With the Quebec release, the Agile module in ServiceNow has seen some great changes. These changes include small UI enhancements in Backlog management to more strategic features like supporting Program Increments (PI) objectives in SAFe.
Keeping up with the spirit of Agile, let's make small increments and start with the smaller features.
The Backlog Ninja
Quebec has made managing your backlog even simpler. You can now move a single or a number of stories across pages of the backlog. For example, select a number of stories and then you can choose to move it to the next page or select a page to move it to.
This is especially handy when you have a large backlog to manage - especially relevant for bigger and more complex teams.
Speaking of complex teams, let's now move over to Agile at Scale features. The first feature in this section is the Program Planning enhancements for both SAFe and Scrum Programs. I have used Scrum Programs to explain how it works, but you can apply the same to SAFe Program planning board as well.
Program Planning Enhancements (SAFe & Scrum Programs)
The program planning boards have undergone some great UI changes to enhance the at-a-glance value.
Attention to Blocked Stories: It is now super easy for Program Managers to visually identify the blocked stories (appears with a red border and a red x icon) and also get the details of the blocked reason, right from the program planning board. This is important so that the Program Manager can now focus to remove the impediment.
Another great UI enhancement is the icon on the right. The color indicates items from the same parent. Hover over the icon to view the parent info.
Scrum Program Enhancements
If you are an organization that is not fully aligned to SAFe but still wishes to scale Agile, then Scrum Program is a great platform to bridge the gap. In Quebec, additional enhancements help improve the planning process and the overall planning experience.
Backlog Lane for immediate planning: You will notice that the Scrum Program planning board now contains the backlog lane. Stories can be directly dragged to one of the sprints (across teams) for immediate planning.
The configuration option allows you to show and hide information as per your preference.
Let's focus on a more strategic enhancement which is the:
Program Increment (PI) Objective for SAFe
PI planning is essential to SAFe: If you are not doing it, you are not doing SAFe. The Agile Manifesto states, “The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is a face-to-face conversation.” SAFe takes this to the next level with PI planning.
© Scaled Agile, Inc.
For background on PI planning and PI Objectives, please check the below article.
PI Planning - Scaled Agile Framework
With the Quebec release, ServiceNow supports the PI Planning process by introducing PI Objectives. Below is the PI form and its related information.
Both the team (created by teams) and program (summary of the team objectives at the Program level created by the Program Manager) PI Objectives are supported.
From the PI Object form, users can maintain committed vs stretch objectives and set Planned and Actual business value.
The actual and planned business value can be used to calculate % achieved values for the team and ART (Agile Release Train) as a whole. Over time, these measures for PI can be tracked to come up with SAFe Predictability metrics.
Another new addition is the SAFe Teams in the Program Increment. This is the list of teams that participated in the program increment.
I hope this gives you all the necessary information related to Agile in Quebec. If you want a more detailed discussion for Quebec on ITBM in general, drop us a note.
For our blog on PPM features in Quebec, check the below link.
ServiceNow ITBM Quebec - Everything that you need to know (PPM)