It happened again last week. In a discussion about how to do something, someone said: “According to SAFe, it should be like …..”. It is not the first time I heard this kind of remark. I started to apply Scum in 2004 and met many people who have applied the agile way of working in the last 18 years. I have heard so many people say, according to the ….. (fill in the blanks), it should be like this or that.
I love to hike and often go to areas that I did not yet discover. I start exploring possible trails on, for example, wikiloc.com. Which trails did other people make in that area? I also check out the local tourist information website. They are knowledgeable and know the area. They know the nice spots. To find a place to sleep, I check booking.com, AirBnB, and sites like campspace. I buy a local guidebook and read the tips and tricks in the book. I check multiple sources, and based on my research, personal preferences, and expected weather conditions; I create a trail. Is this the trail I will walk? Often not, depending on the actual weather and how I feel, I adjust my hike. I don’t use one hiking or tourist guide; I combine many things to make it a great hike experience.
There is no silver bullet. Scrum has some great features, as Kanban also has some great features. SAFe has good ideas, but also LeSS has good ideas. You should combine whatever is needed to get the job done. You should get inspiration from different frameworks, ideas, and resources. It requires good sound knowledge of the various frameworks and models. But nothing wrong with that; I believe a good professional is not focussed on just one trick.
Back to hiking. As I said, I don’t use one guide. The definition of a guide is: “one that leads or directs another’s way.” It doesn’t tell you exactly what to do; it leads the way and can help you when needed. If so, why do some people act like the Scrum Police? And tell people to follow precisely what is written in the Scrum Guide? The Scrum Guide can lead the way. However, you still need to think for yourself and adapt based on the context of your team and organization. I also adjust my hike when the weather changes or I feel more or less tired.
In the end, it is all about the agile mindset. Be transparent, and inspect and adapt. Take some time to think about something, don’t overthink it, and start doing it. Share your experience, and based on your experience, you learn and adapt the plan.