New Case Study: Sony PlayStation Network Stays Top of its Game with SAFe
“I personally believe we have delivered more in the two years we’ve been using SAFe than we did in the four years prior—not in raw code, but in value. Our downtime went down and that saved the company about 30 million over the course of the year. That’s real money and a really positive outcome.”
—Tripp Meister, Director of Technology, PlayStation Network
PlayStation, made by Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), currently leads the gaming console market with more than 150 million users globally.
When millions of gamers eagerly await your product releases, every day matters. For PlayStation Network, delivering a quality product on time requires tight collaboration across more than 1,000 SIE engineering team members.
In meeting its targets, the SIE engineering organization found Waterfall and Agile Scrum fell short in bringing together hundreds of team members cohesively and in addressing the many dependencies across the organization. What’s more, disparate teams were able to plan only one or two iterations in advance.
In early 2014, SIE leadership turned to SAFe to bring greater organization and collaboration to development. The Framework allowed them to bring top-down prioritization, pull disparate groups together into common timeframes, and enabled the group to manage dependencies much better.
Two years into their implementation, SAFe has fundamentally changed the culture of the engineering organization:
- Greater visibility/transparency – Developers have more insight into broader company initiatives and activities
- Better coordination – Now, from Tokyo to San Diego, everyone speaks a common language when it comes to Agile
- More predictability – In an environment with many dependencies, SAFe serves as a dependency management system, improving predictability
- Clearer priorities – With weighted shortest job first (WSJF), SAFe brought a new approach to prioritizing
Since 2014, the company has launched six trains globally, shipped more than 350 production releases, and completed 22 PSIs (potentially shippable increments, now known as Program Increments), over 125 sprints and 250 features.
They also cut initial planning time by 28 percent. Instead of 1550 man-days to plan, it now takes 1125. With new efficiency, PlayStation Network puts a multi-million-dollar value on cost savings.
Many thanks to Tripp Meister, former Director of Technology, PlayStation Network, for sharing PlayStation Network’s SAFe story.