If you never have had a look at the scaled agile framework, you may want to do so. It’s has some really good concepts in it. Still with all the enthusiasm I feel like being drawn back to the good old times of software engineering. And you know why?
Have you looked closely at the SAFe picture? Here’s the link if you need to see it in full: http://www.scaledagileframework.com
Did you find users or customers and collaboration with them?
I couldn’t find users but I was able to spot the customer:
Here by the way the two pictures drawn from the rational unified process I used more than fifteen years ago to point out the major flaws of software engineering at that time. Do you find any resemblance?
The rational unified process had stakeholders under additional roles just sorted after any role, users are not even mentioned. In SAFe, customers are just where the release train ends, users are nowhere to see either.
Is creating products really just about backlogs, release trains, value streams, features and that stuff? We behave as if the big challenge of creating great and successful software products was to manage the work packages for the development teams!
The teams I’ve seen really struggled to establish a tight and fruitful collaboration with their customers and users so they would build software with higher value rather than delivering mediocre features more efficiently!
How will we ever be able to successfully develop software if getting the backlog items right is our focal point of attention instead of market, customers and users?
Agile frameworks lead us up the garden path. They put so much of our attention on oiling the backlogs that those people who make key decisions about products have no time talking to their customer and users.
There is still a lot to learn. And it seems that in spite of all agile methodology, we are very reluctant learners. See e.g. Pete’s post: http://starstoroad.com/blog/?p=706. A bit more common sense than large frameworks would really help the world.
So this is the big picture you need to strive for: