What to do when prod management won’t provide MBIs to a program – SAFe countdown #10

Essential SAFe is intended for when a group of teams working together using SAFe. It presumes that a backlog has been created for the train(s) to work on. Most groups starting SAFe at the program level have done so, however, because they can’t get product management involved or believe the higher levels of SAFe are too complicated.

There are two problems with this situation, however.

First, teams need MBIs presented to them in order to be successful. Consider the two alternatives:

  • They are presented with more than an MBI in which case they’ll be working on too much
  • They are presented with just what dev needs to do w/o considering what else is needed from other parts of the org.

Second, these MBIs need to be created by product management. In this case, the dev group has no choice but to take big chunks of work & break them and be guided by these. If product managers who weren’t involved complain, tell them “thank you. We didn’t think we were the right people to do this. Can you get the other product managers involved and tell us what we should be working on?” They also need to make sure they’re including all the pieces needed to realize value that might be out of the program’s capabilities.

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