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Can I use only Jira Align across all levels of my business? (Enterprise, Portfolio, Program, and Team/Pod levels). The idea being that I would use only Jira Align, instead of Jira.
Would this come with any constraints or important considerations that need to be kept in mind?
I suppose you could, but it would be fairly uncommon because of the higher license cost in Jira Align vs Jira Software. Additionally, Jira Software supports a richer DevOps pipeline via integration with other tools than Jira Align does.
So the answer is yes you can use Jira Align to serve the use cases for team, program, portfolio and enterprise. Both my team mates provided great considerations on why you might want to primarily use Jira for team level use cases instead.
If you have a small org, then maybe the cost of licenses is a non-issue, in this case, the user experience would be seamless you would not have to worry about integration and maintaining different 2 tools. From user experience perspective, JA is more structured, so teams that enjoy the freedom of Jira's configurability and integrations with marketplace apps will be disappointed in JA.
I do have a customer that uses JA only for their organization but they do not have development teams. Their teams deliver non-development type work. Recently they just merged with another org increasing their size which requires they purchase more licenses. I admit, they are now starting to be selective about who should have a license instead of giving it to everyone. The next challenge is their level of practice maturity and their ability to realize all the value that JA has to offer, which is a A LOT ....Some of their programs are waterfall so they get less value out of JA. The groups that practice Lean portfolio management are fully sold on JA and are doing what it takes to migrate out of spreadsheets.
To add to what Allan said, we don't sell Jira Align as a full stack tool. There hasn't been an investment made at the team level in a while besides bug fixes. Jira is going to be a better option at the team level than Jira Align.
Is there a strong recommendation when adding Features/Stories on where to do this whether in Jira or Jira align as the meta data in Align such as PI, ART/Program etc.
Scenario 1 - Import Feature/TLE's in Jira with stories then once synced to Align, export/import and add fields (PI, Program/ART), etc. or
Scenario 2 - Create Features in Align (click on Jira project to sync for each 1x1 = manual effort) then stories from developers in Jira.
@Anthony Smidl If you are talking about loading a batch of features/stories, either solution works. Scenario 1 may be the better option because only the PI would need to be updated via export/import. It would not be necessary to add the program because that will automatically be set via the connector. The projects are mapped to programs in the connector.
There is no option to add the Jira Project for import so if you went with Scenario 2, you would have to go into each individual feature to add the project.
Moving forward, the most common approach is to manage program-level work in Jira Align and team-level work in Jira on an ongoing basis.