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InfoQ Homepage News VersionOne 2015 Winter Release Available

VersionOne 2015 Winter Release Available


VersionOne recently announced the public availability of the Winter 2015 release of the product. InfoQ spoke to Mark Crowe and Lisa Hagin from VersionOne to get more details about the new and changed features in this release.

This release has a strong focus on "scaling", supporting the theme of reaching into the higher levels of the organization to provide visibility and alignment with organizational strategy.  According to Crowe, VersionOne supports caling in "two dimensions" - horizontal scaling where you are adding more teams working on initiatives and vertical scaling where you are enabling all levels in the organization to atain agility in their work practices.  

The first view of scaling is supported by making it easy to share knowledge about all aspects of the product development and align the teams' work on the stories and tasks they are responsible for.

Scaling vertically is supported by providing more capabilities to coordinate across multiple streams of work and make the dependencies across multiple initiatives and teams visible, providing a true portfolio-level view which allows senior management to optimize the flow work across many levels and multiple teams.  For example, it may be necessary to sub-optimize the work of one team (perhaps by choosing to work on a feature that would otherwise be lower in their own queue but is required by another team) in order to maximize the delivery of value across the whole portfolio.  The idea is that the visibility and transparency allow teams and individuals working at each level in the organization are able to see the "big picture" and will recognize when such adjustments are needed. 

One aspect of this release is the inclusion of the concept of "Strategic Themes" which allow for planning at the highest level in the organization to be visible and associated with the implementation level initiatives, right down to task activities.  One initiative can be associated with multiple strategic themes.    

This release directly supports Version 3.0 of the SAFe framework.  Crowe and Hagin explained that SAFe is a popular framework which presents a structured approach which can be used to bring agile practices into organizations. SAFe is not the only scaling framework which VersionOne supports, they have deliberately designed the product to be flexible and support multiple viewpoints and frameworks.

Monte-Carlo simulation has been built into this release to produce estimates with various confidence levels. This makes clear the variability around estimations of both end-dates and scope.  In order to produce an estimate using Monte-Carlo simulation the product takes historical data about projects, teams, initiatives and activities into account and then executes thousands of simulations to produce a range of mostlikely outcomes.

The last major new feature is called CommitStream™  which makes integration with multiple version control systems simpler and more easily managed through a single pipeline. 

Full details of the release can be found here




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