Hi - We are currently using Jira Portfolio but are curious about the LOE to transition to Align. We have 60-70 teams in 15 Product Lines. Any thoughts on how easy/difficult would this transition be? We are primarily Scrum based and Scale leveraging a Lean Agile Framework. We currently use a hierarchy of Strategic Milestones > MVI > Epics > Stories > SubTask. Our current reporting is immature so starting from scratch with reporting would not be a headache. Our teams have been using Jira at the team level for years however so there is a significant amount of data.
While your question is fairly straightforward, the answer is not due to all of the variables that are left unasked/unanswered. I'll try to give you a short answer, based on what you've shared, and then a longer more nuanced answer.
Short(ish) Answer: Relatively straightforward transition, based on what you shared
In my experience, the Jira Align adoptions that work start with a pilot program of 50 - 125 people (think SAFe Agile Release Train) organized into agile teams with a common purpose/focus. Based on what you've shared, this could be one of your Product Lines.
Assuming a straightforward mapping of your hierarchy to Jira Align's Strategic Themes -> Portfolio Epics -> Features (Jira Epics) -> Stories -> (Agile) Tasks, much of your data probably can be direct imported via Jira Align's import function (for your Milestones and MVIs) and then synced with Jira (for epics, stories, sub-tasks) via Jira Align's Jira connector.
A good idea is to allow 90 days for an initial pilot implementation to get up-and-running with the pilot program having time to get the details right, then roll to additional programs (Product Lines?) on an accelerating pace. The pilot program becomes both advocate for Jira Align and a source of internal trainers/coaches to help additional programs adopt Jira Align.
Assuming a straightforward, plain vanilla Jira environment with common/universal workflows, minimal additional issue types (you didn't mention bugs, defects, spikes, etc.), minimal use of (standard) custom fields, no use of nexgen projects, proper agile team process, and a few other factors, you could successfully and smoothly transition all 60 - 70 teams in your 15 product lines to Jira Align in 9 - 12 months.
Can it be done faster? Yes. But in my experience, the "Big Bang" approach of transitioning everyone to Jira Align in one shot either: 1) fails miserably or 2) costs far more in rework, lost productivity, confusion, dumping/reloading data than a phased approach described above.
Below are three excellent Jira Align resources for more details on the technical considerations of implementing and integrating Jira Align with Jira:
Longer Answer: It depends on organizational maturity, quality of current Jira discipline, level of agile maturity, ability to implement organizational change, and other factors
So let's hit on some things you didn't explicitly mention in the information you provided, all of which impact the ease/difficulty of implementation, pace of implementation, and probability of success:
I will continue to expand on this answer as I have time, but it is the weekend and family time right now! So watch this answer for the updates.
(Or, What to expect when you’re expanding.) Once you've completed your Jumpstart, or your initial assessment of Jira Align, you'll start to think about how you can roll it out to the rest of your e...
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