How CollabNet Supports the World’s Most Popular Agile Scaling Methodology: SAFe

January 11, 2018 Eric Robertson

Seventy percent of US Fortune 100 companies have SAFe-trained team members involved in the development and delivery of software. It is safe to say (pardon the pun) that the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is permeating our industry. Because it is the most widely implemented method for scaling agile at the enterprise level, it is important we understand exactly why it is helping enterprises and how CollabNet fits into the framework.

VersionOne (now CollabNet) has historically worked closely with the minds behind SAFe at Scaled Agile in Boulder, CO. VersionOne has also played a role in shaping the future direction of SAFe and where it is heading. Let’s cover some of the basics about SAFe and how implementing this framework helps organizations achieve faster delivery times and shorter lead times among other benefits.

What is SAFe?

Here’s the definition from the creators of SAFe, Scaled Agile:

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) helps businesses address the significant challenges of developing and delivering enterprise-class software and systems in the shortest sustainable lead time. It is a freely revealed, online knowledge base of proven success patterns, for people building the world’s most important software and systems.

SAFe is a widely-used enterprise-scale development methodology based on Lean and Agile principles. SAFe seeks to speed time-to-market, boost productivity, improve quality and encourage greater employee engagement. SAFe uses groups of agile teams as a primary means of delivering value using a variety of tools to complete goals within specific periods of time. SAFe includes four core values: alignment, built-in quality, transparency and program execution.

How does CollabNet Support SAFe?

With CollabNet and SAFe, enterprises can begin to measure the performance and success of the organization.

Our Unified Value Creation and Delivery platform provides a centralized environment that simplifies your adoption and implementation of the Scaled Agile Framework, regardless of which configurations of SAFe you need. VersionOne and CollabNet support the key constructs, practices, and metrics defined by SAFe, including Communities of Practice and DevOps.

To learn more about product integrations, please visit https://www.versionone.com/scaled-agile-framework/.

What about DevOps?

DevOps plays an important role in the latest version of SAFe. A central change in SAFe 4.5 is the concept of a hypothesis-driven continuous delivery pipeline. When it comes to DevOps a lot of people just focus on delivery pipelines but Scaled Agile feels that continuous delivery starts much earlier in the software development lifecycle.

CollabNet/VersionOne recently conducted a webinar with Inbar Oren from Scaled Agile, who shared that from Scaled Agile’s perspective, continuous integration is bigger than just integrating on a dev machine or at the team level, it’s integrating at all the different levels of the organization. Far too often there are changes or commits made to the body of code that can’t be tied back to specific business value (backlog item, epic or feature). As we move faster, we need to get better at auditing and compliance to be sure software changes are tracked and contextualized. If we don’t connect every single commit back to business value, it becomes difficult to measure the flow of value once we’ve converted commits into binary objects or compiled objects.

What are the benefits of using SAFe in conjunction with CollabNet products?

There are many business benefits to using the Scaled Agile Framework and CollabNet products simultaneously. In fact, our Continuum and VersionOne Lifecycle platforms are designed to support the SAFe framework. To design SAFe cycles based on accurate metrics, CollabNet does the heavy lifting by connecting disparate tools, people and processes throughout the DevOps lifecycle. These CollabNet solutions are proven to help IT leaders evaluate the health and success of their organizations by allowing smart planning with SAFe. In essence CollabNet’s solutions make it easier for organizations to adopt SAFe and use the method to reap the greatest number of benefits including better productivity and a shorter time to market.

To learn more about SAFe, take a look at these resources:

⇒Read Measuring the Business Benefits of SAFe

Explore taking a Scaled Agile Framework Agilist (SA) course

⇒Watch SAFe® DevOps Metrics: Scale Continuous Delivery with the Scaled Agile Framework

About the Author

Eric Robertson

Eric Robertson is responsible for product management and marketing at CollabNet. Prior to CollabNet, Eric served as Director of services and portfolio management for enterprise solutions at Unisys. Eric joined Cisco through a company acquisition, where he led product management for Cisco's cloud automation and SAP ALM extension offerings. Eric has successfully held product development, services and management roles with enterprises and start-ups and has provided consulting services to Fortune 500 companies. Eric holds a patent in the area of virtualization and a Master's Degree in Electrical and Software Engineering from University of Texas in Austin and continues to further his research in domain- specific languages, and intelligent automation.

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