SAFe is the Trojan Horse.

On a number occasions, I have heard Agile Coaches refer to SAFe as a Trojan Horse. It is, but not in the way that they think.


They mistaken think that SAFe is a legitimate way to introduce agile practices into an organisation. They think that once the agile practices are established, the organisation will realise the limitations of SAFe and discard it.

However, organisations adopt SAFe because they want agile practices. So there is no need to have a Trojan Horse because the organisations want Agile practices. In fact, the presence of SAFe is likely to put off exactly the experienced Agile practitioners that the organisation is hoping to attract. As a result, they will have to fall back to their normal consultancies and system integraters that provide them with plug compatible programming units.

So SAFe is a Trojan Horse. Its a way for traditional consultancies to pass themselves off as agile with no agile experience. A short SAFe training course introduces their existing consultants to a new over constrained command and control mechanism.

So SAFe is a Trojan Horse, but Troy in this case is not the organisations that want to adopt agile. Troy is the Community of experienced agile practitioners. And as David Snowden has said on a number of occasions, the Trojan Horse did not work out too well for the Trojans.

About theitriskmanager

Currently an “engineering performance coach” because “transformation” and “Agile” are now toxic. In the past, “Transformation lead”, “Agile Coach”, “Programme Manager”, “Project Manager”, “Business Analyst”, and “Developer”. Did some stuff with the Agile Community. Put the “Given” into “Given-When-Then”. Discovered “Real Options” View all posts by theitriskmanager

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