Enhancing Visibility in Agile Program Increment DSMs

DS 103: Proceedings of the 22nd International DSM Conference (DSM 2020), MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 13th - 15th 2020

Year: 2020
Editor: Harold (Mike) Stowe; Tyson R. Browning; Steven D. Eppinger; Jakob Trauer
Author: Bajpai, Siddharth; Joglekar, Nitin; Eppinger, Steven
Series: DSM
Institution: MIT; Boston University, United States of America
Section: Organizational Architectures
Page(s): 10
DOI number: 10.35199/dsm2020.16
ISBN: 978-1-912254-12-5


Program Increments (PIs) are sequences of consecutive sprints during SAFe implementation of agile developments. SAFe work is planned at two levels of granularity: (i) stories, which create tasks (within a sprint team) and account for task interactions at a fine level of granularity; and (ii) features (often decomposed into stories), which account for interactions at a coarser level of granularity. A common practice in PI planning, involving 10-15 teams, is to suppress interactions at the story level and focus on interactions at the feature level instead. We create two DSMs for a PI planning process – one based on story interactions, and another based on feature interactions. We find a nearly 9X increase in interactions at the finer level, i.e. more granular interaction, compared to a DSM based on coarser level interaction data. We discuss theory and practice implications for using more granular DSMs during PI Planning and oversight processes.

Keywords: Agile, Data Granularity, Interactions, Program Increment, SAFe


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