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Agile Readiness: How Jira Align's Jet Can Help

Where are you in your scaled agile journey?

Jira users understand that agile frameworks help them deliver solutions to customers faster, with more predictability. Many organizations are heavily invested in Jira at the team level to help them remain agile and competitive in today’s market. Companies usually find that implementing agile at the individual team level is relatively easy, with clear-cut benefits and willing resources. But what about extending agile across multiple teams in a large organization--in other words, implementing agile at scale?

Today, businesses need to be able to adapt--at enterprise scale--to stay competitive. This means supporting teams of teams working on a unified front, and inspiring agile ways of working outside of software and IT teams. Scaling agile is a cultural transformation, where people, practices, and tools are committed to improving collaboration and the organization’s ability to execute against its strategy.

Fortunately, Atlassian has a world-class tool in the Jira family for scaling agile, Jira Align. Think your organization is ready for scaling agile with Jira Align? Well, we have a way to help you find out--enter Jet.

 

What is Jet?

Jet is an app, available for free in the Atlassian Marketplace, for examining your team's use of Jira to ensure you're ready to scale your agile practices. Jet analyzes each team’s ability to collaborate and manage work across teams. With Jet, you examine and optimize your boards in Jira to assess agile readiness. With seven prioritized health checks, Jet evaluates the quality of your Jira data--the more health checks that pass, the smoother your integration to scaled agility in Jira Align will be.

 

How can Jet help you scale agile?

Scanning your Jira boards with Jet will help your agile teams and programs prepare for scaled agile by highlighting the areas that need remediation. Following the advice provided by Jet will ensure consistent reporting across teams, to drive outcomes across your organization.

Jet ensures you’re ready to:

  • Tie work being done to the strategic objectives of your organization

  • Highlight which stories are not tied to epics

  • Provide real and accurate visibility into the progress of work

  • See which stories are missing story points, potentially leading to inaccurate progress estimation

  • View which epics are missing versions, making it difficult to assign a release time frame

  • Ensure only one project is assigned to a Jira board, and that a single sprint is tied to one board, making team-level progress easier to measure

 

How should you interpret Jet’s agile-readiness report checks?

The following seven prioritized health checks will evaluate the quality of your data; the more health checks that pass, the smoother your integration to scaled agility in Jira Align will be.
(Note: Health checks #5 and #6 don't apply to Kanban boards)

 

Check #1: Stories should be linked to epics.

Stories with parent epics provide an accurate representation of how your work rolls up into your strategic themes.

TO DO

Make sure you've linked epics in your stories.

DON'T PANIC

Your team practice may involve keeping stories “orphaned” to indicate interrupt-driven work, and that’s OK… you could still be a good fit for Jira Align. If this is the case, bypass the suggested fix and move on to the next check.

 

Check #2: Stories should have estimated story points.

Stories that have story points provide an accurate representation of your progress.

TO DO

Add estimates to your story points fields in your stories.

DON'T PANIC

If your teams do not always set point estimates, especially for emerging work, no worries…you could still be a good fit for Jira Align. If this is the case, bypass the suggested fix and move on to the next check.

 

Check #3: Epics should have an assigned fix version.

Epics should have fix versions to dictate what release the epics will be shipped on. Releases are tied to a project in Jira.

TO DO

Assign a fix version in the "Version" item under a project's settings.

DON'T PANIC

If your teams do not always set fix versions for epics or do so at the story level instead, relax…you could still be a good fit for Jira Align. If this is the case, bypass the suggested fix and move on to the next check.

 

Check #4: There should only be one project assigned to a Jira board.

Multiple projects linked to a single board can make it difficult to measure team-level progress. That board can represent multiple teams and have sprints with overlapping dates.

TO DO

Ensure only one project is tied to a board by navigating to Board Settings, selecting Edit Filter Shares, and removing all but one project. You may also fail this check if there are no projects tied to your board.

 

Check #5: Mark custom fields as optional, not required.

Importance:          

Custom field configuration can affect your ability to integrate with Jira Align, a Scaled Agile tool in the Atlassian suite. If you are only syncing from Jira to Jira Align and you leave any fields as required, they will not be synced. If bi-directionally syncing between Jira Align and Jira, your issue type will fail to sync.

TO DO

Mark any fields other than Description, Reporter, Priority, and Summary from your issue types' custom fields as optional.

 

Check #6: A single sprint should only be tied to one board.

Because one board represents one team, if you have a sprint on multiple boards, it can make be difficult to measure team-level progress.

TO DO

Similar to health check #4, follow the instructions to make sure you only have one project on one board.

If your team is structured in a way that you can't edit Filter Shares, instead select Edit Filter Query and ensure only a single team's sprints are tied to a board.

 

Check #7: Sprints on a board should not have overlapping dates.

Sprints represent a (usually 2-week) planning and execution time box for a single team. Only one sprint should be active at a time.

TO DO

Make sure the start and end dates for your sprints don't overlap.

 

How should you manage “Needs Work” results?

Don’t panic. Remember, the goal of the health checks is to identify areas of improvement in the agile-readiness journey. If a health check returns a “Needs Work” result, look at it as an opportunity to clean up your Jira data--have your Jira admin follow the “To Do” suggestions provided in the results, engage with our Services Team, or work with an Atlassian partner to help get your data in shape. Even if your Jira data needs work, you still may be ready to move forward with Jira Align--click the Explore Jira Align button on the Analysis page of Jet to contact a Jira Align sales representative.

2 comments

Good steps. Going to JIRA Align is a big step and necessary as the organization gets larger and more complex. Connecting the vision to the critical work elements is easy to see when leveraging JIRA with JIRA Align.

Like # people like this
RJ Gazarek Atlassian Team May 26, 2020

Hello community members! If you do download and use Jet, and follow the guidance above, we'd love to hear your feedback!  You can always reach out to me directly at rgazarek@atlassian.com with your feedback. 

Like Shawn Kessler likes this

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