How To Maintain Agility Amid Budgetary Constraints
Over the past year, businesses from every industry have been forced to make tough financial decisions about IT spending. For most organizations, a significant portion (or perhaps even all) of their 2020 budgets were spent equipping teams with the right devices, tools, platforms and security to perform their jobs from home. While these expenses were necessary to navigate the reality of remote work, many organizations will pull back on spending to level out their budget this year.
In 2021, two-thirds of companies report tightening their IT budget as a result of their higher-than-expected spending during the pandemic. Yet, the speed at which companies need to operate and adapt to meet new customer needs (like fully online services and better digital CX) isn’t slowing down. For organizations to not merely survive, but thrive in the new digital world, IT teams today must embrace agility at scale while also managing IT-related costs.
Balancing these competing priorities isn’t easy, but luckily for IT leaders, Atlassian has a suite of tools designed to help teams remain agile and efficient despite budget constraints or an unexpected financial downturn. Alongside the deep expertise of an Atlassian Solutions Partner, such as Contegix, IT teams can receive the support needed to confidently adopt more agile practices—while keeping IT spending lean.
Streamlining Agile Costs
As organizations seek to implement more agile practices, it has become apparent that traditional cost accounting is no longer an adequate approach. This is because traditional budget management focuses spending on individual software projects, rather than funding value streams. The issue with this laser-focused approach is that IT spend is allocated based on project completion, instead of improving overall software delivery. As a result, realizing the potential business benefits of agile practices can be stalled or blocked entirely.
To help organizations adopt “lean” budgets needed to support agile processes across the organization, SAFe: a framework for implementing agile practices at scale, has introduced its Lean Budgets portfolio function. SAFE is one of the most popular ways to implement agile business practices in large organizations—and its Lean Budgets function is a set of tools designed to minimize IT overhead by helping organizations focus spending towards long-term streams of value instead of short, individual projects.
This is achieved through its collaborative platform that enables organizations to allocate budgets using “guardrails:” a set of spending policies, guidelines and practices that tie back to chosen value streams. SAFe’s Lean Budget guardrails eliminate business silos, allowing teams across the organization to be more flexible and autonomous with their spending—while maintaining cohesion across the portfolio.
Bringing Agile to Scale, While Keeping Costs Low
Centralizing the IT budget is a helpful path toward minimizing IT costs, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. In order to adopt agile practices at scale, the actual software planning and releases must also become more collaborative. One cost-effective strategy for IT departments is to adopt a single suite of digital tools that centralizes software planning through a platform.
For example, Jira Software is Atlassian’s agile project management solution—designed to enable agile software development across an organization. When combined with SAFe Lean Budgets, the Jira platform can be a powerful tool to enable teams to plan, track and release software with more speed and efficiency. In fact, Jira offers multiple ways to help organizations implement SAFe more effectively. Using the agile project management features of Jira Software, unlocking increased visibility through Jira Align or building even more comprehensive budgeting with Portfolio for Jira to name a few.
Jira’s workflow customization provides teams with a high level of control over processes, allowing them to move seamlessly from one task to the next while working across multiple projects simultaneously. In addition, reporting and issue management tools enable teams to clearly visualize problems, and quickly resolve bottlenecks and inefficiencies for agility at scale. Meanwhile, Jira Align and Portfolio for Jira can add new capabilities to make it easier to align workflows and IT spending with the overall business strategy.
Realizing Agile Requires a Trusted Partner
SAFe Lean Budgets and Jira Software are a potent combination for increasing software agility, while managing IT costs. But aligning these platforms and unlocking all the benefits of customization, from fine-tuning workflows to adding plugins, is not an insignificant undertaking. To ensure setup is both smooth and efficient, organizations should look to a certified Atlassian Solution Partner to perform the heavy-lifting optimization of a custom Jira and SAFe solution.
Contegix is a Platinum Atlassian Solution Partner with deep expertise that can help organizations get the most from these platforms. Contegix’s team of experts will assess an organization’s unique needs, and configure Jira to increase agile workflow efficiencies while helping them to also keep their IT costs low.
Optimizing Jira and SAFe is a must for teams aiming to introduce agile, but also achieve affordable software practices that build cohesion across business teams. From optimizing budget toolsets to fine-tuning workflows for software teams, Contegix can help you deliver the best of both worlds: faster, more efficient software releases and at lower costs.
Learn more about how Contegix’s experienced team can help your organization achieve agility while managing IT costs.