I have been working with SaFE in several big organisations (SPP, Ericsson, H&M, Folksam, Swedbank) the last five years and can tell this antipattern is fortunately slowly fading out but unfortunately will make the great SaFE coaches and RTEs unemployed by the end of 2024 if they don’t sober up. A while ago I was participating in a webinar by Crisp where Beijer Electronics shared their multi-year transformation story of going from silos, SaFE, and friction to a culture of collaboration, trust, and engagement. Beijer is not Ericsson, with only 9 team, how in the world, in the beginning 2017, did they come up with the brilliant idea of going SaFE?, I asked. In general, my guess is that companies are doing this, following bad advisors/coaches in combination with unexperienced management, but Beijers answer was that someone simply found SaFE on the web and with no methodology at all they tried it out. Thats fair but it had been more interesting to hear about their journey in detail, for example:
- How much time and money did they spend?
- What impact did they have during those years (people, business, product development, and organisation’s structure and policies, etc.)
- What convinced them and the leadership to change track?
- What they are doing now to shift away from SAFe?
After several years of misery at Beijer, a turning point was when a copule of people at Beijer read the book Inspired by Marty Cagan and found out there were better ways of doing things than SaFE. Today they have a product organisation with product teams focusing hard on objectives and OKRs rather than planning but what is that…