Please note: This is one in a four-part series on the powerful reporting capabilities offered through Atlassian Jira Align (formerly Agilecraft). The series will cover Jira Align reports of specific value to agile practitioners at the:
Each segment will briefly cover:
- How Jira Align effectively ties each level into the bigger enterprise picture
- Which stakeholders are most likely to use the reports available at each level
- Which Jira Align reports are likely to be most popular at each level and why
Atlassian Jira Align is a cloud-based software specifically designed to effectively scale an organization’s agile practice from the individual development teams to the enterprise level. This offers unmatched visibility into overarching business goals and strategic planning, as well as day-to-day productivity, unifying every level of the organization so all stakeholders can work from one centralized database.
Successful scaling of agile depends, to a large extent, on that unification. That’s why Jira Align is such an exciting solution to us here at Cprime.
How Jira Align Offers Enterprise Executives the High-Level Insight They Need
Part One was focused on the team level, and Part Two discussed the “team of teams” or program level. In Part Three, we explored even higher up the pyramid, to the portfolio level. At the very pinnacle of the enterprise hierarchy, we come to the executive level. If you’ve read the previous articles in this series, you’ll recall these two vital steps in establishing and maintaining agile at scale:
- “The strategic initiatives coming down from the executives must be effectively communicated to — and guide the daily activity of — teams.”
- “Likewise, all the work-based data the teams generate needs to filter up to stakeholders at each level so decisions can be made, steering can be adjusted, and everyone can verify success is being achieved.”
Of course, it’s the responsibility of the C-suite and their cadre of VPs to answer the really big questions:
- Why does this business exist?
- What are we striving to achieve?
- What are our most important goals this year?
But, if the answers to those questions aren’t recorded and shared with the entire enterprise, they’re not going to effectively guide day-to-day operations or decision making at all. Additionally, just as they did at the portfolio level, leaders at the enterprise level need to facilitate two-way communication to maintain alignment. Jira Align’s reporting capabilities can make that possible.
Which Stakeholders Will Benefit From Enterprise Level Reporting in Jira Align?
Stakeholders at every level benefit from a smooth interchange of information and having access to the best data at all times. However, the roles likely to spend the most time with the specific enterprise level reports we’ll discuss below include:
- Portfolio managers (to a lesser degree)
- Program managers (to a lesser degree)
Rather than focusing on individual planning increments (like a program manager), or even multi-epic solutions like the portfolio manager, executives at the enterprise level are looking for a bird’s eye view of everything going on in the business, broken down by strategic themes and initiatives. These are further broken down into solutions, which may be made up of multiple epics. Each epic is made up of prioritized features and stories, but the executives can’t afford to get too granular. Instead, their focus is on developing the large-scale strategic objectives the organization is pursuing, and keeping their finger on the pulse of operations to make sure the various portfolios making up the business remain aligned with that vision.
As we look into some specific enterprise level reports, we’ll consider how these busy executives can get the most out of them using Jira Align.
Examples of Popular Enterprise Level Reports in Jira Align
Jira Align contains dozens of preformatted reports that offer as broad or granular a view as required based on what you need to understand. Custom reporting can be set up as well, if specific insights are needed that the available reports don’t offer. But, the following are the most popular out-of-the-box reports for effectively steering enterprise strategy.
The Strategy Tree report provides a quick, high-level summary of the mission, vision, values, goals, and themes established for the business. The relationship between each is made clear through a nested dropdown list.
Executives at the enterprise level love this report because it clearly displays the organization’s strategic superstructure, and highlights how the overall enterprise strategy drives all lines of business. This high-level view — visually focused by the nested structure — is just the kind of quick but thorough source busy executives need to stay on top of a fast moving enterprise workflow.
Access to a clear, concise record of the mission, vision, values, goals, and themes everyone should be working toward is essential to alignment within an organization. They provide purpose to the staff and the work they are performing, and act as the catalyst for further planning and strategy development.
The Strategy Dashboard offers a similarly high-level view, but in a more visual, at-a-glance format. The dashboard data can be limited to one PI, or pull data from multiple PIs over time. The report provides insight in the following categories:
- Projects by region
- PI status
- Resource availability
- Funding stages
- Ranked project status
- PI health
- Budget vs. spent
- Progress by investment
The Strategic Dashboard provides a high-level overview of the company’s progress toward achieving the goals set for the selected timeframe. It can span multiple PIs, so it can surface trends that may not be readily visible when focused on just the current WIP.
It’s not designed for in-depth planning or analysis of the categories displayed, but it can be very useful for executives looking to quickly evaluate the progress, bottlenecks if any, and budget status of an initiative or strategic theme. Then, if areas of concern are surfaced, it can prompt deeper digging at the portfolio or program level.
Status Reports is actually a set of interrelated reports:
- Financial View
- Status View
- Epic / Standalone Feature (within Status and Financial views)
- Capability (within Status and Financial views)
The purpose of all the Status Reports is to offer executives and the organization’s PMO a comprehensive data table for use when they need to evaluate schedule, budget, risk, scope, quality, and progress of WIP.
The Status Report (Financial View) is a roll-up of WIP at multiple levels of detail: by organization, portfolio, program, theme, program increment, release vehicle, and epic.
The report displays the hierarchy: enterprise, portfolio, program, prioritized initiatives, and totals. It focuses on the financial statement, but also shows due dates and health status of work items like epics and features. It can be filtered by PI dates or a specific date range. Or, set PI selection to All, and the report will filter by program instead.
Executives can use this data to review the overall status of a theme, portfolio, or program, with a primary focus on budget.
The Status view focuses on a list of initiatives with health indicators, but also tracks budget, personnel, quality, risk, and schedule for each initiative. Like the Financial View, the report can be filtered by specific PI dates, a date range, or program.
Executives can use this data to review the overall status of a theme, portfolio, or program, with a primary focus on the health status of WIP.
The Epic/Standalone Feature drills down into the Status Report main views, Financial and Status. The report isolates specific epics and standalone features that are tied to portfolios.
Executives can use this report to review the overall status of epics and standalone features in a portfolio. Primarily, the epic report focuses on the epic’s acceptance and success criteria, objectives, risks, dependencies, capabilities, and features, and stories. This fine level of detail can be of benefit to product and program managers as well.
Like the Epic/Standalone Feature report, the Capabilities report drills down on the Status Report main views, Financial and Status. In this case, however, the report isolates specific capabilities that are tied to the portfolios.
The data in this report provides an overall status of capabilities in a portfolio. The primary focus in this case is on the acceptance and success criteria, objectives, risks, and dependencies the capabilities has, as well as the features associated with each capability.
Investment distribution report
This report shows the investment distribution breakdown for work items that are associated with themes, epics, capabilities, features, organization structures, products, and release vehicles. It answers the following questions:
- How is money being spent against the budget?
- How does the investment break down?
- Where are we investing over time?
- On average, are we spending more or less than we have estimated?
Executives can analyze the organization’s investments over time and change the priorities if required.
If you’d like to learn more about how Jira Align can help your organization, we’d love to hear from you.