How can we manage features that extend past a single PI?

We are looking for a suitable solution to visualize and manage enhancement and operational type work that is not necessarily planned into a single PI; it happens more fluidly.  Our thought is, we have a single feature open to capture all enhancement work for a given year but Align only allows a single PI to be attached to a Feature.

Currently, we have created Features for each monthly release, as well as  feature for each quarter but this is creating a lot of "overhead" and enhancements are worked based on capacity so they are not necessarily planned in a PI.

My thought is, we create a single feature to capture any and all enhancement stories that are worked by our teams.  The teams attach the proper fix version when the story is ready to release, but all the stories roll up to a single Feature for visibility all the way up into the Portfolio in Align.

Questions:

  • I know this is not ideal to extend features beyond a single PI but are there any inherent risks associated with starting in 22.1, then rolling it to 22.2, and 22.3 and so on?
  • How is reporting affected if a feature rolls to a new PI?  Do we lose historic data from the previous PI?
  • Are there alternative options that I am not aware of that work better for tracking smaller chunks of work like enhancements and operational support?  How are other people tracking single-story work that is not related to a higher-level portfolio?

Input is appreciated, thank you!!!

3 answers

I would suggest to create 1 feature intially and assign it to the first PI.
When closing the PI and starting the next PI, you can split the feature so that part 1 will stay in your past PI and part 2 will be in your next PI. The stories not completed will automatically move then new PI. 

Advantage is that you always have a record of the work done per PI and only your future work is in the new feature.

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Rich Sparks
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Apr 15, 2022

To add to what Samit said, there aren't any inherent risks in moving a feature from one PI to the next and the next and the next. However, this will affect the program teams metrics and will show in the Scope Change report. 

Any Lean organization will be interested in figuring out how to improve the delivery process, and tracking metrics helps with that. You don't want to move all your features from one PI to the next and the next, because that implies you don't finish your features. But if you have a small number that you use for these buckets of work, you can account for that when reviewing your scope change information.

I have worked with other organizations where they do want to track how much operational and enhancement work they're doing from quarter to quarter, and in that case, they create a new feature for each PI and attach the stories to that new feature. Then they can easily see in Jira Align how much work they're doing in certain areas over time. To them, it is worth the extra overhead of creating a feature for each PI. But for you, it may not be worth it.

0 votes
Samit Mehta _321 Gang_
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Apr 11, 2022 • edited

Hello @Jayme Burkhalter 

It doesn't seem that you see any benefit in rolling up the enhancement requests and operational work up to Jira Align, and are incurring unnecessary overhead in attempting to do so. Typically, you want to synch the issues (work items) from your team tool that requires to be planned for completion in PIs or Iterations. 

If the enhancement and operation work is not something that needs that level of planning, then I would create separate issue types (work item types) for this work and not synchronize this work with Jira Align. You can set aside capacity to do this work by Program and by Team, and make sure you deduct that capacity from what you would plan other work that is rolled up in Jira Align - the strategic work.

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