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How do we showcase stories that are released when releases are managed at the feature level?

When releases are managed at the feature level and require several sprints to complete, we can't close them in Jira, so it looks like we're delinquent on our releases even though the stories were completed. Any suggestions or workarounds?

2 answers

2 accepted

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Answer accepted
Tina Behers Community Leader Oct 29, 2021

@Rhonda Carlson

The resolution to this problem is dependent upon how your Jira Instances are configured.  

Fix Versions (Releases in JA) are project specific in Jira.  From the thread above it sounds as though you are using a "standard" Jira practice for projects rather than Jira at scale best practices described in several articles on this site.  Which means you have this: 

{Project A} 

 Contains Jira Epics and Stories 

Fix Version gets put on Story when released at each sprint - accumulates until all stories are released at which time the Epics applied a (final) Fix Version. 

In Jira Align this practice results in: No progress being reported on the Release Vehicle report until the feature is "released" and progress only being visible though the darker shading on the Feature level roadmaps. 

 When using at scale practices where Epics will span over multiple sprints AND you are doing monthly releases, companies will experience the problem you've described.  So good news, you are not alone! Better news- There is a relatively simple way to solve this using the scenario below: 


{Project A} 

 Contains Jira Epics ONLY

When all child stories are released the Epics applied a (final) Fix Version. 

- Fix Versions are created for the Quarterly Release (End of PI or PI Completion if you are reserving time each PI for Innovation and Planning) and Flow in to Jira Align

-Fix Version gets put on Epic when all stories are released.

{Project B} 

 Contains Stories, subtasks, custom issue types and bugs.   

 - All Stories and Custom issue types are linked to an Epic in Project A

- All Team members in Project B have view access (minimally) or edit access (to link the story) to Project A {note- access levels will depend on how the roles are created within these projects in Jira]

-Fix Versions get created for each monthly/weekly (as appropriate) 

-Fix Version gets put on Story when released at each sprint.

-Monthly Releases can be closed at the end of the last in month sprint for the release. 

In Jira Align: 

Use the Consolidate Releases Functionality to "Child" the monthly /weekly releases under the Quarterly release 


I hope this helps! Feel free to DM if you have any questions.

Tina Behers 

Aligned Agility

Tina, this is very helpful, thank you!

Tina Behers Community Leader Oct 29, 2021

You are very welcome!

@Tina Behers I had further questions on your Project A and Project B examples. 

If I'm implementing this in an Align Instance with multiple Programs (one Portfolio), does each Program have an Epic-Only Project in Jira or is there one Epic-Only for ALL Projects in the Portfolio? (yes our Programs would be expected to support/share Epics)

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Answer accepted

Hi Rhonda,

Would you please elaborate a little bit on your problem?

Are you continuously releasing stories and are you looking for a way to represent these releases? Or are you looking for a way to report progress on work which is finished?

Thank you!

Thanks for your prompt reply. We're looking for a way to report progress on work that is finished. Due to capacity limitations, we can only complete a portion of the stories assigned to a feature/epic in each sprint, So, we can't close or "release" our monthly releases in Jira until we've completed all the stories in the feature/epic. So, in Jira, our releases are flagged as overdue, since we can't close out the features until all of the stories within a feature are completed. 

Or should we "release" the releases even though the features within the release are not completed--only the portion of the stories we were able to complete?

Hi Rhonda,

If you just want to report on progress - without actually releasing - I suggest to explore the following reports rather then working with Releases:

  • Program Increment Burnups & Burndowns
  • Program Increment Progress

and the Program Room.

Releases in Jira Align are intended to represent actual releases and are mainly used for stakeholder management, especially release related communication & documentation.

If you would release very frequently and would like to represent those releases in Jira with fix versions, we advise exploring to disconnect Jira Align and Jira concerning releases and use those two kinds of releases with different intent:

- releases in Jira: technical release tracking & management on the team level
- releases in Jira Align: business & stakeholder release tracking & management on the teams of teams/ART/program level

Does this information help you?

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