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May I delete Release Trains in JIRA Align?

What are the implications if I delete Release Trains in JIRA Align? We no longer want to do release trains and I want to understand what will happen if we delete our release trains?

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Hi @Oleg Appassov

It sounds like you are asking if you are able to delete ALL release trains (default terminology: Programs) from Jira Align. Is that correct?

Short answer: You render Jira Align inoperable if you want to remove all programs.

  • To do so would eliminate the benefit of even having Jira Align.
    • To do so would remove one of the two central constructs in Jira Align, the other being the Program Increment.
      • Teams are related to program increments through the programs, not directly tied to program increments.
  • You can't create features or portfolio epics without programs/ARTs in Jira Align.
    • The Program/ART is one of the fundamental required fields on a feature and portfolio epic. 
      • It can't be disabled in the Details Panels Settings in Administration.
    • Therefore, you can't tie agile teams directly to any work object above the story, making features, portfolio epics, and themes unusable.

How do you plan on using Jira Align without programs/ARTs?

The central focus of Jira Align is the intersection of the program and the program increment. All other functionality fundamentally builds upon this intersection.

  • Almost all views and reports in Jira Align require a program or programs to be selected in the top filter, as well as one or more Program Increments.
  • The Program Board, Program increment Progress, and Work Tree (all fundamental view in Jira Align) require one or more Program(s) and Program Increments in the top filter in order to resolve properly.
  • And the list goes on.

If you wanted to minimize the use of programs in Jira Align, then you could map all teams to a single program in Jira Align, but that would render useless almost all of the functionality embedded in Jira Align. You would have massive singular views across 20 - 30+ teams that would be extremely difficult to make sense of.

@Ann Bouvier- Are you aware of this ask?


Hey Peter, 

Yep, we were being asked to research ways to not have release trains anymore but having everyone be in one release train. Essentially, from what it sounds we can rename Release Train to a program and move all the teams into that one programs to see all of the activities for all teams, right?

Hey @Oleg Appassov,

Yes, but you are gutting the purpose of Jira Align by doing so, given what I know of your configuration.

You need to have at least one program/ART in Jira Align to use it. To use one program for the number of teams I know you have is hamstringing Jira Align and reducing the usability and visibility. You will need to make use of filtering on portfolio epics and other creative filters to see any meaningful data at less than the aggregate view.

Good luck,

Thank you for clarifying Peter. If we go with the approach of multiple programs that may help, right? We just need to figure out how we can split up the programs on our end then. Also, there was an ask to have epics live within each team's board. What do you think would be the best way to implement that? This way epics live on each team's board and roll up into the initiatives. I remember you mentioned that there were limitations to it

Hi Oleg,

Right now your release trains are the programs. If you reconfigure to different programs you need to reassign the team-level Jira projects and boards to those new programs instead of the existing release trains.

I am not a Jira expert. I know Matt showed you guys how to get your Jira epics to show on your Jira boards. It's a query/filter arrangement.

Good luck,

What about Program Increments? Leadership is asking if we can function in JIRA Align without PI?

As I stated in my initial answer, PIs are fundamental to Jira Align.

One solution is to create full-year PIs spanning 26 two-week sprints.

The problem is, it appears management wants to turn Jira Align into a project management tool, and not use it as an enterprise agile platform. This a definitely NOT recommended. Jira Align's original name, when it was an independent company, was AgileCraft for a reason - it is designed to support enterprise agile, not waterfall/scrumfall/etc. or only team level agile.

Like Kyle Clark likes this

Thank you Peter! We'll try to figure out how to move forwards but appreciate all the feedback.

Like Peter Jessen likes this

You are always welcome, Oleg! Moving to SAFe is moving forward. Reverting is several steps back, but I know you know that already.

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