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Case Study

MasterControl Takes SAFe® PI Planning Digital with VersionOne


5 times more features
alignment of business & development
team engagement
greater visibility

challenges-icon Challenges

MasterControl, a compliance software solutions and services company, had recently implemented the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe). They began their SAFe journey like most organizations, by using only sticky notes and whiteboards for the planning process. From the beginning there was some reluctance to use paper, but they quickly learned the advantages of the tactile process of meeting around a whiteboard and moving sticky notes. Management was excited to see how gathering around a whiteboard and moving stories created more engagement from the teams.

Despite the noticeable increase in engagement, the whiteboards and sticky notes did create some aggravation. Sticky notes would fall off, get lost, or be misinterpreted. The physical capture of the work caused challenges when remote team members joined the stand up meeting or needed to look at the backlog.

The team knew they needed an enterprise agile platform that supported SAFe and they knew they wanted that system to replace the need for all the sticky notes, but they didn’t want to lose the engagement from the tactile experience of moving stories and tasks around a board during planning.

solution-icon Solution

They solved the problem by using large touch screen monitors and VersionOne. MasterControl choose VersionOne for its ease of use and support of SAFe. While evaluating competitors they found that VersionOne most closely aligned to the Scaled Agile Framework. Teams still gather around a board and move stories and tasks around, but now nothing gets lost and remote team members can participate as well.

MasterControl leveraged VersionOne during the SAFe PI Planning process and was able to outline dependencies using the VersionOne Program Board which is something that had historically been really hard using boards with yarn to tie sticky notes together which then had to manually typed up later. They leveraged reports in VersionOne like the Program Predictability report and Scorecards to see real-time data during the planning process.

Team members and stakeholders were able to capture more context using VersionOne since story cards offer more space than on a physical sticky note and eliminated the need for manual data entry of the sticky notes into VersionOne.

“I’ve used Rally and JIRA, and it was clear to me that VersionOne had a much better user experience and aligned more closely to SAFe out of the box.”

Evan Smith
Release Train Engineer & ScrumMaster Manager

MasterControl Logo

benefits-icon Benefits

MasterControl was able to deliver five times more features than they had prior to using VersionOne. They have seen increased engagement from the teams and they have also seen a significant improvement in alignment between the business, software development, and IT operations. Greater visibility was gained as management, stakeholders, and team members had real-time visibility into how planning was impacting the PI. Teams were instantly able to see their total story points and compare those to previous velocity trends. Management could see how the numbers were rolling up across the teams.

“We’re really seeing a steep climb in productivity and we’re also seeing much better alignment between portfolio, program, development, and delivery.” said Evan Smith, Release Train Engineer & ScrumMaster Manager at MasterControl

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