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Why enable the Jira Align Why Button?

One piece of Jira Align you’ve likely seen but may not have given much attention to is that small Why? button located at the top right of each work item. Though small, this little button has the power to dramatically change the direction your organization takes when approaching work. Why, you ask?


The Why? button helps to communicate organizational intent and direction for work in Jira Align. If your team is curious as to why they are doing something or what organizational goals their work is contributing to, simply click on the Why? button and see information like…

  • Parent work items (e.g. Epic and Theme associated with a Feature)

  • Each work items priority, percent complete, and benefit information

  • Weighted Shortest Job First score and supporting data (if used)

  • Success Measures, as populated through the creation of Success Criterial in Jira Align

  • Business Case details, as populated from filling out the Benefits Tab on Epics

Screen Shot 2020-09-08 at 3.51.33 PM.pngNow that’s pretty cool, but the people who really benefit from seeing this information are the team members doing the work and they typically only work out of Jira. What can we do to help them? Well, here’s what’s even cooler! You can send the Why? button details down to Jira for each integrated Feature (Jira Epic). Team members need only go to a Feature in Jira and they will see something like this…


Helping people understand why they are working on something enables them to make better decisions while implementing the work, which is better for everyone! If you’re interested in configuring the Why? button to appear in Jira for your Features, check out the fantastic article written by Tim Keyes titled View the Jira Align “Why” Field in Jira Software.



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