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Fixed date milestones are now milestones (and they're still not objectives)

Hiya, everyone! Jake here, and I am stoked to announce the launch of milestones in Jira Align! Milestones mark our first big … milestone in elevating our roadmap to allow users to more effectively plan, track progress, and tell a compelling story across an entire organization. Milestones are critical because they allow users to add, update, and track important moments of their work, and to distinguish different phases of their work.

With milestones, we bid farewell to the days when Jira Align work items exclusively represent software development work. Instead, we are embracing a new era where work represents the true start and end of the entire lifecycle, from initial product discovery to final launches.

What is happening?

In 10.133.1, we are …

  • launching milestones (formerly known as fixed date milestones) at the theme, epic, capability and feature levels;
  • removing the existing time/skills tab, in addition to all skills functionality in Jira Align;
  • migrating fixed date milestone data to the new milestones tab;
  • updating the roadmap and the status report to accommodate these changes;
  • changing the name of objective milestones to now be called objectives;
  • changing the name of the milestones objective type to now be called event;

In future releases, we will ... 

  • launch new APIs that allow users to update milestones at the theme, epic, capability, and feature levels;
  • launch Enterprise Insights enhancements that accommodate these changes at the theme, epic, capability, and feature levels. Please note that there will be no interruption to your existing fixed date milestone data.
  • replace the existing milestone API. The existing API allows users to update objectives. This no longer makes sense with our new naming conventions. Users will still be able to update their objectives through the objective API. This removal will have an official announcement that is coming soon.

What are milestones?

Screenshot 2024-05-15 at 9.36.49 AM.png

Milestones are replacing fixed date milestones. A milestone is a task, phase, or event within a single work item. This is different from an objective. An objective is a high-level outcome that work items aim to achieve. This is also different from a child work item, that represents work connected to the higher level work. Check the below diagram for a visual representation of the differences:

Screenshot 2024-05-17 at 12.32.47 PM.png

Milestones allow users to add, update, and track critical moments of their work, and to distinguish different phases of their work. Users can describe their milestones through the name, description, and category fields. They can manage their milestones through a start date, due date, and state.

The category field will contain default values aligned with the double diamond design process: discover, define, design, and deliver. Notably, we are excluding develop from the default phases, mainly because development work is typically managed through child work items instead of milestones. However, category values are customizable in the platform dropdown settings, and administrators are free to change them to whatever project phases or critical moments that are important to their organization.

Why does this matter?

We are on a journey to help organizations manage time more effectively than ever before. When we launch major roadmap enhancements in the future, we want our customers to already have the building blocks in place to represent work items completely. Milestones are a major part of that because all work requires various stakeholders who own different types of work, and who need to represent various critical moments. And this is not just true at the epic level – it’s true for all work item levels above stories.

This milestone launch also addresses seven suggestions and closes two bugs, a major win for us as we continuously review and engage with you on what we should be focusing on and fixing.

What's next?

We are staying hyper focused on time management. In the upcoming quarters, we will launch a new time tab in work item details panels that will help you manage time and fix inaccurate data more effectively than ever before. We will do this by showcasing warnings when there are misalignments across work item levels, objectives, and milestones, and offer suggestions of start and due dates. Through warnings and suggestions, you will truly start feeling the benefit of having all of your data in Jira Align, and how it can come together to make a plan that everyone is aligned to.

There will be more to come on this enhancement over the next couple of months. In the meantime, if you have any questions, thoughts, or feedback, please feel free to reach out, or to connect with your rep directly!


Liza Merriman May 21, 2024

This is exciting progress! Is there any plan to get milestones added to the Planning Boards? Having them lumped under objectives makes it hard to read. Thanks!

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Jake Comito
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
May 28, 2024

Thanks, @Liza Merriman ! We're excited about this, too. As of right now, we don't have immediate plans to expand milestones' representation on the program board, but we do plan to expand their representation on the roadmap [beyond the stars that we have today]. We don't have timing or anything more to share just yet, but it is surely a goal! 


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