About a year ago, Marty Cagan, founder of svpg.com, posted an article saying that companies using the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe) and other scaling frameworks were just utilizing these frameworks as another attempt to command and control. Although Cagan admitted to not knowing much about SAFe, he claimed that it was just a metaphor for doing it wrong.
At the time, I was upset that a leading thinker in the areas of product development and customer focus had called out SAFe. I have used SAFe successfully at multiple Silicon Valley product companies to improve customer focus and connections to teams. However, I also had a deeper, quiet agreement with what he said. A lot of people were doing SAFe wrong, and Cagan had likely seen or heard of one of these “Cargo Cult” implementations.