We have created a new team-level course that integrates about 1/2 of a Scrum Master class with a full-blown Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD), using Given When Then that has been remarkably successful. The mantra is “focus on the work, not the framework.”
A common root cause for people having trouble with Agile is because they were trained to focus on a framework and not the work needed to be done within it. Scrum is simple. What’s hard is what goes in it. By focusing on that – how to get clear requirements, write small stories, have a focus on finishing – teams get more effective quickly. In many ways the same is even more true for teams within SAFe SAFe.
Focusing on SAFe for teams in order to create Agile teams is not unlike teaching people who are going to build small wooden boats how to use the dies that hold the wood instead of how to work with the wood.
I remember in our work with NW Mutual (described in a SAFe case study) we didn’t need to offer much in the way of Scrum, because SAFe provides the environment for iterative work. I wish we had this course back then – they would have been in more successful.
If you’re spinning up any new SAFe/Scrum teams, insist the spin-up includes ATDD.