Safeguarding Your Way to Improving Your Code, Your Processes, and Your Life!

Agile Alliance
2 min readFeb 4, 2019


by Brian Button

Hi, my name is Brian Button. I’m one of the people who helped put together deliver:Agile 2019. I wanted to share with you one of the sessions I’m really looking forward to seeing.

Arlo Belshee, the presenter for this workshop, is well known in the Agile world for his challenging and deep takes on creating quality in organizations. He gave a presentation a couple of years ago about how he’s helped several organizations get to the point of releasing fewer than a single defect a year!

Arlo Belshee

This year Arlo is presenting a topic very near and dear to my heart. Over the years I’ve been involved with very large Agile transformations with hundreds of teams, millions of lines of code, and decades of debt accumulated. Companies starting from this point generally have a backlog of defects, code that’s grown over the years without being cared for, and process and organizational debt. They also tend to have too much work to do, so it’s hard to find time to take care of this “old stuff” when there are all these new features to write!

That’s where Arlo comes in. His strategy, called safeguarding, is what will buy you that time. In his own words:

Safeguarding is a simple, 22-minute practice that allows you to find, fund, and then execute real changes to your process and product. Fix technical debt this sprint. And next sprint. And the one after. Without slipping features. Fix process debt. Fix psychological safety issues.

In this workshop, you will safeguard a real problem that you are experiencing right now. You’ll learn how to facilitate yourself and your team through safeguarding. And you’ll learn how to sell this practice to your product owners and managers.

My goal is simple: I want you to go home after the conference and start actually fixing technical debt, start actually preventing bugs. By this time next year, I want you to have less than 5% of your current number of bugs.

I can’t wait for this workshop. People I work with face this issue every day, and having this practice in my tool belt will give me what I need to help get these long-standing issues fixed.

For more information on additional sessions, see our program!

Learn more about deliver:Agile 2019, our annual technical conference in Nashville. Join us as we focus on software delivery, not just theory

Originally published at on February 4, 2019.



Agile Alliance

Agile Alliance is a nonprofit global member organization, supporting and serving the Agile community since 2001.