Pants. I put them on every weekday

I just attended a conference where some dude flashed up a process map of SAFe Agile. It was terrifyingly complex. The thing is, I’ve been an IC in SAFe Agile. My day to day experience of the process was very simple. I went to PI planning. I learned stuff. I answered questions from product managers. Then I did sprints, except I knew roughly what was in the next sprint. The only people exposed to the full complexity of the process were executives who didn’t actually have a day-to-day experience of the process. 

 

It’s the difference between looking at a topographic map (full process, executive view) and following driving directions from Siri (IC). A water molecule in a river knows nothing of fluid dynamics. It just sees the other water molecules around it.

 

This is a lack. Now that I’m an executive, I think about complex development processes. I draw diagrams and maps. But none of those allow me to visualize the day-to-day experience of the process of those charged with implementing it. But it’s a need. I don’t know what the answer is, but my intuition is that no process documentation is complete at the map level. You need to map to the dev, design, QA, and PM experiences as well to make sure that your Big Idea is practicable and kind to the people who actually have to do the work.