SAFe Value Stream Board Visualizing Dependencies Across the Organization

VersionOne SAFe Value Stream Board

If your organization is scaling agile or implementing the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®), then you’ll want to take a look at VersionOne’s new Value Stream Board available with the Summer 2016 Release.

In general, dependencies are discouraged in most agile methodologies. As the saying goes: “The best way to manage dependencies is to not create them in the first place”. This is understandable, because when teams have everything they need to deliver, they can deliver faster. However, dependencies are a reality for many large and complex software development organizations. Most organizations we work with struggle with removing dependencies as they transition to agile practices. As agile processes mature, many organizations can minimize dependencies, but few can completely eliminate them. Organizations that eliminate dependencies at the team level usually encounter them again, at higher levels, as their agile practices grow at scale. In order to maintain flow, and ensure alignment across entire the organization, it is important to view and understand these dependencies.

At VersionOne, we have always been committed to providing capabilities that give organizations visibility into value streams and the complexity of creating large software systems. Our Lifecycle product has included dependency visualization at the Backlog Item and the Portfolio Item level for many years now. Additionally, Lifecycle has long included Kanban Boards, Cumulative Flow diagrams, and the performance measures necessary to view and manage value creation. Most recently, we introduced the SAFe® Program Board, which provides visibility into feature completion and cross-team dependencies.

In the Summer 2016 Release of VersionOne Lifecycle, we have introduced the SAFe Value Stream Board. This visualization provides visibility into the completion of Portfolio Items and the upstream, or provider, dependencies that cross organizational boundaries. Using this visualization you can determine which Release Trains, or teams of teams, are responsible for delivering capabilities and identify the cross-organization provider dependencies that impact completion. Because the information on the Value Stream Board is based on the stories and defects used by the teams, this visualization can be used for planning and throughout delivery to monitor progress. Using the information provided on the Value Stream Board, you are able to focus communications on the things that matter most for a successful delivery.

SAFe Value Stream Board

VersionOne SAFe Value Stream Board

Using the Value Stream Board, the Program Board, and other dependency visualizations available in the Summer 2016 Release, you no longer need to fear dependencies and the unknowns that they introduce. You can now embrace dependencies and manage them to ensure success in your organization.

Click here to see the other features in the Summer 2016 Release.

Scaled Agile Framework and SAFe are registered trademarks of Scaled Agile, Inc.

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See Beyond ‘Done’ – Visualize from Idea through Delivery

DevOps Visualize from Idea through Delivery

It’s hard to believe agile has now been around for more than 15 years. With its introduction, teams started seeing increased output and thus a higher number of releases. With the increased number of releases came the need and implementation of Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Delivery (CD), and eventually what we’re calling DevOps.

While DevOps has increased the speed with which organizations deliver software (both through culture change and new tools) there continues to be a disconnect between development and delivery. The reason for this is often times software teams work on story ABC, however, delivery teams deliver build 1.2.3. Different teams solve this problems in different ways, often tracking stories manually as they are delivered as part of a build or building complex CI dashboards which require tons of attention and maintenance. Both of these methods have the same shortcomings: they require a lot of manual work and are prone to errors.

The biggest obstacle for many organizations practicing DevOps today is lack of visibility into the delivery workflow process, its contents, and its outcomes. A shared understanding and common data points allow enterprise stakeholders to gain visibility into DevOps processes, which in turn enables collaboration and communication. Using a common understanding ultimately enables the enterprise to make better decisions and deliver higher quality products and services.

Companies spend lots of time setting up their delivery workflow, generally consisting of environments to test and stage the work before being deployed to production. When an issue arises, Ops is now spending more time than ever troubleshooting, finding what was deployed where and gathering clues on what went wrong. Highly valuable information is buried in bytes and current CI/CD tools don’t have context of user stories. Furthermore, there has been no way of asking your delivery platform “where is this story in my delivery workflow?

Introducing Delivery at a Glance

Harnessing the power of VersionOne ContinuumTM for DevOps, Delivery at a Glance provides an unprecedented level of visibility into your delivery workflow, right within VersionOne Lifecycle’s release tracking flow. Delivery at a Glance allows you to visualize work items and commits contained in VersionOne Continuum packages and watch work items increase in maturity as they flow across the value stream.

Delivery at a Glance

Delivery at a Glance provides a real-time view of your delivery workflow. With complete visibility into your entire value stream (dev, test, prod) it presents commits, stories, and packages in a unified view that takes guessing out of the equation. Additional benefits include:

  • No integration hassles – Continuum works with existing CI/CD tools
  • Streamlined real continuous delivery
  • Deep and real-time visibility, no historical hunts
  • A clear, definitive understanding of where features and fixes are in the process, including insight into the completeness and risk of promotion to future phases
  • A visual understanding of the efficiency of the entire system, from idea through delivery to end users – you can’t optimize what you can understand.

Take control today. Find out more about Delivery at a Glance and VersionOne’s Summer 2016 Release.

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Roadmaps Made Easier

Agile Roadmaps Made Easier

Rejoice product owners – the days of dual entry for your roadmaps are gone! No longer will you need to remember to update the roadmap when the ‘real’ plan changes. No longer will you be called out in meetings when your roadmap is out of date. No longer will stakeholders silently wonder if what they are seeing is current and you erode confidence. We’ve heard about the pains you’ve shared with us and have responded.

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Posted in agile project management, Product & Release Planning, Product Owner, Product Roadmapping, Program Management, Program Manager, Project Manager, SAFe, scaled agile, Scaled Agile Framework, Stakeholder | Leave a comment