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With the launch of Advanced Roadmaps for Jira Software Cloud Premium you're now able to plan across teams smarter and provide visibility to stakeholders (more info here). The new powerful features enable more advanced capacity planning, dependency management, release tracking and more. With the introduction of this new interface we wanted to share 5 tips that will help set you up for success with Advanced roadmaps.
We also have quick video tips for getting started here.
1. Setting up additional levels of hierarchy
Advanced roadmaps comes with the ability to create new hierarchy levels above Jira Software epics. They're very useful for consolidating work across projects/teams that drive towards higher level organisation Initiatives.
To set this up there are 3 steps:
Create a new Issue type for this new hierarchy level
Create a project to store issues at this level, ensure it uses this new issue type.
Configure the Advanced roadmaps settings to add a new level of hierarchy, and associate it to your new issue type.
When you create a plan make sure you select the Initiative board/project as one of the issue sources.
2. Use team boards as your issue sources
Advanced roadmaps can be flexible in how you want to source issues into a plan. You can select a project, a board or a Jira JQL filter to source issues to your plan. However, what may not be immediately clear is that some options are more constrained than others and may limit functionality. For this reason we recommend using Boards as the issue source, particularly if your needs from the tool revolve around Capacity planning.
It's best to ensure a board captures all the work relating to a specific team. This is simple to achieve in the case your team relates directly to a single project. In other circumstances where you have a teams that works from a shared project, or a team that works across multiple projects - we encourage defining a filter for that specific team and then creating a board from that filter.
To achieve this, you may define a specific variable (label / custom field) to associate the issues to the team. Alternatively, you could use the 'Team' field that comes with Advanced roadmaps as that variable.
3. Defining Teams for Advanced roadmaps.
Teams is a feature that comes with Advanced roadmaps. A team stores the the team type (kanban/scrum), team velocity, iteration length (for scrum team sprints), associated issue source (connects sprint data when associating a board) and the team members. There are 2 types of teams: Private and Shared.
Private teams are defined within a plan and cannot be used outside of the plan (though they can be visible on issues if you add the field to the screen).
Shared teams can be used across different plans, and can also be assigned to issues from Jira. Private teams can be converted into a Shared team from within a plan, or a shared team can be created from the "Manage shared teams" page so long as they have permission for it.
When you create a plan, a new private team will be automatically defined for each issue source you select. If you've already established shared teams for your issue sources then you can delete the auto-generated ones. Additionally, you should remove the team that may be created for the "Initiative" issue source, as those issues don't really belong to a team.
After you create your plan, in the Team tab you can add shared teams into the plan or create new private teams. Importantly, ensure the teams also associated to their issue respective source. This is how Advanced Roadmaps is able to associate which sprints are associated with which team - needed for the Capacity planning functionality.
4. Adding Advanced Roadmap fields to Jira views
Parent link and Team are new additional fields that Advanced Roadmaps adds to your instance. These fields provide visibility of who is working on it and what high-level initiative the issues are contributing to. This is important context that provides insight to all users, not just plan users.
We therefore recommend updating your Jira screens to include these fields as they are not visible on issues by default. Jira admins can do this by configuring the relevant screens and simply adding Team and Parent link to the form.
These fields can be displayed on issue cards, surfaced in issue search table or used in JQL queries. When looking at new levels of hierarchy (i.e Initiatives) you’ll also be able to see all child issues associated to it.
5. Where is my issue
Lastly is just some advice around the nuances of how data is handled by Advanced Roadmaps.
When you create a plan, there's a step to include releases. It's important to select all releases you want to include in the plan. Excluding a release will also exclude all issues assigned to that release. (Issues without a release or new releases created in the future will automatically be included in the plan).
In order to keep plans hygienic, we have a default setting so that issues completed 30 days ago will automatically be hidden. This keeps plan data relevant, reduces mess and prevents performance issues due to increasing issue count.
Note: The data this looks at is the 'Resolved' date (associated to issues via workflow transition to 'Done' categories). It's possible remove or not include this post-function when creating a new workflow which can result in 'done' issues not appearing. We recommend ensuring 'Resolved' is used in your instance.
When you create issues in the Plan view, you may notice it doesn't immediately get an issue key. it also won't be created in Jira at that point. This is because Portfolio uses a 'Sandbox' data model. As issues are updated in Jira, those updates are visible in the plan. However any updates you make in the plan won't update Jira until you decide. So you can 'play' with your plan as you figure out the most effective path of delivery, without concerns of messing around with the team's issues. When you're ready to commit to the plan or particular changes, you can save them from the Review changes modal.
I hope these 5 tips will help you get up and running with Advanced roadmaps. We're very excited to be able to bring this new value to you. We'll working hard to continue to improve the product experience so please let us know how it goes for you via the Give feedback button in the tool. Happy planning!