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Top questions answered from “Master the complexities of planning with Advanced Roadmaps” webinar

Hello!

A huge thank you to everyone that joined our webinar, Master the complexities of planning with Advanced Roadmaps. If you missed it, want to share it with your team, or watch it again - here's the link to watch on-demand.

We had over 1,000 questions asked during the webinar, so we’ve compiled the most commonly asked questions & shared our team's answers below.

We know you’re hungry for resources so here’s what we shared during the webinar (with a few extras):

Guides & training

Articles & case studies

  • Learn how Atlassian plans with Advanced Roadmaps | Read article

  • See how MYOB increases visibility, clarity, and alignment with Advanced Roadmaps | Learn more

  • Product Roadmap best practices | Read article

  • Agile roadmaps: build, share, use, evolve | Read article

  • Learn how Atlassian agile expert and scrum master, Joyce Vargas, & team applied agile to boost efficiency and team satisfaction. Watch webinar on-demand

Top webinar questions answered:

questions .png

General Advanced Roadmap questions

Q: What’s the difference between roadmaps and Advanced Roadmaps?

The top difference is really the purpose for which the features are designed.

Advanced Roadmaps in Jira Software Premium is optimized for cross-team planning and allows you to ladder work from multiple teams and projects to company-wide initiatives. With unlimited levels of hierarchy above the epic level.

Roadmaps are project-level roadmaps that help teams visualize and ladder work up to the epic level. This helps teams see their progress in real-time. Roadmaps in Jira Software offer quick and easy planning and are available as part of all cloud plans (free, standard, & premium)

A couple of examples include

  • Hierarchy - With roadmaps can plan epics and provide visibility into stories, bugs, and tasks within a single project

  • Dependencies + map - With roadmaps, you can visualize dependencies between epics within that project with drag & drop lines on your roadmap. In Advanced Roadmaps, you can see every potential dependency that can impact your plan (even if the dependency lives outside of your plan).

  • Sandbox - In roadmaps you make changes directly to your epics and stories. In Advanced Roadmaps, you can review changes before pushing them live in Jira Software.

  • Capacity - Advanced Roadmaps includes a couple of additional advanced features like capacity planning and scenario planning as well.

Learn more 

Q: Does Advanced Roadmaps work best in a scrum environment (i.e. working in sprints) vs kanban or another Agile method?

Advanced Roadmaps can be used for any agile methodology that teams might be practicing. It can also be used in more of a hybrid environment. If I had to pick one, I would say it works best in a scrum environment, only because of the amount of functionality we have build up around sprint planning (including capacity tools, team assignments, future sprint planning, etc). Overall, Advanced Roadmaps is built to help you and your teams plan and track work across projects, teams, and initiatives help manage your dependencies, and really just get a better sense of your capacity to help you plan your upcoming work more effectively.

Q: Can you represent other types of projects to manage a hybrid environment of delivery? (i.e. product team with marketing or sales)

It's possible to create team-specific plans using Advanced Roadmaps so that individual teams can plan on their own. And YES, it's also then possible to create a more global plan that encapsulates all the teams.

Plan data that is saved in the team's individual plans will then be reflected in the higher-level plan. So teams can plan in their own plan and provide global visibility across with a high-level plan with Advanced Roadmaps.

For Example: if Marketing or Sales are using project templates in Jira Work Management and your product team is using (company managed) scrum project template Jira Software those can be added to the same plans in Advanced Roadmaps as long as they are within the same Jira instance. Here is a link to the template library to learn more about other templates that might make sense for your teams or organization Explore templates 

Q: When will the team-managed projects work with Advanced Roadmaps?

We hear you loud and clear that this is very important and our team is working on it! You can watch the JAC ticket here.

Q: Once you set up your plan can you make changes later? (e.g. can you start private and then switch to open later?)

Yes! You can modify your plan configuration at any time. We recommend keeping your plans open but if you choose to restricted access you can change it. The same goes for the issue source, exclusion rules, etc.

Q: Is it best practice to have one roadmap owner or collective management of the roadmap?

