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Is Your Company Ready for Jira Align?

Every firm developing software with multiple teams, let alone aspiring to full business agility, can benefit from Jira Align. The key factors as to whether you benefit from Jira Align are under executive control.

Which factors determine if you’re ready? It all starts at the executive level.

C-Level Leadership - In 6.5 years implementing Jira Align in firms ranging from 10s to 100s of teams, a leadership team with a clear vision for an agile transformation is the top indicator you’re ready. If you want to implement Jira Align and don’t think you are on the path of an agile transformation, then you aren’t ready.

Executive Champion vs Sponsor – An executive champion’s active leadership in a Jira Align implementation and the concurrent agile transformation will significantly improve the odds of success with both. An executive sponsor is not enough.

Understanding Jira Align – Don’t make the mistake of buying Jira Align primarily as a reporting system. Jira Align is a living system, an enterprise agile platform designed for daily collaboration at all levels. The powerful reporting component is a small part, and the least important for real success. The live views are where the greatest value for mindset transformation and value delivery lie.

Active Change Management – Adopting Jira Align requires significant change in organizational thinking and processes. Change on the scale of adopting Jira Align will result in significant discomfort. It both enables and forces change in process and mindset. “No pain. No gain.” The gain is worth it.

Realistic Timeframe Expectations – An initial pilot at the program (team of teams) level can be implemented within 3 months. A full implementation modeling the firm from Enterprise/Strategy to Team levels will take at least 9 - 12 months. Scaling out and coaching everyone on adopting and internalizing the related mindset, processes, and practices will take as long as a typical successful agile at scale transformation – 18 - 36 months. The payoff is worth the investment.

Training and Coaching Commitment and Funding – Investing in Jira Align is as much an investment in changing your firm’s mindset as it is a technical investment. The funding for training and coaching both agile-at-scale/SAFe and Jira Align-specific should be on par with a transformation. “Penny wise, pound foolish” is an anti-pattern I see far too frequently in this area.

Complying With Standards – Jira Align is designed to align organizations; that requires standards at all levels – especially at the team level and Jira.

Technical Expertise - Competent Jira admins are critical (or ADO admins if using ADO). In addition, you need in-house technical expertise to support the configuration and integration into your existing technical ecosystem

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