From Zero to Hero in 2 Years: a fruitful marriage between SAFe and Scrum
NAPA Group is a leading software house providing solutions for ship design and operation with the mission to improve safety and eco-efficiency of the global maritime industry. Headquartered in Finland, NAPA and NAPA for Operations (Onboard-NAPA) have established themselves as the de facto standard for ship design. They are used by shipyards, owners, designers, classification societies, research institutes, authorities, consultancies and universities around the world.
“95% of ships built annually are designed by our customers using NAPA.”
In 2012, with nearly 400 user organizations for design application and 2,000 installations onboard, they found themselves suffering from growth pains stemming from major annual releases, a large volume of projects, variable scope and schedules, and lack of a framework of best practices needed to support their fast-paced expansion and development. In other words, release schedules were slipping, and it was becoming difficult to get software out.
With guidance provided by Scaled Agile Gold Partner, Nitor Delta, NAPA embarked upon a 2-year journey of dramatic organizational change that included a combination of Scrum integrated with a full SAFe implementation that ultimately led to their first Release Planning event in 2014.
The results from their 2-year journey are impressive:
• Transparency increased on all levels
• Delivery cycle time down from >12 months to 3 months
• Increased predictability (2014 92% successful releases)
• Need for patches decreased
• Less defects in main branch
• Good basis for further growth
The NAPA experience is a classic example of how the principles of SAFe and Scrum can work in harmony to produce measurable business results. They have demonstrated that the strategic planning enabled by the Portfolio level in SAFe in no way diminishes the value of Scrum, but in fact illustrates the complementary aspects of both practices.