you handle
  • ART: needs longer planning cycle, not larger batch size

  • the annual waterfall retrospective that happens every 18 months: that leave everyone more demoralized than ever

  • problem elicitation: “this is like Bingo where you lose”

  • dependencies: means complexity is not a local concern; no one can ship early

  • integrating work from waterfall teams

  • Walker Royce: 1973: birth of waterfall: his conclusion was “don’t do it”

  • distributed teams: every meeting, people from 5 buildings

  • Lean is the fundamental principle: create value and shortest sustainable lead time

  • PMOs do care about sustainably shortest lead time

  • Deming was born and raised in Wyoming

  • Leffingwell: “Re-read Deming book ‘Out of the Crisis’ 3 years ago; reads like it was written yesterday; an amazing book” @botchagalupe

  • “If you can’t come, send no one”

  • Ohno: “No one ever invented anything at a desk”

  • Kanban: flow; XP: code; scrum: process

  • Leffingwell: “nothing beats an Agile team; except for a team of Agile teams working towards a common goal”

  • “If we can’t achieve reasonable facsimile every 2 weeks, then we are at risk of delayed risk delivery”

  • “Architecture vs. intentionality; single-sign on”

  • “Train everyone; launch trains”

  • “At the core of Organizational Change Management is that we need to train everyone; one of the key learnings from Kotter”

  • reducing lead times is easiest: just make it smaller

  • “What is odds of a division chief of testing being interested in embedding testers in the teams? Alas, zero”

  • break


  • House of Lean: respect, flow, innovation, relentless improvement; roof: value; floor: leadership
  • lean: always looking to increase inventory-turns
  • high morale, safety and customer delight
  • high transactional cost: testing, ops
  • how to treat (internal) customers: don’t overload them, don’t make them wait, no wait full work; don’t impose wishful thinking
  • same thing working with channel partners: can’t make them thrash
  • that’s why Toyota invests in their suppliers: lower the total cost of ownership (or ??)
  • “Kotter says to wave the culture flag last, not first”
  • .@deanleffingwell “Kotter remains us to wave the culture flag last, not first”
  • “Kotter reminds us that in order to change the culture, you have the change the organization” (but he removed “and sometimes you need to change the people”; like Zed in that movie... Pulp Fiction)

  • Reinertsen: “operating a dev org at full utilization is an economic disaster”

  • “Steve Jobs would likely agree with Deming: ‘Producers innovate; customers validate”

  • “In our work, the gemba can be many places: call center, in the teams, with the customer”

  • “What was nice about waterfall was all the slack time in the Design phase”

  • Innovation Accounting addresses problems with ROI, which is a lagging indicator; customer signups, conversion rates, lead times...

  • project vs hypothesis/spike/feature (much easier to kill, doesn’t have stain of failure)

  • “you built a great company here; but there are disruptions happening”

  • “competitive advantage comes from who innovated (and executed) best”

  • “no dev ever wrote the SDLC they work in; nor did the CEO; where did it come from? Middle management. That’s us”

  • leadership problems: “interrupts scrum of scrums; directive emails, and didn’t build trust”

  • @RealGeneKim: RT @wimremes: and "the gemba" is not hosted on Slack. https://t.co/GqPsvfgnCG

  • “We are MORE dependent on simplicity when we’re working on complex systems” (citing Agile Manifesto item #10)

Agile Manifesto

  • “it was a mistake to stop talking about the Agile Manifesto; bad assumption: when people don’t share common beliefs”


  • after Save Scribe, put focus back into editor
  • keyboard accelerator: save scribe
  • strange behavior: tab to shift focus; shift-tab to bring focus back to editor, and cursor goes to top of document!
  • in Hashtag: if first character is “@“, then don’t pre-pend “#” when tweeting
  • when switching apps, tweet AJAX call fails (although save scribe works); how to re-connect to server so that connect is re-established, without having to restart app, copy notes in, restoring saved-scribe state
  • dangerous: it’s possible to accidentally hit Command-Left, and lose the entire page

  • Book: Play Bigger