The SAFe System Team Is an Anti-Pattern

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This is why “Systems Teams” in SAFe are part of the team of teams (ART) and self-organized around DEVSECOPS mindset. Don’t blame the guidance for poor implementation, coaching, or toxic players. Additionally, scarcity of resources or strategy can result in systems teams being not on an ART in a SAFe implementation. This will always have fragile potential if the principles are not in play in the social and cultural construct. Systems Thinking must apply.

anttitevanlinna's blog

I’ve watched by a few Safe-like large-scale agile endeavors. I’ve personally been “in the system team” for a period of time. I’ve never seen it work optimally. The idea is logical, but it just doesn’t seem to work. Let me tell you why. In case you don’t know what I’m referring to visit the official description

The root of the problem seems to be the classical system pattern of the Tragedy of the Commons.

The tragedy of the commons is an economic theory by Garrett Hardin, which states that individuals acting independently and rationally according to each’s self-interest behave contrary to the best interests of the whole group by depleting some common resource.

The tragedy of the commons manifests in SAFe and any multi-team endeavor in the common resources, as in any system. A long while back I tweeted the following:

  1. #tragedyofthecommons in #multiteamagile: Poor system-level test automation
  2. #tragedyofthecommons in…

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