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How to guide for implementing the Scaled Agile Framework in Jira?

Do you have a 'how-to' guide on what needs to be done in Jira Agile to set up the Scaled Agile Framework. I am not sure how to set up the project(s)/stories or what automatically is built in to support the SAFe model.

In Rally this is the Portfolio View and they have a how-to guide. I am hoping Atlassian has something better.

6 answers

1 vote

JIRA Agile is indeed close to SAFe, but far from enough - it is the best way to achieve Team level of SAFE's Big Picture schema, but lacks in other areas. Therefore, I'd say it is recommended to supplement it with other add-ons.


For the Program level and basic Portfolio functionality, BigPicture is the way to go -


It has certain SAFE-related features that no other plugin has, such as Cadence-based product roadmaps to improve your planning and progress tracking.

@Matthew,  I'm interested in leveraging BigPicture plugin for our SAFe implementation.  I already have the BigPicture Plugin installed and I would appreciate assistance in configuring all three levels of SAFe.  Are you able to provide me with assistance on documentation where I can obtain how-to setup and best practices for configuring JIRA and BigPicture.  For instance, do I need custom fields?  Do I need to create seperate projects in JIRA or create one project with multiple Agile boards?  Please feel free to reach out to me -  Thank you.


Sure, we are in touch with the license so will reply there smile

@Ricardo HenaoThanks for using BigPicture. Following Matthew's post, here are two whitepapers -- on how to configure Jira + BigPicture and then how to run PI planning:

You might want to have a look at this Atlassian Blog "Scaling agile in the enterprise with SAFe and JIRA Agile"

If you setup a Kanban board for the Program and multiple scrum boards for the Team, how do you push Epics from the Kanban to the individual team boards once approved? I thought JIRA Portfolio could do this but I haven't been able to figure this out.


I have the same question.  Did you ever figure this out??




Since the original question asked whether there is a how-to guide, here's the most detailed writeup on the subject that I've seen so far - Implementing SAFe in JIRA.

0 votes

Hi Micheal,

FOLIO combined with JIRA Agile will bring you very close to the SAFe.
We do not have a guide yet but are working on something that will help to implement this.
It will certainly be posted on FOLIO's documentation soon.


0 votes
Timothy Rising Star Jan 30, 2014

There's no official guide to do this.

Bascially, what you would need is to have to use both the boards available in JIRA Agile. The first board is the Kanban board which does the portfolio. The next step is to create one or multiple Scrum boards which capture the Agile development process.

The trick here is to make sure that the all the issues encapsulated in the two types boards are on the same workflow. The Scrum boards should capture a subset of the status in the workflow and the Scrum boards should capture the rest.

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