Implementing SAFe for better collaboration & productivity

Reasons for Implementing SAFe

Why do organizations use SAFe? Ultimately for the same reasons that they introduced Scrum at the team level: to increase productivity, improve product quality, shorter, market-oriented release intervals, a higher customer focus, and higher employee satisfaction. Only on a much larger scale.

At this level of complexity, adapting an existing, proven framework often seems more effective and efficient than developing a completely new system - so why reinvent the wheel? 

Several frameworks and practices, such as LeSS, Spotify, and Nexus, are dedicated to scaling agile product development. We can even say that SAFe, in this context, is the undisputed industry leader in terms of user numbers.

Studies and surveys conducted by Scaled Agile, Inc. among customers and partners speak for themselves. Organizations that have implemented SAFe report the following:

  • 20 - 50 percent increase in productivity.
  • 25 - 75 percent improvement in quality.
  • 30 - 75 percent faster time-to-market.
  • 10 - 50 percent increase in employee engagement and job satisfaction.

Additionally, companies that adopt SAFe aim to promote an alignment that includes the teams and all levels of the organization involved in product development and related decisions. The Scaled Agile Framework offers ideal conditions to achieve this.

Atlassian Jira and Confluence

What is Jira?

Jira is Atlassian's successful and mature software development, project management, and tracking solution.  It successfully maps a wide range of use cases and requirements across the enterprise - from simple task management in business teams to cross-team multi-project and portfolio management.

What is Confluence?

Atlassian's Confluence is the leading enterprise wiki and content collaboration tool. In teams and across the enterprise, it is the center for documentation and transparent content collaboration.

Jira is the leading agile software development tool. SAFe is the leading framework for scaling agile. So why not just combine one with the other? Well, while Jira is an incredible tool, it comes with a few limitations when scaling becomes necessary. A few examples:

Artifact Hierarchy and nomenclature:

Working with Jira at a team level is great, no doubt. That's what it was built for and why we love it. Large organizations using SAFe rely on a solid hierarchical context to foster alignment throughout the enterprise, from strategy to execution. Jira's structure of stories, epics, and Jira-projects are just not enough.

While several Jira apps solve this issue, Agile Hive does so while also maximizing SAFe compliance. The trick: All of these structural SAFe-artifacts on each level, from portfolios, large solutions, ARTs, and teams, come as entire Jira projects, making it highly flexible concerning naming and workflows. All of this with no impact on Jira projects outside the SAFe context!

PI cadence:

The rhythm of iterations (sprints) on a team level is scaled as PIs for the ART. But while Jira lets you conveniently plan sprints for your teams - there is no equivalent for cadence in your "team of teams." Of course, you could use, for example, "fix versions" to do so, but your teams managing their releases with this on-board feature will not be amused.

Agile Hive lets you plan your ART's PIs easily without interfering with any other valuable Jira functionality.

What about content?

Jira handles issues and processes like no other. But agile product development and business agility at scale need a whole lot of content collaboration, documentation, and reference as well. Hold on, has anyone said "Confluence"?

Agile Hive uses a strong interaction between Jira and Confluence, automating work when possible, and providing valuable references such as templates and checklists to make SAFe happen without jumping between websites and more tools and reference guides.

What is Agile Hive - SAFe with Atlassian Tools?

Agile Hive steps in to deploy SAFe using the Atlassian toolstack to which more and more companies are turning. Agile Hive helps you integrate the Scaled Agile Framework as an agile scaling concept, roll it out across the entire enterprise and make the best use of it in the long term. As an app for Jira, it provides the required hierarchy levels, artifacts, and workflows and helps processes and aggregate relevant evaluations.  Close, automated interaction with Confluence as well as comprehensive content templates for SAFe-compliant collaboration complete the product. 

Unlike competitors in the Atlassian environment, Agile Hive can use the correct SAFe nomenclature at each SAFe level to promote acceptance - without impacting Jira projects outside the SAFe context.

Ultimately, Agile Hive creates the software prerequisites for a strict and successful scaling of your agile working methods, according to SAFe.


SAFe® with Atlassian tools: Get to know Agile Hive now!

Would you like to know more about Agile Hive and the software-supported implementation of SAFe®? We would be happy to discuss your requirements for enterprise-wide agile product development and product management with you. Take a look at our Implementation Project documentation to see an overview of what an implementation would entail.

Get in touch with us today and let us demonstrate how it works in a personal session.

Further Reading

Agile Hive Implementation Project
Scaled Agile: SAFe 5.0 changes and how Agile Hive maps them
SAFe with Atlassian tools: Agile Hive is a Scaled Agile Platform Partner



Learn more about Creative Commons licensing and //Seibert/Media