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Concerns with release quality Edited

Hi Team

We have been in the JA SaaS family for a few months now and have experienced a few releases which is a nice feature of the SaaS platform.

I would like to start a discussion regarding release quality as myself, our team and our organisation have experienced platform changes that have negative impact on UX and our ability to rollout the platform to our broader stakeholder group.

2 recent negative experiences we have encountered between releases are:

  1. Mandatory fields settings:
    In version < 10.64 there was no interface on defining mandatory fields in the Details panels, and we had Themes optional in the creation of a Program Epic with a "Not Applicable". As of release 10.64 we found that the creation process had changed and Themes became mandatory and "Not Applicable" was not available.
    While I understand that this may have been a feature enhancement it introduced a poor UX when our stakeholder found that they could no-longer create Epics and needed to set a Theme
    The solution to resolve this, which was not clear, was to reconfigure JA through the new feature in the Admin interface Details Panels Settings
  2. Being able to add Multi Program teams to a Program Epic:
    Prior to 10.65 and 10.65 in our test env this feature was enabled by default, as far as we can see, in our production environment as of release 10.65 we needed to activate this feature in the Admin master toggle. It was not just a simple find it in the list of toggles we needed to use the hex feature code to activate in the menu.
    From my observations we had what appeared to be a standard feature activated in production for multiple releases and as of 10.65 this feature was hidden away and needed to be "reactivated"

 

 Both these experiences have had negative impact on our plans and rollout of JA I like to open a discussion on release quality and planning so that we can improve the overall UX of JA

 

I appreciate and empathise on the complexity of JA though I need to ensure stable feature access as we progress through releases

 

Thanks for your support
Darren

FYI

@Kyle Byrd   and  @Caz Gottlieb 

3 comments

Hi @Darren_Williams_4,

Unexplained changes to a system are definitely a concern. That being said, these concerns seem less related to quality than to your configuration.

All release updates (including for the test instance, if you have one) are located in https://agilecrafthelp.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/categories/204169248-What-s-New-. I've found the updates to be very comprehensive. One of the benefits of the Enterprise version of Jira Align is the inclusion of a test instance which is always one release version ahead of production. This allows organizations to see the upcoming changes to production two weeks in advance.

With respect to #1:

  • I just checked several instances I have access to and Theme can still be set as required or optional on the portfolio epic.
  • The Page Configuration (turning on and off fields on each work object) was  on the Details tab for each object. It is a Super Admin-only function, unless you configured a role to allow visibility.
    • I don't understand what you  mean by "In version < 10.64 there was no interface on defining mandatory fields in the Details panels."
      • Can you please clarify what you mean? I'm wondering what I'm missing.
  • It was moved from the detail page to the Admin portal (Details Panels Settings) in v10.62.

With respect to #2 (Super Admin functionality):

  • I had the same issue with the Multi-Program (Portfolio) Epic setting and submitted a ticket on it.
  • I didn't have an issue where it was on and was turned off, just that it wasn't available in the MasterToggle Drop down to turn on.
    • If it was on and switched to off, it is definitely an issue.
  • This is typically initial configuration-only during installation functionality, so I understand why Jira Align requires the use of Hex Codes from a limited-visibility document.
  • Thant being said, it can still be a pain, but it is not a quality issue (in my opinion).

I'll let the Atlassian Team members provide any other thoughts. @Tim Keyes 

Regards,
Peter

Like Darren_Williams_4 likes this
Tim Keyes Atlassian Team Mar 02, 2020

Hi @Peter Jessen and @Darren_Williams_4 

Thank you for the insights!

We attempt to include all upcoming changes in our Test Release notes which are released two weeks prior to a Production Release with a goal of giving our customers time to prepare for any changes.

I would agree that we occasionally fail to mention or properly describe new functionality.  Please continue to let us know when any new functionality is not described thoroughly or missing so we can make the necessary changes to our documentation and refine our processes to ensure all updates are included moving forward.

Since our acquisition and joining the Atlassian team we have hired two designers who are doing awesome work.  We are going continue to refine the product and make changes to enhance the usability of product as we expand to new enterprises.  We will work on effectively communicating changes as we continue forward!

Cheers!
Tim

Like Darren_Williams_4 likes this

@Peter Jessen Thank you for your insights and observations on config. We have activated a review of our configs. During this process,  one nice enhancement for JIRA Align would be a config export and import option. This would assist with, test, pre-prod, prod system changes and allow for reapplying configs in test when required and generally keeping configs in sync

Like Peter Jessen likes this
Peter Jessen Community Leader Mar 25, 2020

@Darren_Williams_4- I'd love to see that as well in a future enhancement!

We are going through fine tuning of our configuration in Jira Align. Once again we have noticed Configuration setting have changed 

  • Platform Terminology
    • Customize Pyramid Display

In version < 10.67 there was a toggle to "Link Theme to:" but in the latest version it has been removed. 

