Starting with HCL Compass 2.0.1, we now ship a new schema and package called EssentialSAFe. You can use this to help your team follow Essential SAFe® practices. More information about SAFe can be found on the Scaled Agile Framework® website. SAFe and Scaled Agile Framework are registered trademarks of Scaled Agile, Inc.

With the HCL Compass Essential SAFe schema, you can create and track an Agile Release Train, and then use it deliver highly desirable solutions to your customers. You can define teams, solutions, program increments and iterations. You can submit, analyze, size, plan and implement features, stories and tasks. The schema is also customizable, so you can fine tune the workflow for your organization. This blog will introduce you the schema and show you how you might set up a release train for your organization.

Getting Started

To get started using the EssentialSAFe schema, you need to first install and configure HCL Compass 2.0.1, including the Compass Web Server. After installing HCL Compass 2.0.1, create a new schema repository using the maintenance tool. For this introduction, let’s create a sample database too.

Now head over to Compass Web. If you installed with the defaults, it would be:

https://[servername]/cqweb

where [servername] is the hostname or IP address of the Compass web server. At this point, “localhost” would also work if you are using a web browser locally.

Log in to the repository and sample database you just created. The default password for “admin” user is blank (no password) – you should change it when you have a chance with the User Administration tool.

Now let us look at the sample data, which will give you some ideas on how to set up your own release train. Find the example release train by running the All Release Trains query. This is one of many pre-canned queries that come with the schema. You will find these queries in the Public Queries->SAFe Queries folder.

After running the All Release Trains query you will just one row, the PIZZA Release Train. Open this record and you will see the following form.

This is where you defined your release train. This is the PIZZA Release Train, which is a group of solutions around delivering high quality pizza on the greenest possible route. As the tabs on the form suggest, you can define solutions, teams, program increments (PI), stakeholders, personas, roles, and nonfunctional requirements (NFRs). You can also customize some of the menu choices available for your work items.

We broke our PIZZA release train into 3 solutions. A DriverApp for deliver drivers, a PizzaApp for customers ordering pizzas, and a PizzaDash app for the restaurant to track pizza orders.

Our PIZZA release train has three agile teams working on the solutions.

We have scheduled our delivery cadence into 2 program increments, of 3 months each.

Open PI 1 by double clicking on it and you will see a ProgramIncrement record.

In a ProgramIncrement, you can define releases for each solution, create PI Objectives, track team PI status, define iterations, view assigned features, and record scrum-of-scrum notes.

Program Increments are where features are delivered. You can see the list of features planned for a Program Increment on the Features tab.

Program Increments and Features are broken further down into Iterations and Stories respectively. If you look on the Iterations tab, you will see all the iterations planned for PI 1. Iterations usually last 2-4 weeks and agile teams will deliver planned stories during that time.

Double click on Iter 1 to open the first iteration. In the Iteration record, you can specify start and end dates, track team iteration status and view planned stories and tasks.

An iteration is where teams work on stories. You can see all the stories and tasks planned for an Iteration on the Stories and Tasks tab.

Wrapping Up

In this introduction to the HCL Compass EssentialSAFe schema, we showed you an example release train based on Green PIZZA Deliver service. In the next article we will discuss how to create work items and assign them to program increments and iterations.

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