Want to do an Agile Transformation - Medium


Thought this was an interesting read…I’m convinced the future is not scaling agile but descaling the enterprise. Now if I could only get @Scrummando to sit down with me and expand on this topic :slight_smile:


How does this contrast with what Prof Snowden was talking about?

A happy system is a complacent system…


When frameworks came up Prof Snowden started talking about SAFe, and made a remark that LeSS is closer to ideal, and DAD even closer still. Both of those frameworks have parts of descaling in them, so I think it’s along the same thread.

I’m taking a DAD course in October, so I’ll let you know what I find!


I’m currently choking on a bastardized SAFe process to run (mandated from above) and I can’t see how this fits the Agile philosophy at all. It feels like the folks that lost their PMO jobs when agile arrived are returning with a similar RUP/PMI/etc framework and claiming it’s agile and convincing the C-levels they are right. #PTSD


There’s a ton of reasons I think SAFe has been successful, but that’s a much much MUCH longer post. It’s more a statement of the Agile Industrial Complex :slight_smile: than anything else.

I personally think SAFe isn’t a bad way to start a transformation if you:
-use 95% of the proscribed roles/ceremony/structure, and then
-pivot MERCILESSLY once you’ve completely stood it up

the only disclaimer to the above is that I know less than nothing about the other frameworks, so maybe they’re all better fits…I’m starting to take courses in the others, so hopefully in a few months I can speak intelligently on the subject. To be continued!


I’ve been thinking about it further. I don’t think Prof Snowden is wrong, I think my issue is with the specific wording. Yes, the pedantry will kill us all…

It isn’t so much that a “happy” environment is a complacent one. Happiness is often a side-effect of people who have a purpose and are working towards something meaningful. In fact, it is often an indicator for me that if there is an abiding unhappiness something is out of kilter with the system.

I think what he means is a “content” system is a complacent one. I often want a little bit of friction in the system, you need it to be creative. I want a little bit of discomfort, something that makes me want to change, improve, push forward.

If I or a team is completely content with the status quo, something is not right. There NEEDS to be a desire to get that little bit better for things to improve and evolve. If I have a “happy” system where that is lost, I have an indicator that the system is indeed complacent and ready for a rude awakening one way or the other.


A really good read - and all the comments very much reflect the complexities of my world at the moment. Complacent / content? In a discussion the other day on appetite for changing the way they work (operating models v agile transformation etc), the statement was made “for the most part we are broadly functional”

So the question then becomes - are you ok with that?

Focusing on business outcomes eg the better products, faster, safer, happier is a sound place to start in answering that question.


@JayH thanks for calling me out. Hoping my India travels willl slow down.

Haveing worked with Jon he and I are pretty inline with these ideas. I promote happiness, but happiness is subjective. I need people to feel safe and the work they do is valued. Happiness is a by product of things like that.

I am also just tired of Agile.

I have a tool box of metrics, practice, and tools. I need to pack it up and set out on the mission of making better working environments for
Knowledge works and removing waste and changing culture in organizations.


Goodhart’s law: “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.”

Don’t make happiness a goal.

Instead create conditions for resilience.

And as @Scrummando says, happiness will likely be a by-product.