Contrary to a recent post from a SAFe competitor, the various SAFe course materials include many examples of user stories from user personas as well as examples from system personas.
This post was very easy to disprove by looking only into two SAFe courses, SAFe for Teams 5.0 and POPM 5.0 where they have over 10 story examples, respectively. In the current versions of the courses, and in previous versions. Additionally, SAFe has available a Story Writing Workshop that includes many, many more examples of stories and guidance on how to write quality stories.
All of the courseware supporting Team & Technical Agility includes guidance tools such as “The Three C’s”, decomposition patterns, explanations of how to use personas, Lean UX, et cetera. We even reference Mike Cohn’s work in several cases.
Additionally, not every SAFe course needs to have explanations of user stories/stories as the courses are role based. To learn more read the 12 articles on the SAFe Implementation Roadmap.
Sorry, Dov Tsal, but your assertions about the SAFe in this case are incorrect. Good effort though.
I could do this all day. Easily pick apart the ignorance in the subject article. It seems that hate knows no bounds with some people. Get over yourself already!! An entire collection of thinly veiled insults masquerades as arguments in a petition set against damaging Scrum. Facts be damned in the articles arguments.
So here is just one of many potential dismantling opportunities for the ignorant and arrogant arguments presented in the linked/subject article.
So, the haters #removescrum argument is that SAFe says “the PO is the only team member empowered to accept stories as done” and this is an anti-pattern.
However, if we navigate over the Scrum Guide and read for 30 seconds… we find this:
The Product Owner explains what Product Backlog items have been “Done” and what has not been “Done”;– Scrum Guide
Now, anyone with basic reading comprehension skills could draw the conclusion here that these two statements are saying exactly the same thing (the SAFe statement is aligned with the Scrum Guide). Especially if you read the entire Scrum Guide. More below.
It is the responsibility of the Dev Team to ensure the delivery of high-quality incrementsAnti-SAFe petition
The quote above from the petition actually does not appear in the Scrum Guides. Now, if I wanted (which I wouldn’t ever attack people and a framework like they do; this is called defense) to stoop to the low level of the anti-SAFe folks I could also play twisted word games. The Scrum Guide actually NEVER states that the Development Team is responsible to ensure the delivery of high-quality increments. Wait, what? Yes. The emperor has no clothes!!
There are seven uses of the word responsible in the Scrum Guide and only two of those are referenced to the Development Team and NEITHER is about the statement in the petition. The Scrum Guide says the Development Team is responsible for estimates and conducting the Daily Scrum event.
Now, how many “SAFe zeolots” are out there creating petitions to remove poor understanding of Scrum from Scrum? Zero is the answer. But in their extreme bias and zeal to destroy people and a framework that are massively more successful than they are… judgment and intellect are clouded.
The Scrum Master ensures that the Development Team has the meeting, but the Development Team is responsible for conducting the Daily Scrum.Scrum Guide
The Development Team is responsible for all estimates.
Further quotes supporting the SAFe translation (that avoids restating the Scrum Guide for obvious reasons) and disproves the “remove scrum people” arguments.
The Product Owner is the sole person responsible for managing the Product Backlog. Product Backlog management includes: …
also:– Scrum Guide
The increment must be in useable condition regardless of whether the Product Owner decides to release it.
Scope may be clarified and re-negotiated between the Product Owner and Development Team as more is learned.
However, the Product Owner remains accountable.
The Product Owner is responsible for the Product Backlog, including its content, availability, and ordering.– Scrum Guide
E.g. So, I am a manager of employees and I am accountable and responsible for the employees but I am NOT the person empowered to accept the employees as fit for the job. That is the argument of the Remove Scrum thinkers.
No person would accept that management job nor would leadership be setting the stage for success. That path leads to toxicity and bad culture.
So, in fact the opposite of the claims of the #removescrum -mers is true. If there is no clear leadership function on the team and the Development Team has the ultimate authority to accept work as done then an impasse and problem is created more often than not.
You have to take the entire document into consideration not part of it or just one word. The arguments of the Remove Scrummers lead to a PO that cannot bear enough influence on the backlog because they can only explain not break disagreements. This is why the guide says the PO is a manager of the backlog and is responsible and accountable for the backlog. This is also where the argument of the Remove Scrummers fails. They have self-contradicted from the source they claim supports their fallacious argument.
Now, I get that the goal is for the Development Team to have some independence from the traditional Taylorism and PHB. That is not absolute independence though and the argument of the Remove Scrummers stretches the intent of the Scrum Guide. The PO prioritizes and sets the stage for a set of PBI’s that the Development Team may select from to create a Sprint Backlog. The Sprint Backlog does not exist without the Product Backlog. They are not mutually exclusive.
At the review, “the Scrum Team and stakeholders collaborate about what was done in the Sprint.”
