SAFe Value Stream Board Visualizing Dependencies Across the Organization

August 18, 2016 Jerry Odenwelder

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.

The post SAFe Value Stream Board Visualizing Dependencies Across the Organization appeared first on VersionOne Blog.

About the Author

Jerry Odenwelder

Jerry Odenwelder is a Senior Product Manager at CollabNet VersionOne. He has been involved in software development for over 20 years. The majority of that time has been spent in agile environments. Jerry has held various roles in start-ups and Fortune 500 organizations. He has co-written articles for Cutter Consortium and has spoken at conferences. In his spare time, Jerry enjoys being outdoors and spending time with his family.

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