If your organization is implementing Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®), then you’ll want to take a look at VersionOne’s new Program Board which is central to Program Increment (PI) planning. The Program Board helps team easily view and track dependent work across their PI’s. This board shows dependencies that have been assigned to work and planned into iterations providing transparency and visibility for program and delivery teams to visualize the work done, the work in progress, and to clearly identify potential blockers in the way.

ProgramBoard

The Story is the Hub

The easiest way to visualize how to manage the items on the Program Board is to know how to manage the work.  Using an agile method like Scrum and SAFe, teams deliver value via working solutions, planned in sprints, and delivered in releases.

story-spoke1-267x300Using the VersionOne Lifecycle for Agile ALM platform, the user story is the center of the asset wheel, and all the entities around it make up the report.

Stories are the key in several ways:

  • Stories are aligned to releases (e.g. PI’s)
  • Stories are planned into sprints or iterations
  • Stories are assigned to a team, representing the group responsible for completing the work
  • Stories have dependencies, upstream and downstream with other user stories, especially the stories that have cross-team, feature and sprint/iteration boundaries
  • Stories are tied to features or epics using portfolio items, and they roll up from feature to epic if the hierarchy exists

Key Benefits of the Program Board

  • Visualize cross-team dependencies
  • See the work dependencies aligned to the sprints
  • View percentage complete indicators for the features
  • Indentify upstream and downstream work, and hover over visualizations for easy reading
  • See unplanned and out-of-scope work
  • Manage your PI Planning Board electronically and track history of changes as you go

Easy Steps to Create Visualizations with the Program Board

Here are the steps you can use to setup and track cross-team dependency work for your enterprise on the VersionOne Program Board.

1. Teams – Create the Teams, or verify that the teams are already created.  You can also see the teams from Release Planning > Team Scheduling

2. Epics & Features – Breakdown Epics to Features and align the Features to the correct planning level project asset.  This can be done in Release Planning.

3. Stories & Alignment – Create the user stories manually or via the Excel Import, and align the Assign Dependenciesstories to the Teams and Features, (Portfolio Item field). Both editable fields on the story.

4. Dependencies Track dependencies between the stories, teams, and features by creating upstream or downstream dependencies from Story to Story.  This can be done on the a story grid page like the Product Backlog Page, or on the Story Detail Page. Dependencies are set at the Story level, but they roll up to the team and feature level dependencies.

5. Sprints – Plan the stories into one or more sprints.  This is done in Sprint/Iteration Planning and is the final puzzle piece that will allow you to see the cross team, and feature work.

Other Notes

  • You can have different views of the Program Board by aligning the Epics to a higher planning level (e.g. align Epics to the ART or Portfolio)
  • The selected project must have a start date, end date, and schedule.
  • For all the details on the Program Board and all the other agile capabilities above, please visit our community page.
  • The Program Board is available in the Ultimate Edition starting in the Winter 2016 – 16.0.3 release.

Scaled Agile Framework and SAFe are registered trademarks of Scaled Agile, Inc.

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