Generally, we recommend having one or a few owners of the roadmap, with many view-only users. In plans, having a bunch of people messing with the plan is a very bad idea. Even though plans use a sandbox and changes aren't committed immediately (until you choose to save them back to Jira), it is not possible to undo those changes once you have committed.

Hierarchy

Q: Do Jira projects have hierarchy structure capability and/or can hierarchy elements be customized to create a program and then initiatives?

The concept of project and child projects does not currently exist in Jira itself but you can create and visualize hierarchy through issues.

Before you can use custom hierarchy levels in Advanced Roadmaps, the issue type must first be created in Jira by an administrator. Once that’s done, the issue type must be associated with your Advanced Roadmaps hierarchy. Here is more information on setting up. Learn more 

Q: Can initiatives (or a custom value higher than epic) be used across projects?

Yes, you actually set additional hierarchy levels at a global site level - and you can assign multiple issue types to each new hierarchy level.

Q: How do you set up a parent-child relationship between a custom hierarchy using custom fields.

We recommend adding the ‘parent link’ custom field to any issue-type screen in order to surface that relationship. You will then need to configure each project to use those issue types. Here is additional info on custom fields. Learn more 

Q: How do you 'map' the epics/features / etc to OKRs?

OKRs are not represented in the hierarchy as you often find that a single initiative could feed into parts of other OKRs. Typically this happens at the epic or initiative level but we do not have a standard setup for this. We have at times used a custom field to track the current year’s OKRs. Generally, the initiatives are defined as part of our quarterly / yearly planning as they are quite a high level and they are aligned to OKRs, even if this is not recorded in Jira.

Teams at Atlassian structure OKRs so that they exist in levels, the OKR that drove the creation of an initiative might result in OKRs at the team level which are used to drive initiatives. We have tried using things like custom fields or labels to track OKRs in the past to allow the issues to be grouped accordingly.

If you haven’t already, you can explore our Team Central (BETA). Learn more 

Planning

Q: Will changes made in Advanced Roadmaps be reflected across Jira and vice versa? (i.e. changing dates or release versions)

Changes made in Jira Software will be automatically represented in your Advanced Roadmaps plans. This ensures that your plan is always up to date & reflects what is happening at the team or project level.

But Advanced Roadmaps provides a sandbox environment, so every change you make within a plan will not impact the underlying data in Jira. It takes the deliberate action of saving these changes in your plan back to have them reflect on the board/project. Once you save changes they will be reflected on the Jira board or within the project in Jira.

Q: How do you roll up target start and target end dates?

Yes! Rolled-up values are available within the Advanced Roadmaps interface by switching them on in the plan’s view settings. They are calculated on the front-end, based on the issues in the plan, and this data is never permanently stored in the fields. Learn more 

Q: Can I create shared releases or cross-project releases? Or is it just for tracking purposes?

Cross-project release (CPR) currently exists in Advanced Roadmaps but does not exist outside of your plan. They can be used to make it easier for you to align dates between releases of different projects. The individual projects that are part of the CPR and that actually exist in Jira Software can be released, of course. But the CPR cannot be released.

Capacity

Q: Will Advanced Roadmaps let me plan individual contribution/capacity?

Advanced Roadmaps focuses on the velocity of a team as a whole, rather than individuals. If you need to account for a team member going on vacation or adjust the contribution available to go towards a sprint, edit the capacity of the sprint itself, from the 'Sprint Capacity Management' view.

Need additional info on capacity planning. Learn more 

Q: How do you set/track holidays/time off on the roadmap? Do you have Jira stories/tasks to track time off?

Advanced Roadmaps doesn't currently support the ability to apply specific time-off/holidays for individuals. But with "Planned capacity" in Advanced Roadmaps - this would allow you to set a velocity for specific sprints that differ from the team's normal velocity. This can be used to account for those absences. A more granular way of managing availabilities. Learn more 

Dependencies

Q: How can I see dependencies as lines between issues on the roadmap like in the standard Jira Roadmaps?

In your plan under Dependency style under “view settings,” you can toggle between lines & badges on the dependency style view. Learn more

Filtering

Q: Can we change or customize the colors in our plan to color by things like team?

