As agile adoption has increased over the last decade, many organizations have grown with agile and are using scaling methodologies to help them plan, deliver, and track progress across their teams. While many scaling methodologies are available, the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) has been the most widely adopted methodology by larger organizations. With the combined force of Jira Software and Portfolio for Jira, Atlassian provides a powerful way support the SAFe® methodology and organizational needs at all levels.
The need to scale agile
Agile methodologies (Scrum, Kanban, XP, etc.) focus on individual team planning and delivery activities. Each methodology has specific roles, ceremonies, and reports to help ensure long-lasting success. For the individual team, these approaches have a strong history of success, but until recently these methodologies didn’t have an approach to scale across multiple teams and plan work at a higher level. As agile teams matured and grew, they became challenged with how to:
- Track large initiatives which combine multiple features from concept to delivery
- Plan and align business value to the team’s delivery work for objective decision making
- Take advantage of multiple skill sets across teams and specialists in the organization to deliver a high-quality release
- Align sprint goals across multiple teams
- Build system architecture and infrastructure needs into a release plan
- Use data to track progress across multiple teams, identify problems between teams, and drive towards solutions as an organization.
Initially, agile leaders struggled with creating a repeatable way to solve these issues. In 2011, Scaled Agile Inc. released Scaled Agile Framework for the Enterprise (SAFe®) 1.0 to help address these issues and provide success patterns for large and small organizations. SAFe® is an online and “freely-revealed knowledge base of proven success patterns for implementing lean-agile software and systems development at enterprise scale.”
SAFe® provides ceremonies, roles, metrics, and relationships that allow organizations to leverage lean and agile at enterprise scale. SAFe® is now in its 4th iteration (SAFe 4.0) and has been updated based on customer feedback, and real world usage patterns. It also enjoys the widest adoption as a method to scale agile.
Atlassian and SAFe®
There are many ways to interpret and adopt a SAFe® methodology and each organization must choose which elements are critical to them and how to leverage the proven success patterns provided. We’ve worked with cPrime and SAFe® to create a white paper that shows one approach to supporting SAFe® using Atlassian products.
We recognize that each organization is structured differently and this solution provides one approach. Regardless of the specific org structure and roles within it, we find a common theme in how ideas, requirements, and communication flow through the tool and process.
Jira Software, Portfolio for Jira, Confluence, and (agile apps) are the foundational products required to support a SAFe solution. Each product plays a special role in providing the flexibility and functionality required to support SAFe®. If you want to learn how to implement SAFe® with these Atlassian tools, download our step-by-step implementation guide below.