SAFe shows a hierarchy of items like this:
In JIRA, there is no tie-in that supports a hierarchy where User Stories belong to Features, and Features to Epics. Are there any plans to support this type of hierarchy in order to use JIRA Agile for SAFe methodology in the future? If so, when?
Atlassian recently launched a new offering for higher-level planning: JIRA Portfolio. It is framework agnostic, i.e., not exclusively purpose-built for SAFe but focused on solving the practical challenges when planning and executing multiple projects across multiple teams. It provides an additional level of hierarchy above JIRA Epics which are named Initiatives, so you have Initiative>Epic>Story>Subtask (subtasks will not show up in Portfolio since its focused on the higher-level plan, but they are considered when aggregating the progress from subtasks up to the Initiative).
Additionally, Portfolio supports so-called Themes which can for instance be used to represent investment categories or value streams, and track resource allocation against them.
The naming can be customized if needed (currently this is a dark feature until we add additional flexibility, when having the latest version of JIRA Portfolio installed, you can reach it via , <jira-url>/secure/PortfolioNomenclature.jspa. This would allow you for instance to do the following name mapping which fits SAFe:
Initiative > Epic
Epic > Feature
Story > Story
Theme > Value Stream
Release Stream > Program
Portfolio certainly goes beyond "just" adding the additional level of hierarchy, as it adds capabilities for resource planning, forecasting and progress tracking - that's why it is a separate add-on to solve the challenges end-to-end.
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