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PI Planning Therapy

What you'll learn

  • SAFe is like a graphic novel version of agile where the necessary complexity is removed 
  • SAFe is not a comedy
  • There is a lot of simplification of Lean, Scrum and agile in general 
  • SAFe simplifies without losing the value 
  • Read source material of SAFe. The list you can find on the SAFe website
  • Advice on what to read and how to use it
  • Read the books and apply the knowledge on the different levels in the organizations 
  • BE agile, do not DO agile

So welcome back to PI Planning therapy. Today we’re gonna dig into little bit more about where I see SAFe in the world. So there are many great authors in the world. You can talk about Shakespeare or Goethe and they are great basically works of art in terms of if you think of you know opera, you’ve got Don Giovanni. You’ve got Prospero's Books and you’ve got King Lear and Richard III. and these amazing, amazing books and they are deep and they are rich. I just want to give you a little story about how I came to Shakespeare. So when I was at school. I had to read Shakespeare. And I’ll be honest. It was not the thing that I enjoyed the most. And then I watched Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet. It wasn’t exactly the same text, I acknowledge that. But after walking out of that movie I started to read Shakespeare. Because it gave me a perception or an understanding of what Shakespeare was and what it meant and the logic behind it that I hadn’t seen before. So in many ways this is sort of how I see SAFe. It’s like a graphic novel version of agile. It’s not a comic, so it’s not comedy, it’s not funny, it’s not light but it’s a graphic novel version, and so that means necessary complexity is removed. There is a lot of simplification of lean, there is a lot of simplification of scrum and agile in general. There is definitely simplification of design thinking and DevOps. But the simplification that the SAFe people have done so well is they managed to simplify it without losing the value, without losing the context in the same way in Romeo and Juliet that Baz Luhrmann was able to simplify and enhance the experience to take you further and for me take me further into the books. SAFe in its richness graphic novel and this simplicity but still poignant elements of the graphic novel. With the richness but still the elegance of the graphic novel style I find SAFe is much easier for people to understand. It’s easier for people to adopt and really it makes very much an easier path for me to help my clients. But for those of you out there who really want to understand where we are, what we’re doing, what really is DevOps, what is really going on with focusing on value, what is behind WSJF. I really truly encourage you and so much enthusiasm to go and read the source material. You’ve read the graphic novel you understand it you’ve felt the power of that source material through SAFe. Go and read Spiral Dynamics if you want to understand how organizations change. Go and read Carol Dweck’s book on the growth mindset. Go and read, even though it’s a bit of a challenge sometimes, Don Reinerston’s Principles of Product Development Flow. If you read those you’ll understand how truly powerful SAFe can really be beyond the graphic novel and it will allow you to do something that is probably to me the most important part of SAFe and to do it well, and that’s the fourth pillar of the house of lean “relentless Improvement”. Without relentless improvement you are at true terrifying risk of becoming a cargo cult. Scaled Agile and SAFe is only a cargo cult if you allow that to happen to you. If you dig into these books and there’s a list on the SAFe website, excellent list of recommended reading. If you read those books you’ll be able to apply SAFe in different ways. You’ll be able to really get the full richness out of it. So please take that time. Read those books and then start reading beyond that. Start reading Ray Dalio’s book on Principles. If you really want to understand how principles work and how good decisions are made read that book. Read “Switch” and read “The Tipping Point” books to understand how people think and behave because underlying all of those things if you really understand how those things are you’ll be able to apply all the SAFe principles or the agile principles, the whole growth mindset in a way that you will never imagine before. So there you are a little bit of, sort of, advice from me about what to read and understanding of how I perceive SAFe and how you should use it. It is a starter for a very grand of journey. A journey that you probably couldn’t do without it but it is the start of the journey. It is not the end of the journey if you treated it the end it will not only be the end of the start of your journey it will be the end of your journey because you will become stuck and you will never achieve agility. You will never be agile, you just do agile. So we’ll move on next time into a bit more specifics about some of the therapy issues that have been coming up lately. But I just wanted to spend these first two episodes sort of letting you peek behind the window inside my head and understand how I view agile and what we’re trying to do and what we are trying to achieve with it. And we’re safe and we are at a very critical point. And next week we are going to look at a really common question. Are my ARTs too big? I’ve got a few things you can think about that will tell you whether your ARTs are too big and probably even give you a hint about what you can do about it.

About the course

Shane Harrison has been working with Rentouch to create a new format "PI Planning Therapy". Shane is the therapist and he will give tips on various problems that have been sent to us by the SAFe community.






1h 22min

Last Updated


Meet your Expert

Peter Pedross

CEO & Founder PEDCO AG, Chief Methodologist Applied SAFe

Creator of the product Applied SAFe. Started to program for money at the age of 14. Ex-professional sportsman with a passion for software and a knack in engineering. 30+ years working experience with 50+ publications. SAFe SPC since 2011, Agile (XP) since 1999. Happy father and married to a wonderful woman.

Meet your Expert

Silvio Wandfluh

Head of Product, SPC5

Silvio is a certified SAFe® Program Consultant and as Head of Product at Rentouch responsible for the innovation of

Meet your Expert

Shane Harrison

Business and Agile Leadership Coach

Shane is a business focused change agent, specialising in enterprise level digital Lean/Agile transformations. More than 17 years consulting experience across a variety of industries from pharma to banking Shane is a specialist when it comes to context and culture-specific transformations.

Meet your Expert

Ian J Franks

SAFe® 5 Program Consultant & RTE

Ian has a deep knowledge of Scrum, Kanban and Scaled Agile, and 30 years’ experience in international IT Transformation Programs. He is a successful PO, SM & RTE and as a Consultant/Trainer he coaches his clients develop a strong Agile Mindset that delivers real change and measurable improvements.


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