Does SAFe apply to small teams?
Recently, I heard from my colleague and long-time collaborator, Juha-Markus Aalto. Back when we were in the Agile working group trenches at Nokia, Juha-Markus was responsible for some of the initial, critical thinking behind what became SAFe. Specifically, he helped define the “requirements metamodel”, which are the elements and relationships throughout the important system definition artifacts in the Framework. (Epics, Features, Stories, associations with tests and acceptance criteria, etc.) In turn, this helped unlock the ability to scale Agile from the team, to program to portfolio level. I have always appreciated his deep thinking, technologic competence, and humble manner.
Juha-Markus is now in a growth company Qentinel, and is applying his creative thinking as the leader of Product Development . His new team is still at the “S size” but if the company grows as planned, the team will likely grow as well. Even this small team faces the multi-project challenge as it delivers software to several customer specific projects, which requires common planning and portfolio prioritization. Juha-Markus is leveraging the concepts behind SAFe in his S-sized team. Of course, it works. But just how it works is proving to be an interesting topic, which Juha-Markus describes in his new blog post.
We would love to hear your comments on this article, as I think it could provide sufficient benefit to turn into a SAFe guidance article. For that, we require some additional opinions and peer review, so please ‘peer away.’
-Dean and the Framework team