The Product Owner explains what Product Backlog items have been “Done” and what has not been “Done”;-The Scrum Guide
This statement uses the word explain because that is the actionable intent. Most cases will go exactly like that on a high-performing Scrum team. But not all. Sometimes there is disagreement about what is done and what is not done. Post-explaining the PO will have the ultimate authority and responsibility to determine what is done and what is not done.
For any rational person not hell bent on disproving and destroying the SAFe — this is a clear purpose and part of the PO role.
“Stories” in the Backlog
This word is one place that we could argue for an adjustment. Except that we are talking about Scrum and Agile behavior at scale. Oops, nevermind.
In the SAFe, we also discuss improvement items that are also in the Backlogs. They are not necessarily stories. Tasks are not recommended, but could also be a PBI in the backlog model. The concept of Stories comes from XP and the Scrum Guide does not use the term. It uses the generic product backlog item concept. Which easily translates to enterprise backlog models as we use in the SAFe.
Now, what is really interesting is that the Scrum apologists will argue for “pure” Scrum and it doesn’t include XP. In the same breathe, they will say that Scrum is Agile. So which is it? Immutable or not? Associated or not?
I have never seen or heard of a successful use of Scrum without good technical practices…like those we learn of in XP. Ruh-roh!! Also, and even more so, I have never, ever heard a Scrum team claim they were not Agile. Bazinga!
So it is ok for Scrum zealots to mutate Scrum and use it is intended, as a framework for managing a complex process but not anyone else? #hypocrisy
September 2019 trolls update
It seems that hate and jealously knows no bounds with some people. They simply cannot practice what they preach and be respectful, therefore diminishing any rational argument they would make. Here are a few new in the cast of characters that troll the SAFe with misrepresentations and outright hateful comments.
The problem with trolls
I updated the title of the article. I have observed a pattern over the past year or so of Scrum Alliance aligned folks like Certified Scrum Trainers (CST) and other certified Scrum folks writing articles and posts of varying degrees of criticism from valid debates over ideas (rare) to mostly disparaging misrepresentations, to openly hostile, to outright extremist comments like the picture above. I changed the article title to properly address not all CST’s. The original title was meant to address the pattern observed by many people in the industry of several unnamed CST’s making hateful comments about SAFe and the people behind the SAFe.
Remember, hate comes in many forms. All of it is bad, and unacceptable. I’ve lost count of the number of people that I have known, loved, and like that have died or suffered from cancer (and parasites). Attributing those words to the good people behind the SAFe is absolutely abhorrent, evil behavior. The picture above is just the latest attack. So, I apologize for the original generalization.
There are also two parts to this article. The first part addresses the hateful opening comment from Alexey. The second challenges the misrepresentations of the SAFe. These are separate discussions. Debating ideas is necessary. We should not ever accept hateful words or behavior.
Let me start by explaining why I even bother debating with hateful people in the first place. Because we must confront evil in the world. Yes, at its root this is evil, misguided behavior. If we want to move ideas forward to innovation they must be challenged in a respectful, professional manner.
Anyone that starts out a conversation by saying you or your thing is a “cancer and parasite” isn’t actually looking for conversation. They are being hateful and are probably ignorant on the topic of debate. If this were a political topic then perhaps the bad behavior could be expected because it has been normalized for millennia. Does it make it right? Emphatically, no.
I find it disturbing that extremists and their ilk who are supposedly exemplars for the Agile Manifesto and values of Scrum openly display behavior that is antithetical to the Agile Manifesto and Scrum. After all, “RESPECT” is a value of Scrum. And the manifesto has a clear purpose, “We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.“Read the rest of this entry »
It has been said that “Value is in the eye of the beholder.” Our perceptions drive our understanding of value, according to psychologists, and perhaps marketers. What makes great marketing at a company and positive sales can also have a negative effect on the product development organization itself. A double-edged sword of sorts, as humans and our perceptions, assumptions, and emotions travel with us to work. Long after that impulse purchase of the latest iPhone or other gadgets we are still creatures of habit.
The same behaviors that make us vulnerable to marketing manipulation also make product development companies vulnerable to diminished truth and performance in execution. The reality is that we are navigating complex adaptive systems (CAS) within systems. The system (organization) we work within, the product (a system), our team (a system), and ourselves (a system). The causes and effects of movement or change in and around the systems are where we must build discipline, manage assumptions, and rationalize, validate (/in-) through experiments. These validations become part of our imprint, our perceptions, or mental models (schemas). But what if our rationalization or validation was incorrect? Our experiment flawed. How would you know?
This is an organizational aspect too. The organization is the symbiosis of its people and their behavior and mental models.
For example, what is the value of a spare tire when you are purchasing a new car?
Does the spare tire affect the decision-making process of buying the car? What about the price of an average spare tire ($30-$100) and its effect on the decision-making process to buy a car? Read the rest of this entry »
If you are a change agent, SAFe® Program Consultant, SAFe® Product Manager, STE, RTE, or practitioner you may find the Blogagility.com™ Feature Progress Chart Template a useful tool for kick-starting your product management (PM) implementation and Lean-Agile reporting. Read the rest of this entry »