Recently, Amgen implemented scaled agile to enable groups of 10-15 distributed teams to work together efficiently on large projects, such as building software to predict cancer treatment. Amgen is using the SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) rules with some customizations to enable the teams to stay in sync, predictably forecast work, and provide full visibility on projects. Amgen was looking for a solution to help establish a shared language and a place to document everything – its new terminology, roles, and responsibilities.
To get started, Amgen’s teams adopted Jira terminology, so that everyone would speak the same language. Next, they documented everything on Confluence. Now, anyone can submit architecture and business requests and requirements into Confluence. Requirements are reviewed, and if accepted, they go into Jira where a product manager creates an epic. Epics get prioritized and broken down into stories, and then scheduled into sprints.
With Atlassian, the epics are visible by absolutely everybody in the organization. “Even top management looks into Jira,” says Luisa Randon, senior agile project manager at Amgen.
The teams also generate reports in Confluence that are easier to access for non-technical users. “Teams, sprints, forecasts of every sprint for every team – we have the full picture in Confluence,“ says Randon. Meanwhile, more advanced users set themselves up as watchers to receive automatic updates via Jira. “That gives transparency to stakeholders,” Randon adds. “Confluence and Jira were fundamental to the success of our scalability.”
To learn more, watch the Amgen Atlassian 2015 Summit presentation on throwing out the agile rulebook.