The real lesson in Steve Denning’s Understanding Fake Agile

Ref: Understanding Fake Agile by Steve Denning

There has been a lot of buzz around Mr. Denning’s comments in this article as SAFe being “the epitome of fake Agile”

But the real message is earlier, when he postulates the “3 laws of Agile”

  1. Law of the Customer—an obsession with delivering value to customers as the be-all and end-all of the organization
  2. Law of the Small Team—all work is carried out by small self -organizing teams, working in short cycles and focused on delivering value to customers
  3. Law of the Network—the firm operates as an interacting network of teams, all focused on working together to deliver increasing value to customers

In summary, focus on the customer with small teams working as a network

What does this require?

Clear vision of who your customer is and what value you are going for. Work on delivering value in small increments so small teams can do the job. Create the alignment and proper communication channels networks require. These don’t just don’t happen on their own

I suggest that these three ‘laws’ can be used by those selecting an approach to take by considering how the approaches manifest them (or not). Designers of frameworks need to consider them as well.

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