Implementing SAFe® with Targetprocess to scale agile globally
- Elimination of waste by connecting ALM and PPM through one comprehensive tool
- Visualization of large amounts of data to enable real understanding
- Standardization of work across different teams, departments, processes, and workflows
Obstacles and Requirements
While we can’t disclose the name of this enterprise, we can tell you that they are involved in the production of heavy equipment and have teams on every continent. They have around 1,600 active Targetprocess licenses with over 250 projects, and they mainly use our tool for application lifecycle management (ALM) in software engineering and IT.
The company adopted Targetprocess as an ALM tool, but they now use it to manage their portfolio of projects as well. Before Targetprocess, they managed their portfolio through Excel sheets and several different management tools. Waste would be created every time work was handed off between teams because project data had to be transferred, standardized, and double-checked.
They decided to find a tool that would allow them to electronically track all projects from one central location. They wanted to be able to visualize complex workflows across teams without pausing to update information from one tool to the next. In addition to these requirements, they also faced several obstacles which tend to be inherent to PPM for any organization:
- Too much data to handle from a high level
- Too many different teams and processes
- Not enough bottom-up control, not enough participation or feedback from team members
- Internal resistance to change
Finding a tool which surmounted these obstacles and met their requirements was an urgent task. Their current solutions made drilling down for details impossible, because project managers would send project results up the hierarchy (or to the next team) but details would be buried in the various tools used by the different teams. This made in-depth retrospectives and scalable improvements difficult.
Both management and teams needed to be able to go back and look at project history from a high level to find their weak points and take corrective action. Of course, finding the right solution is never easy…
The Right Solution
There are three things about our tool which immediately struck this now long-time client as indispensable:
for ease of access and transparency across teams and the entire hierarchy
to enable real understanding when dealing with large amounts of data
But aren't flexibility and standardization contradictory? Actually, they're inextricably related. All teams are different. Teams use different tools because they have different requirements; this leads to the high-level standardization problems which we discussed earlier.
Our tool is flexible enough to adapt to different teams and processes. It's comprehensive enough to connect ALM and PPM. Finally, it's powerful enough to link all these different areas and processes to one central screen. Flexibility and standardization don't have to be mutually exclusive; they can in fact work together.
Our client is in the process of implementing SAFe® (Scaled Agile Framework) to guide their Agile practices. Targetprocess supports this framework but also adds visual comprehension to the mix.
Using a PPM tool that has roots as an ALM platform has enabled great performance at the team level. Managing iterations is now much easier, and all team work is automatically connected with high level strategy (no more manually inputting project results into Excel spreadsheets, or transferring fragmented data between tools).
Targetprocess open-ended structure allows for natural and infinite scaling because the hierarchy is not rigid. The ability to link work items from project to project at any level of the hierarchy has been invaluable.
Targetprocess helps with synchronizing all the different teams and processes that are present in our client’s enterprise. Teams in different timezones can coordinate their efforts while still maintaining their own iteration within a cycle. Features are automatically linked to programs and WSJF values are automatically calculated in Targetprocess.