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A Project Manager Guide to Jira Align - Part 1

Project Manager roles and responsibilities expand and adapt for many organizations that are transforming to Agile@Scale. The question of “what is the role of a Project Manager in an Agile transformation” has been debated for many years, and the reality is nearly all of the Agile@Scale frameworks don’t define the role of a Project Manager. As organizations change and adapt, many Project Managers take on the Scrum Master, Release Train Engineer and other agile roles. The reality is we often see the Project Manager is still an essential position in large enterprises and Jira Align can help them with many of their day to day duties.

The PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) Guide - 4th Edition states that a Project Manager may be responsible for successful implementation of a project through the five stages/processes of a project lifecycle: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing the project.


As a project manager of an agile project, they manage project financials (BUDGET), project status reports (SCHEDULE), change management (SCOPE), governance (QUALITY and RISKS), role identification (RESOURCES/PEOPLE/TEAMS) and business communication to the executives, business owners and stakeholders. They coordinate and collaborate with Product Manager, Product Owners on the value delivery and with Scrum Masters on team sprints, objectives, risks and what the team is committing to each sprint.

In this series of articles, we’ll look at some different areas of Jira Align and how it can assist with the Project Manager responsibilities and reporting.

As a reformed waterfall Project Manager myself, one of the most common reports I was responsible for was the Red, Amber, Green (RAG) project status reports. This subjective look at a project status was a very common type of report for the executives, business owners and stake holders. One of my favorite pages in Jira Align is the Roadmaps and the ability to set the Status of Features and Portfolio Epics.

Screen Shot 2021-05-06 at 10.54.52 AM.png

When you right click on a specific bar, you have the ability to set each work item with the status. By default, every item is set to On Track (Green). One of the nice things is that you have more than a Red, Amber, Green selection.

Screen Shot 2021-05-06 at 10.57.21 AM.png

One thing you must do is Sync the changes, which includes changing the HEALTH status. Otherwise the system will not keep the changed health statuses that you updated.

Screen Shot 2021-05-06 at 10.53.37 AM.png

The Sync Roadmap changes screens show all the items that were changed and to apply those changes, you must hit the SYNC button. A word of caution, when you right click to make Health changes, sometimes you may drag both the target start and completion dates on this page and we don’t necessarily want to update those for this SYNC.

Screen Shot 2021-05-06 at 10.54.36 AM.png

Now that you have updated the Health status on all of the work items for a specific program and program increment, there are two additional steps I recommend. As we know, the Health status changes over time and many project managers may update and report on status after each sprint is completed (every 2 weeks) or possibly even monthly. As the updates are made you can create a detached instance to keep the history of those changes.

Screen Shot 2021-05-06 at 11.04.52 AM.png

As many Project Managers know, we often provide those updates to our executives and stakeholders via a presentation. Ideally, I recommend showing the Roadmap directly from Jira Align so that we can dive into details and other information. However, many of those presentations are delivered through a Confluence page or PowerPoint and we can obviously screen print the Roadmaps page or you can export the page to a PNG file.

Screen Shot 2021-05-06 at 11.09.12 AM.png

The Roadmaps page has so much functionality and is really a great page for Project Managers. In a future article we will dive into other configuration options, group-by functionality, displayed fields and briefings to name a few.

Want to know more?  Check out A Project Manager Guide to Jira Align - Part Deux (2)


Hi @Tom O_Connor , thank you and your team for the insights into Jira Align and ways how to do e.g. RAG reporting. 

At the end of the article, I directly wanted to jump to the second part, but the link is broken as it contains some wrong characters at the end. Maybe you can correct that? :) 

Like # people like this

Doesnt work if you have projects which span multiple spaces 

We've fixed the 2nd link, thanks to @Lyuben Yurukov for sharing the correct URL! 

Like # people like this
Tom O_Connor Atlassian Team May 19, 2021

Thanks for pointing out the broken link.  Somehow an errant character did get inserted into the link.  This has been fixed! 

Like # people like this
Tom O_Connor Atlassian Team May 19, 2021

@Peter Davies I'd like to better understand your comment.  There are limitations to the roadmap and trying to pull in too much info into the page can be problematic.  Keeping it simple is a good approach through the tier 1 filters or using the page filter. 

What do you mean by "multiple spaces"?  

Also, there is a limitation on viewing a single portfolio at a time.  

Screen Shot 2021-05-19 at 10.04.33 AM.png


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