Enterprise Agile with Alfabet

Learn how Alfabet helps you implement frameworks such as SAFe® to become an agile organization

The challenge

Organizations face a pace of change and level of competitiveness that has not been seen before. Agility is key to survival, and so organizations have invested heavily in Agile development and delivery. However, if delivery is not aligned to strategy and delivery goals cannot be changed quickly to adapt to the changing environment, organizations will remain behind the curve and at a disadvantage to their competitors. To address this, it is essential to have a portfolio management approach to implementing Enterprise Agile frameworks such as SAFe and LeSS that:

  • Provides transparency, analytics and feedback to the various stakeholders at different levels of the organization for optimal decision making
  • Supports Lean portfolio management for alignment of budget and resources to strategy
  • Gives clear line-of-sight from strategic direction, through investment decision, to the choice of epics and features to be implemented, including the resulting impacts on the enterprise architecture
  • Interfaces to Agile development and DevOps environments for governance and optimization of delivery
  • Integrates traditional waterfall approaches to reflect realities on the ground

Key benefits

  • Central repository for strategy and product roadmap planning to optimize collaboration and decision-making
  • Dashboards and Kanban boards for strategic themes, products and the demand funnel, enabling efficient management
  • Quick and adaptable alignment of strategic themes to organizational strategy to accelerate funding decisions
  • Portfolio scenarios for the best product and project mix
  • Backlog feature management and standard integration to, e.g. Jira, for improved implementation governance
  • Architectural context for better impact analysis and planning

Four steps to success

Establishing Enterprise Agile that is robust, effective and efficient requires the right approach. These four steps will help ensure success:

  1. Establish the roles and processes required to maintain the strategy and roadmap planning repository
  2. Align products to strategic themes and implement product-centric management of epics and features
  3. Link products and epics to impacted business and IT architectures to expose overlap and redundancy early
  4. Integrate to Agile development and DevOps systems to ensure alignment of priorities to portfolio decision

Alfabet—delivering Enterprise Agile

Strategy and product roadmap repository

Owners of strategic themes, Lean portfolio managers, product managers and other involved stakeholders manage the required data using the intuitive UI, wizards and workflows. Monitors and reports ensure data completeness and quality

Use Alfabet to manage the funnel of ideas and epics for your strategic themes.
Lean portfolio management

Portfolios at different levels, e.g. portfolios of strategic themes, products, epics, and features, ensure that decision-making is delegated to the right level and is accelerated to increase the agility of the organization as a whole. Advanced analytics, including AI enabled portfolio diagnostics, provides valuable insights for selection of the right portfolio mix. Many generated visualizations provide further insights and support decision communication. Kanban boards manage the backlog at all levels.

Integrated roadmapping

Core aspects of the agile portfolio such as products, epics and features, have lifecycle concepts that enable effective planning. Associated business outcomes and architectural deliverables are similarly planned to give a comprehensive and integrated view of the roadmap. The plan data is used in the many generated roadmap visualizations, e.g. Gantt, circular roadmap and sunray diagrams, for roadmap communication, rollout support, and early exposure of potential plan conflicts.

Integration framework for implementation governance

A webservice-enabled integration framework supports batch and online integration, as well as real-time interactions using the embedded event handler. Deep and effective integration with Agile development and DevOps environments, e.g. Jira, provides closed-loop governance of product deliver.

Integrated approach

For effective Enterprise Agile an integrated approach to various disciplines in the delivery of digital products is required:

  • Strategy operationalization enables choice of which strategic themes to prioritize and finance.
  • Product and project portfolio management provides assessment of investments for a strategic theme along dimensions such as business value, risk and cost.
  • Demand management makes the product requirements transparent and enables early weeding out of overlap and redundancy. Kanban boards provide efficient funnel management.

Alfabet delivers support for these and other disciplines in a tightly integrated solution. Alfabet also provides a framework that supports rapid integration to other systems at the data and process levels. This guarantees the full benefits of integrated strategic and IT portfolio management.

Fast path to value

Software AG is a quick enabler of Enterprise Agile, providing customers with the tools needed for effective and efficient implementation, namely:

  • A leading solution for Enterprise Agile: Alfabet
  • A proven methodology to support Enterprise Agile
  • Templates to implement roles, such as strategic theme owner, product manager and many more
  • Standard reports, dashboards, and Kanban boards
  • Support for management of artefacts such as strategic theme, product, epics, features and agile budgets
  • Best-practice templates for common governance processes
  • A rapid integration framework to integrate to, e.g. DevOps solutions, including standard integrations such as Jira

                    Take the next step

Contact your Software AG representative today to see how Alfabet can help your enterprise be more agile.