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Bimodal functionality: Supporting agile and waterfall

Bimodal development refers to the existence of both agile and waterfall development processes in the same organization.

Organizations can benefit from using bimodal in the following way:

  • Agile transformations go “at risk” when parts of the organization that are not ready to transition are forced to do so prematurely. Organizations need to plan an orderly transition by allowing both methodologies to coexist for a period of time.
  • Specific projects may require high predictability and be more suited for waterfall style planning.
  • Impediments to rapid agile adoption can be avoided by allowing portions of the organization that are slow to transition to “watch and learn” from early adopters.

Jira Align allows organizations to integrate both waterfall and agile methodologies into a single platform and includes the following capabilities:

  • Scorecards and project intake process allowing organizations that score and rank projects in their portfolio to execute their strategic planning process.
  • Capacity and resource planning modules allowing PMOs and project managers to simultaneously model resource allocations across both waterfall and agile areas of the organization.
  • Forecasting and “What If Analysis” modules allowing you to predict delivery horizons across both waterfall and agile areas of the business.
  • Enterprise-level financial reports allowing you to plan, measure, and report on financial aspects of the software delivery process.
  • Milestone-based planning and tracking allowing you to plan the delivery of software in a commonly understood approach.
  • Project-based dependency model allowing portfolio managers responsible for strategic planning and roadmapping to link high-level projects not just delivery features.

To get an insight into the bimodal functionality in Jira Align, check out the following topics in the Help Center:

Access the Team Room and Associated Reports

Administration Guide

Manage Epics

Manage Features

Create and Manage Success Criteria 

Create External Dependencies 

Create Objectives for a Team or Program

Run a Forecast in Plan Demand View

Status Report (Financial View) 

Status Report (Status View)

Status Report (Epic/Stand-Alone Feature) 

Budgetary Tracking Report

Portfolio Funding Status 


1 comment

Tim Keyes Atlassian Team Jan 13, 2020

Hi Emily,

Great Post.  Questions on this topic come up at least once a quarter.  Here is an additional tip for implementing waterfall teams within the product:

A typical scrum program would create a Program Increment in Jira Align with Anchor sprints for the Program representing the Program's scrum sprint cadence.

To support waterfall teams utilizing a more traditional project management approach a Program Increment can be created with Anchor Sprints representing the toll gates or phases of a Project. A classic Project with a scrum template in Jira would be utilized with sprints having names and dates to match the phases with in Jira Align.

Jira Align also offers customization ability to the names of objects and hierarchy which could allow the platform to match an Enterprises framework.

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