October 10, 2014

SPC Course – 4 days of learning to teach SAFe

I’m exhausted. Having spent four days of training with Dean Leffingwell, creator of SAFe, I am ready for sleep. Dean is 65 going on 25 and has the energy and stamina of an 18 year old. He is so enthusiastic and positive, he wants to spend every minute getting as much stuff from his head into yours as possible. And with Dean, that is a lot of stuff.

The first day we had 45 minutes lunch, the second day we started 30 minutes earler (8.30am) with 35 minutes lunch and finished past 6pm. It is a seriously intense 4 days. The whole time you don’t want to blink because the content is so cool you just don’t want to miss anything and the whole time I’m just thinking, ‘that’s Dean Leffingwell, right there…’. He is very accessible and I had some great time one to one discussing my favourite topic of scaling agile and architecture.

The course is brilliant.

After the course, I feel like I know SAFe inside out, backwards and forwards and can easily run a release train and train any element of the organisation.

Unfortunately there was a problem with setting up the exam and I won’t be able to take that until tomorrow or Monday and I think I will do well on the exam.

It was truly an honor to spend 4 days with the attendees on this course. By the nature of what I do, I am always surrounded by my peers who are not as far along the Agile journey as I am. Spending 4 days with others who are at a similar place on the learning curve as me, meant very deep and subtle questions on the inner workings and outcomes of Agile that you simply don’t get elsewhere. These people are senior players in the largest organisations and at the forefront of Agile in the world and it is very special to be among them.

The course was run with two days learning how to teach SAFe with lectures, workshops, games and discussion. Then on the third day, we went over running a release train with lots of practical sessions. The fourth day was supposed to be the exam but instead we spent a lot of time on queston and answer and also advanced topics such as budgeting, architecture (my favourite), running trains with remote teams and also handling suppliers. We also discussed SAFe for engineering teams such as the team building the Orien project which is going to Mars who are using SAFe. This was great as we got more time with all these great people and with Dean and his team.

Lots of things have ‘clicked’ for me especially with Lean and how Lean-Agile Management can operate to bring about organisational change.

The biggest takeaway for me is that there are so many organisations who are striving to be Agile from the top down. We don’t have to put up with the mediocre status quo of organisations who just don’t get it and can’t and won’t learn to adapt.

The forward looking result of the Agile transformation is way larger than just I.T. transformation. This stuff is going to change our world and the way we interact with others on a fundamental level.

I’m looking forward to applying this stuff in my day to day.

 

 

 

Simon Powers
Simon Powers is an Agile Coach specialising in large scale transformations and agile adoption. He has a background in very large enterprise architecture which has led on to organisational design and agile process refinement. Simon is the founder of Adventures with Agile.