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There have been some criticisms of SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) in this post, including:

I think SAFe is not Agile at all

and

[the business is] not understanding how TDD and BDD work with SAFe's sprints and iterations.

Does someone have experience with introducing BDD to SAFe?

Possible challenges that come to mind:

  • SAFe tries to sync work between multiple teams and that could make the approach less agile.
  • It is also possible teams are sharing members so there could be less time for the Three Amigos meetings and all the conversations that are the essential part of BDD.
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  • Can you share what challenge you're having applying BDD in SAFe? I don't see any obvious conflicts. – Daniel Aug 12 '20 at 14:33
  • SAFe tries to sync work between multiple teams and that could make the approach less agile. It is also possible teams are sharing members so there could be less time for the Three Amigos meetings and all the conversations that are the essential part of BDD. – Mate Mrše Aug 12 '20 at 14:37
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Setting aside opinions people may have about SAFe and how Agile it really is, there is no conflict between SAFe as it is defined and TDD or BDD. In fact, the official safe write-up for teams suggests that software teams should be using those practices (https://www.scaledagileframework.com/agile-teams/).

SAFe also still prescribes cross-functional dedicated teams just like Scrum does. Now, that said, many organizations have a long journey to get to that point and have challenging practices like people-sharing between teams for a while as they make that change. My best advice is to start in places where the team members are mostly dedicated. I'd also compare approaches like Spec-by-Example, ATDD and BDD and pick one that's going to fit well in your teams. They're very similar in that they all describe functional tests before building the features, but there are some key differences. For example, in BDD, you take it one test at a time like you do in TDD. This is not a requirement of ATDD. You may find that one acts as a stepping stone to where you'd like to get to. Similarly, if one team that is better situated to start using BDD shows a lot of success, it will be easier to get other teams to make the changes to their structure that enable them to start using BDD as well.

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Some possible conflicts that might arise between BDD and SAFE that come to my mind are

  • SAFe tries to sync work between multiple teams and that could make the approach less agile
  • It is also possible teams are sharing members so there could be less time for the Three Amigos meetings and all the conversations that are the essential part of BDD.

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