SAFe is not Agile if you are planning 3 months ahead
For companies that couldn’t get anything done in a year and are now getting things done in 3 months, SAFe is great. But don’t consider it Agile.
Quarterly planning presumes more certainty than we have. It’s waterfall thinking. Going from 12 to 3 months is an improvement. But don’t stop there.
If you are a development group of less than 300 people you probably could be doing 2 week plannings or even flow. Every now & then you can do a big room planning for the social benefits that provides, but it’s not needed for planning.
Long planning periods:
- require reworking requirements in last couple of sprints
- loses focus on realizing value
- makes it more likely that features will be bigger than needed
- loses focus by teams on releasable value
- results in more work being injected into already planned work
- has the refinement of any stories pushed out of the PI due to new work be waste
- makes it harder to pivot
- causes a loss in a sense of urgency
- requires more refinement up front without advantage of feedback
- establishes a baseline of “not good but good enough” so improvement stops
It’s fine to do high level quarterly planning but then work in a flow model to implement it.