As software is eating the world (per Marc Andreesen), every company is a software company. This includes businesses like our Global Fortune 40 retailer client whose technology division enables the advertising and selling of goods, both in stores and online. In order to remain industry leaders, our client needed a way to accelerate their releases with accurate, real-time project planning and reporting. While they'd been practicing Scaled Agile for two years, their current system of Excel spreadsheets no longer supported their needs and proved to be more time consuming than it was empowering. Seeking expert help from Praecipio Consulting, our client required new tools and reinvigorated processes to support their SAFe goals and realize their technology ROI.
Prior to our engagement, our client was using disparate tools and disconnected processes to manage their agile release trains. JIRA was being used, but only as an afterthought. Teams would begin work in Excel, then move data into JIRA, before finally exporting back to Excel for report generation. Capacity planning was being managed solely in Excel, Sharepoint, and Microsoft Office, which limited visibility, added countless resource hours just to maintain, and still proved inaccurate much of the time. Their tools and processes were not built to scale, thus limiting their ability to manage (or add to) their number of releases.
With expertise in both Atlassian and Scaled Agile, we worked with our client to realign their JIRA usage and implement Portfolio for JIRA to manage and communicate their releases. We created a repeatable project configuration in JIRA, replacing the need for other legacy tools and better reflecting their workflow. By integrating JIRA with Portfolio for JIRA, we provided our client a better way to gather estimates from teams, communicate with the Portfolio Epic Owners, prioritize work, and plan Program Increments. This delivered exponentially more functionality to our client, using fewer, more streamlined systems than before, which allowed them to focus more time on Program Increment goals. Once implementation and configuration was successfully completed, we provided training to team members in order to help them better support and operate their new systems.
By implementing Portfolio for JIRA and configuring JIRA to reflect Scaled Agile best practices, our client successfully replaced their formerly cumbersome way of managing work in spreadsheets. With JIRA automatically updating Portfolio with real-time, accurate data, management gained improved reporting capabilities that allow them to plan effectively, from Program Increments to capacity planning. Getting back the time previously spent maintaining spreadsheets and documentation in disparate systems, our client now applies that recaptured time towards development, allowing them to add additional release trains to their development practices. Providing our client with the right tools and best practices to meet their Scaled Agile goals, we helped them accelerate work while driving down costs, giving them the true technology ROI they needed.