Our JA users/teams are linking the Themes to Strategies "Long Term Goals" currently. When the Release v10.67 will be pushed Production, this ability will not be available. This will have impact to current users as well as the work structure that has been setup.

We require urgent feedback before this gets released to production.

Thanks

Shyeanee

Hi @Shyeanee Singh,

I've seen the same issue in client instances.

I was preparing for a Jira Align Portfolio Workshop with a client when v10.67 hit test. It was a bit of a shock because the change was not originally included in the release notes.

The release notes and help article have since been updated to include the new Strategy Room - https://agilecrafthelp.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360045179493-10X-Strategy-Room

Unfortunately, the new Strategy Room article (and the related in-line Help Page for the Platform Terminology admin page) fails to mention the major change you mention to the Tree - the removal of the "Link To" functionality. We did raise this with Jira Align Support.

@Tim Keyesor @Shawn Kessler - Any updates or insights into the removed "Link To" functionality?

We are investigating--will report back

Like Peter Jessen likes this
Tim Keyes Atlassian Team Mar 26, 2020

G'day @Shyeanee Singh and @Peter Jessen ,

Thank you for the feedback.  I have verified that toggle is missing between the 10.66 and 10.67 releases.  I am checking with our Product team for their guidance and will provide an update once available.

Cheers!
Tim

Like Peter Jessen likes this
Peter Jessen Community Leader Mar 26, 2020

Thanks, @Shawn Kessler and @Tim Keyes. I knew you guys would be on it.

Tim Keyes Atlassian Team Mar 26, 2020

Hi @Shyeanee Singh and @Peter Jessen

Thank you for your continual patience.  We received some initial guidance from our Product team and will be able to follow-up with additional information as available (hopefully before tomorrow night's 10.67 release).

We will not be adding the link back with the 10.67 production release but are currently investigating alternative methods to maintain a high level of user experience and limited impacts to existing structures within the product.

Please let us know if you have any pressing questions or concerns at this time and we can share them internally.

Cheers!
Tim

Peter Jessen Community Leader Mar 26, 2020

@Tim Keyes- It looks like we can:

  1. rename Monthly Goals to Long-Term Goals in Administration -> Platform Terminology, and
  2. turn off Long-Term Goals, Strategies, and Quarterly Goals.
  3. Giving us Themes Linked to Long-Term Goals (renamed Monthly Goals)

Assuming a client isn't using any of the three levels above the original Monthly Goals, and there isn't specific functionality only linked to default Long-Term Goals, then taking steps 1 and 2 above would give us what we had before the link was taken away.

The problem is, Monthly Goals as a default for Themes simply makes no sense from a SAFe or any other planning perspective.

In my opinion, this looks like a change that wasn't thought through based on the existing documentation. Hopefully this change will be clarified with better documentation before it goes live tomorrow night.

Maybe this is all tied to some sort of big reveal on the new OKR focus in the Strategy Room? The timing, only one week before the Remote Summit, seems to tease at it.... Can't wait to learn more!

Regards,
Peter

Tim Keyes Atlassian Team Mar 27, 2020

Hi Peter,


Thank you for the recommendations, feedback and guidance.  We are currently working on an official community post to go out before tonight's release.  

More to come on OKRs and Strategy!

Cheers!
Tim

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Peter Jessen Community Leader Mar 27, 2020

Thanks Tm!

Tim Keyes Atlassian Team Mar 30, 2020

Hi @Peter Jessen and @Shyeanee Singh the current source of truth for information tied to new functionality with the 10.67 release will be the 10.67 release notes found here: https://agilecrafthelp.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360044987373-Release-Notes-for-10-67-Production-Instances-

We are also working on a stand alone community article that will cover some of the new functionality.

Cheers!
Tim

Like Peter Jessen likes this
Tim Keyes Atlassian Team Mar 31, 2020

Hi @Peter Jessen and @Shyeanee Singh ,

We have posted a community article on the new functionality tied to the Strategy Layer here:

https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Jira-Align-articles/Building-strategy-with-the-new-Strategy-Room/ba-p/1336836

Please check out the article and comment on it as needed.

Cheers!
Tim 

Hi @Tim Keyes 

We have once again noticed that Configuration setting have changed. This is impacting customer experience and should be managed.

Jira Align Roles
Objective Tree (Labs)
In version < 10.67 - Objective Tree (Labs) was turned on and JA users were actively using Objective Tree.

Post Version 10.67.0 deployed on March 28 2020 - JA users reported they could not see Objective Tree.

Objective Tree (Labs) is turned off for all users and had to be enabled again.

We need to ensure that any deployment to Production does not impact current users.

Thanks
Shyeanee

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Tim Keyes Atlassian Team Mar 31, 2020

Hi @Shyeanee Singh ,

Thank you for sharing.  I will pass this feedback onto our Product team and we apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.  

Cheers!
Tim

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