Collaboration is the cornerstone of Agile success. But for most global enterprises, planning for teams to collaborate together in the same place at the same time can be ambitious and for some may only happen once or twice a year. The real challenge comes after the event, especially for globally distributed teams, where fluid collaboration and real-time visibility of information is critical.
Let's take a look at how Arm IT helped their teams collaborate across boundaries of time and space to succeed.
Embracing agile at scale
Arm IT (Arm is the world’s leading semiconductor intellectual property company) are two years into their agile transformation journey, beginning their adoption and adaption of the Scaled Agile Framework for Lean Enterprises (SAFe) in early 2017. A key ceremony of SAFe is Program Increment (PI) Planning, which happens every quarter and involves bringing global stakeholders together for invaluable face-to-face planning and problem solving. During PI Planning, product and project teams use physical whiteboards to map-out ideas and plan their features, user stories and tasks for the coming three months.
Don't get me wrong, white boards are an extremely powerful part of your Agile armoury - quick to assemble, mobile and easy to update. But when teams are not physically in the same space and are scattered across geographies and time zones, like in Arm IT's case, the value of physical whiteboards diminishes in value.
Dynamic data visualisation
A key output of PI Planning is the ‘Program Board’, another physical whiteboard covered in post-its, showing when each team plans to deliver its features during the quarter. It also shows dependencies between teams both within the Agile Release Train (ART), and with teams outside the ART using pieces of string. These boards are great for ensuring everyone is on the 'same page' during PI Planning. But once the collaboration event is over, they quickly become out of date. Plans change, new priorities surface. So for Arm IT, physically moving post-its, taking screen shots of the boards and then sharing them manually with all teams and stakeholders was the only way to keep everyone up to date. As you can imagine this approach was not sustainable or scalable.
Combining the automation power of Adaptavist ScriptRunner with the compelling out-of-the-box design capabilities of VisualScript Studio, Arm IT digitised all their physical Program Boards, driven by their Jira data in real time, enabling complete visibility and transparency across their organisation.
Working in close partnership, Adaptavist and Arm IT were able to create a truly digitised and dynamic version of their physical program boards. Available to everyone, in real time! Enabling teams to visualise and share each program board across multiple Jira dashboards and globally distributed teams. With issue dependencies, priorities and risks now available in one view.
Rob Negus, Director of IT Product Delivery, Delivery Management and Agile Centre of Excellence for Arm IT shared:
"We have always used a physical whiteboard to visualise Sprint dependencies, features and relevant milestones during our PI Planning. VisualScript Studio has provided us with a real-time dashboard in Jira to visualise this data. As a result, we have started to see improvement in collaboration and efficiency across globally distributed implementation teams."
Arm is a global leader in semiconductor design, software and tools, employing over 6000 people worldwide. Generating over $1.8bn in global sales last year, Arm has a far-reaching impact on modern society via consumer electronics, automotive and robotics, and more recently a focus into the Internet of Things (IoT). The Arm IT Delivery Management Office and Agile Centre of Excellence provide the delivery frameworks, agile coaching and Jira best practice to Arm IT, and are responsible for organising the PI Planning events each quarter.
Visualising Arm IT's Program Boards using ScriptRunner and VisualScript Studio
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