Yes, there are many options! In your plan, you can color code bars on your timeline bars based on: project, status, team, components, labels, and other configured custom fields. Coloring by issue type and priority will be available to all customers very soon. Learn more 

filter.png

 

Q: Can we filter on Advanced Roadmap using JQL?

You can configure JQL filters and use them as issue sources for your plans. But once they are in the plan, there is no option to filter your views of the plan by JQL. Instead, you have to use the filter dropdown in the upper left to do things like filter by release, or status. Your plans include the Roadmap view, which you can narrow down using the date filter options in the lower left of the screen. Alternatively, you can also add the "due date" field to your scope and sort your view by clicking on the arrow to the right of the field name.

Sharing & export

Q: How can we keep stakeholders informed of our roadmap if they are not in our Atlassian organizations & cannot view the plan in Jira Software.
We are in the process of expanding options for sharing your plan externally. Currently, we have two methods: (1) Confluence macro - allows you to embed in a Confluence page, but all users must be licensed; (2) Export to CSV - allows you to manipulate the data and present it in a variety of formats;

We are currently working on a PNG export feature that will allow you to share that image or embed it in presentations.

Q: Can you export the dependency report?

Not at the moment, but we are considering that as a future enhancement.

Pricing & Cloud plans

Q: I currently don't see Advanced Roadmaps available in my Jira Software Cloud instance. Does this need to be activated from my end?

You'll need to be on our Premium edition. If you are you'll see the "Plans" menu in the navigation. If you know that your organization is on Premium but you still cannot see the “Plans” in your top navigation we recommend talking to your administrator to see if this has been hidden.

Q: Aside from Advanced roadmaps what are the other benefits/features of Jira Software Premium?

We recommended Premium for teams and organizations that need to scale how they collaborate, plan, and track work across teams and better manage the complexity of work that comes with growing teams/companies.

Premium is for teams or organizations that need/want:

  • Advanced product features like Advanced Roadmaps and global automation.

  • Change management features like:

    • Sandbox for a safe, isolated sandbox environment to test and preview changes and updates

    • Release tracks to delay or get batched releases of updates and

    • Project achieving to reduce clutter and to ensure everyone on your team is accessing up-to-date information

  • To limit your site access with trusted IP ranges

  • Need data residency to have more control over your data by ensuring user-generated content is stored within the US or EU (note: Data Residency is new to Premium but also available in the Standard plan). Learn more 

  • Unlimited storage

  • 99.9% uptime guarantee

  • Premium support with 1-hour response times

Q: Are there significant differences in the functionality of advanced roadmaps in Jira Software Premium vs. Jira Software data center?

In Jira version 8.19 we released: New and easier way to create plans Dependencies dedicated view that allows you to focus on your plans' blockers at a glance Major differences between cloud dependencies lines on the timeline (cloud only) Ability to horizontally scroll the timeline (cloud only).

Q: When we should use Jira Align instead of Advanced Roadmap?

Good question! Jira Align is an Enterprise Agile Planning solution for scaling agile practices. It is built for large enterprises that are hoping to get visibility into the work that’s being done across product portfolios (teams of teams) as part of a larger Agile Transformation.

Jira Align customers typically have at least 500 developers using Jira (cloud, server, or data center) and 30 users minimum for Jira Align licenses, established commitment, and ongoing adoption of an agile at scale frameworks such as SAFe and full executive sponsorship for agile transformation and an existing center of excellence established. 

Advanced Roadmaps is for organizations that need better visibility across teams, projects, and initiatives. Advanced Roadmaps provides an easy-to-use to use shared roadmap which helps easily manage releases, understand dependencies, and plan work. Learn more

Still, have questions or need help?

  • Customers on a paid license are welcome to reach out to our support team via https://support.atlassian.com/contact/

  • If you are looking for consulting services, training, or need to customize products, Atlassian partners can help. Learn more 

  • For product feedback, use the “Give feedback” within the product - this feedback goes directly to our teams.

From all of us here on the Jira Software team, thanks and happy planning! 

- Kelly 

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