We are framework agnostic at Atlassian and support all ways of working including Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®), which is the most widely adopted framework with our customers. The new, major release of SAFe 6.0 represents an opportunity for organizations to further evolve how they manage customer outcomes, accelerate value flow and measure their journeys using accurate and meaningful data.

This new release highlights a Value Stream Management (VSM) led approach with an update to SAFe Principle #6 to “Make Value Flow without Interruptions”. It provides more information on OKRs and expands guidance for AI, Big Data, and Cloud.

VSM is described as “a leadership and technical discipline that enables the maximum flow of business value through the end-to-end pipeline” and is positioned at the Portfolio Flow level, aligning with Development Value Streams. A Business Agility Value Stream (BAVS) has been added to the top of the Big Picture acknowledging the importance of enterprise-level agility, one of our core capabilities. The goal is continuous value flow by systematically removing impediments, delay, waste, and dependencies. 6.0 also features VSM on its updated Big Picture and explicitly includes Flow Metrics—metrics we already support in our dashboards.

‘Metrics’ has been renamed ‘Measure and Grow’ in the new release, and includes three measurement domains: competency, flow, and outcomes. The idea is to show clearly how the organization is progressing on its own journey to enterprise agility and also to gain insights into customer experience in the context of anticipated outcomes and how to use that data to decide what to do next. We can do this today using our cascading OKRs capability and making bets and investment reviews.

OKRs have been added to the Spanning Palette (part of the Big Picture that contains various roles and artifacts that may be applied to any organizational component. SAFe recommends OKRs to support core values of transparency and alignment across organizations and portfolios and for clarity for business and customer outcomes, just as we recommend and enable through our platforms.

Digital transformation, enabled by enterprise agility, is powered by cloud, big data, and increasingly AI. SAFe is also offering new guidance to help organizations harness the opportunity these innovative technologies offer to teams and make work visible and governed—key goals and capabilities of Jira Align.

When it comes to combining VSM with Enterprise Agile Planning (EAP), there’s no better combination for SAFe practitioners than Jira Align. This is because:

  • VSM and Flow: Our customers leverage Jira Align’s Enterprise Insights to understand and improve the flow of value and pursue VSM-led ways of working.
  • OKRs and Outcomes: When building business agility foundations and delivering outcomes with OKRs, Jira Align’s OKR experience provides highly evolved goal and milestone management for power and flexibility when setting and managing outcomes for our customers.
  • AI, Big Data, and Cloud: Jira Align captures value flow, OKR data, planning data, financial assumptions, and many more across many layers of the organization so Atlassian customers can benefit from having a complete set of data points from their entire agile journey – from individual engineering team velocity to portfolio level blockers – across Atlassian tools.

Our tools collect and emit the data your teams need to make quantifying their daily work possible. SAFe’s latest guidance includes eight flow accelerators, all of which can be accessed and tuned through our tools. These include:

  1. Visualizing and limiting Work in Progress (WiP)
  2. Addressing bottlenecks (we help teams and leaders identify them too)
  3. Minimizing handoffs and dependencies
  4. Getting feedback faster
  5. Working in smaller batches
  6. Reducing queue length
  7. Optimizing time “in the zone”
  8. Remediating legacy policies and practices

Gartner named Atlassian as a Leader in their 2022 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Agile Planning for the fifth time because the combination of our team-level tool, Jira Software, with business-level agility from Jira Align drives a connected enterprise capable of maximizing strategic outcomes. We know how to connect business and technology teams to align strategy with outcomes at enterprise scale.

Forrester’s Total Economic Impact report for Jira Align details how these outcomes play out in enterprise organizations and how its value is measurable through:

  • Providing enterprise agile planning capabilities that improve PM and Developer productivity
  • Help organizations capture incremental revenue by decreasing time-to-market
  • Reducing waste across the enterprise by supporting better decision making
  • Delivering up to 340% Return on Investment

That’s why they also named us a Strong Performer in their 2022 VSM Wave report noting that because our products span the entire software development lifecycle—from discovery to delivery to operations—and the extensibility and flexibility of our open ecosystem, we empower organizations to get the insights they need right inside the tools they love.

Learn more about Jira Align today.

The Powerhouse: Jira Align and SAFe