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The Atlassian Community can help you and your team get more value out of Atlassian products and practices.
In a previous community post, "Jira Align - Help Onboarding Success in setting Edit Preferences" I shared some key preferences that each Jira Align user should consider setting to help improve the user experience. Although ideally these might be helpful settings to configure standard for all users out of the box, the current version of Jira Align requires each user to determine and manually set.
Beyond the "Edit Preferences" area under the User Menu, I'd like to share a few other areas to consider. These can help improve the learning curve and overall user experience for Jira Align users.
1. Backlog and Grids provide a tabular "spreadsheet-like" experience to view the work lists, but frequently users do not realize that they can add or adjust "Columns Shown" to help better understand planning. If we pick the Feature level Backlog view for example, the user can add columns like Story Points, Points, Story Count, Program Rank, and Dependencies. This can vary by user tastes, but as long as the user is feeling overwhelmed with content then having the additional columns can improve the refinement and tracking experience.
For the suggested example provided below, I've included:
2. Program Board offers an "Extra Config" option to show Unassigned Features that out of the box defaults to "off". Activating will add a row at the bottom of the Program Board which includes Features that have no children Stories, but are assigned to the Program and Program Increment that likely will need planning and commitment.
Although eventually once a child Story is assigned to a Team for the Feature, some users prefer to plan ahead of that decomposition by first slotting the Feature to a Team and even potentially a target Sprint. (Note that the delivery Team should still ultimately be the folks that plan the work to the point of making a commitment for meeting the target timeframe.)
3. Program Board and Program Room leverage team icons to help the user experience. Far too often users neglect to set these, but they be a fun opportunity to build team spirit by adopting an icon and more importantly, help quickly distinguish teams.
You can assign a Team logo from the Team grid or even Program Board or Program Room. Once open, just click the image on the left with the left mouse button to select the image file desired. Rather than waiting on the users, consider potentially just seeding logos for each team to help jumpstart the process as they can always easily modify the image later.
4. Program Room can feel overwhelming right from the start, but with some thought around widget placement the learning experience can be improved. I recommend placing the "Progress" widget in the upper left, with the "Program Load" widget immediately below. Then add the "Team Load" and "Team Progress" widgets after that.
On the right side, start with "Release Vehicles (Fix Versions)" and then follow with "Dependencies", "Objectives", and "Risks". Although the page is designed to let the user decide, starting out with these provides a better path typically than what is given out of the box.
5. Program Room unfortunately does not include 2 important columns in the bottom middle grid. Adding the "Status" column for Features and "State" column for Stories will usually help the understanding of progress shown in the list view.
In earlier days of standard in-person training sessions, this type of information seemed to be more easily absorbed across the user base. However, as the world has shifted more remote and depth of focus in learning can seem to lag more, consider some more creative ways to help advance things.
Are there any other settings in JA that you've found helpful to advise users to set for improved user experience?
Enterprise Solution Architect
1 accepted answer