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Jira Align Update and We Need Your Help!

Back in April of this year, we were so lucky to have the AgileCraft team join Atlassian as Jira Align.

Change can be tough…

Hi! I'm RJ and one of the newest members to the Atlassian team, with focus on Jira Align and Atlassian's larger Agile at Scale solution! I’m passionate about understanding the struggles and challenges you face when attempting to expand your agile practices across the organization. You adopted agile practices for a reason, and expanding those practices across the organization can lead to a reverse in velocity.

I moved across the country from Boston to San Francisco to join this incredible team and just attained my SPC Certification! If you have an upcoming PI Planning event, I’d love to attend!

…but change can also be powerful.

In the rearview mirror

Here are only a few of the awesome items the teams have worked on since officially joining Atlassian in April. For a full list of our release notes, including defect fixes and other enhancements, visit the public release notes.

  • Rebranding: We rethemed and rebranded much of the platform inline with the larger Atlassian portfolio. We heard your feedback and we’re glad you love it!

  • Connecting work to strategy: Provided the ability to push details from the "Why Panel" into Jira epics, allowing strategy to be visible where the work is done.

  • Improvements to Ideas: Email notifications for users that subscribe to ideas, improved filters to explore ideas better, and better organization of new vs open statuses for ideas. Clickable links now in ideation emails, helps navigate to the idea faster.

  • Program Board Dependency Enhancements: Support for cross-program dependencies (including cross portfolio and different PI cadences).

  • Better Kanban Support: If you’re not using Scrum, you’re probably using Kanban, so we strengthened our support of Kanban throughout the product! Adding support for: the Team room, team metrics, key work items like stories and dependencies, and key features such as backlogs and roadmaps.

  • Roadmap Grouping: You can now group roadmap items by multiple different fields, whichever gives you the best view to report on.

  • Performance Improvements in Multiple Areas: The unassigned section of the program board is faster. User import file upload time is faster. Improvement on story backlog loading for unassigned items and overall significant improvement in backlog page load times. Faster searches in the test suite. Improved performance on the work item slide-outs, import processing times, and optimized Jira Connector API calls.

  • Usability Improvements in Multiple Areas: Import/Export user field improvements. Additional filters to the Epic Backlog page. Additional filters across the board. Field consistency across work items and pages. Search for Predecessors/Successors by additional fields. Added warning messages to work items that would be configured incorrectly if saved, to keep your instance healthy. Turn on/off team logos on the program board. Better Azure DevOps configuration UI. Status/Financial view headers remain in place when scrolling!

  • WSJF (Waited Shorted Job First) Estimation Help: We added a board with columns to help you estimate your epics based on WSJF calculations.

It's only been 4 months and that's a subset of what's been done so far! Not to mention joining the Atlassian team along the way. What you also don't see above are all of the defect fixes that go out with every release, in order to help improve the stability and experience of the product.

Looking down the road

We're excited to be focused on strengthening our platform, addressing impactful enhancements to existing functionality, all while balancing new areas of innovation and potential for the future.

One of those major work priorities is ensuring the reliability and integrity of the platform. Atlassian has a culture built around you! Ensuring you have an excellent experience and the product performs at the scale you need is always a top priority for us. We're taking a bit of extra time now to lay that foundation to help you scale into the future.

I can't give away all of the spoilers here, but if you're interested in learning more (or even beta testing upcoming pieces) let me know! We’re always looking for people to preview new features and give us feedback on our direction.

On a separate note, we’ve heard a lot of interest in the market about these following areas. Tell us if you have experience implementing any of them at your organization:

  • Objective Key Results (OKRs)

  • Lean Portfolio Management (LPM)

  • Solution level SAFe

  • Analytics & BI

  • API Access & Custom Integrations

Paving the road with you

We need you! I'm interested in better understanding the challenges and pains you experience daily when it comes to scaling the agile practices within your organization. The only way we can build the best solution to help your scale is with your feedback. We need to continuously understand the challenges you face.

Please reach out to me here if:

  • You want to influence the vision and direction of our solution

  • You can spare 30-45 minutes of your time for a phone call

  • You are an RTE, Agile Coach, Agile PMO Leader, Product Portfolio Manager, Engineering Leader, Manager of Scrum Masters, or anyone who is championing, or wants to champion, better/faster/predictable software delivery in your organization

  • (Optional) Have used either Jira Align or Portfolio for Jira

If you'd like to jump on a call, please fill out this Google Form: 


Hi RJ,

How are you liking the West Coast, I'm still back in the Boston area. I'd love to reach out to you and set up a call to learn more about Jira Align's offering. What's the best way to get in touch with you?



Phil Heijkoop

Like RJ Gazarek likes this
RJ Gazarek Atlassian Team Sep 16, 2019

Hi @Philip Heijkoop _ALM Works_  !  

If you'd like to talk to one of our team members about Jira Align itself and get a demo I can get you added into our system and lined up for a call!  

Sorry for the late response (was out sick last week)! By the way, I'm loving the west coast :) Coming from the Boston and DC areas, the climate is definitely a lot more "stable" and consistent in San Francisco, which is really nice!  Not to mention just about any type of food you can imagine is within walking distance.

Like Dianna DeMotto likes this

I'm only a little envious of the weather @RJ Gazarek ;-)

I got to see a sneak peek at the Vienna Atlassian Open last week, but I'd love to see some more. What do you need from me to set this up?

RJ Gazarek Atlassian Team Sep 16, 2019

@Philip Heijkoop _ALM Works_  if you can drop your email address in the form I linked above at the end of the post - I can get your information over to connect with the right people.

For two weeks now I have request a propose on Jira Align and no one has contacted my via phone or email. We want to purchase it. Anyone have a contact at Atlassian?

Like Caylin Dadeo likes this
RJ Gazarek Atlassian Team Jan 10, 2020

Hi @Dianna DeMotto !  Let me pass your email on to the right people, and see if we can get someone to reach out to you as soon as possible.  Thank you for your patience :) 

Like Emily Koch likes this


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