Deming, Agile and SAFe

W Edwards Deming

This week was a big week in my quest for lifelong learning – one in which the learning should prove beneficial to my furtherance of agile values and principles; a week that I think I will think of a the week of Deming since I completed my reading of two of Deming’s books – Out of the Crisis and The Essential Deming – and I also completed my Scaling Agile Framework (SAFe) training in which I saw Deming’s face and quotes about a half a dozen times. SAFe itself can be thought of more of a homage to Deming’s work with systems than a software development framework or, perhaps more accurately, Deming’s systems thinking as it applies to software development.

While I will shortly take the SAFe examination test, I am certain that my recent completion of two of Deming’s books will serve me well when I take the exam. In fact, I am inclined to wonder if a healthy knowledge of Deming and deep knowledge of Agile and Scrum may be, while not enough to pass with flying colors, at least enough to merit a passing score. If for nothing else, there is a big value to SAFe training in that it will expose a huge number of people to Deming than might otherwise not find him, though in all candor I cannot imagine that anyone truly interested in creating high quality software would not find Deming on their on quest for knowledge and improvement. I find it somewhat sad the number of people in management who I have personally had to introduce Deming to over the years. Then again, if the folks I help become agile had prior knowledge of Deming would they have a need for me?

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