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My Top Three SAFe Reads, part 2

14-Jun-2019 11:42:06 Scaled Agile Implementing SAFe
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During every Implementing SAFe class, I create a reading list of the books and white papers that I reference in addition to the various videos that I show throughout the course; it’s quite a list. But then someone ask what would be you Top 3 if you have to prioritise – well that’s like asking which is your favourite child!

This is the second of series of 3 blogs that looks at my Top 3 White Papers.

The Top 3 Books has already been published here

Top 3 White Papers

This was an easier category that the Top 3 Books because there are 3 White Papers that I always carry around with me and show and reference in my SAFe Classes.

The Scrum Guide (Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber)

Most Agile Teams use Scrum as their primary, team-based project management framework and with Scrum providing guidance for team agility and XP for technical.

And the Scrum Guide does exactly what it says on the tin; it is ‘the definitive guide to Scrum’. Only 19 pages but a must have for Scrum Masters out there and Agile Coaches to remind us of the rules of the game.

My favourite extract from the guide is:

Scrum (n): A framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value. Scrum is Lightweight, Simple to understand BUT difficult to master!!


Managing the Development of Large Software Systems (Dr Winston W Royce)

Written in 1970 Royce was christening at the Grandfather of waterfall (see page 2 for the iconic picture). In reality, the white paper was a case study in how not to write a white paper.

The initial picture on page 2 was followed by a series of pictures that got more and more complex and by the time you get to page 11 it blows your mind.

However, what most people fail to read is the line immediately below the picture on page 2: “I believe in this concept but the implementation is risky and invites failure’.

Rather going on and endorsing the waterfall method he is actually explaining why it is risky and invite failure. In fact, towards the end and in ‘Step 5’ he states: “For some reason what a software design is going to do is subject to wide interpretation even after previous agreement. It is important to involve the customer in a formal way so that he has committed himself at earlier points before final delivery.”

Not so much advocated waterfall but moreover incremental feedback from the customer!


13th Annual State of Agile Report (Collabnet VersionOne)

The survey invited individuals from a broad range of industries in the global software development community. 1,319 responses were collected, analysed, and prepared into a summary report by Analysis.Net Research, an independent survey consultancy.

The report gives software professionals deep insight into agile trends, best practices and lessons learned to help them succeed with their agile transformations. The report has become the largest, longest-running, most widely cited agile survey in the world!

Make sure you sign up to make sure you don’t miss out on when future reports are published.


Make sure you look at for the final in in this series of blogs when I present my Top 3 Videos.


Darren Wilmshurst SPCT


Darren Wilmshurst

Darren Wilmshurst

With his strategic C-suite-oriented approach to IT leadership – and his infectious energy – Darren has successfully delivered multi-million pound business transformations for e-commerce sites, ERP implementations, outsourcing and offshoring, including multiple Agile transformations. Read more