Jira Align is creating unparalleled excitement and interest in the Enterprise Agile space. The ability to align around common goals, support a number of scaling frameworks, and navigate the complexity of large-scale technology initiatives resonates with many organizations. Out of the countless discussions we, at Cprime, had with our customers, we gathered and answered the most frequently asked Jira Align questions.
What is Jira Align?
Atlassian Jira Align, formerly AgileCraft, is the first ever platform purposefully built for scaling agile to the enterprise. Jira Align helps software organizations transform the way they plan, deliver, measure and learn across their development lifecycles.
By linking strategy to execution in real time, software at scale is made simpler.
Jira Align connects business strategy to customer outcomes at enterprise scale. It helps:
- Make work visible at enterprise scale
- Gets all teams aligned (and keeps them aligned) across an enterprise
- Maximizes outcomes, driving value and accelerating digital strategy
More information on Jira Align
Webinar: Discover Jira Align
What is Enterprise Agility and why is it so important to my organization?
Spreading the mindset of shorter quicker cycles of delivery beyond the team level and to all the levels of a business is important for reaching a more agile state across the company. Scaling to more iterative planning will yield similar benefits to those we see at the technical team level and what can be referred to as business agility.
Enterprise agility is the bridge that spans both technical delivery and business (planning) teams. At the higher levels of organizations we want to ensure we are driving business outcomes.
- More optimized and predictable delivery with fully aligned organizations across every level of scale.
- Deliver value rapidly by shortening delivery cycles, increasing operational efficiency, improving quality and responding faster to changing market conditions.
- Better customer satisfaction by responding quickly to market changes and increasing time to market.
- Always stay aligned to the why through a federated, unified platform spanning program, product, portfolio and development team layers.
The challenge in becoming an Agile Enterprise is coordinating between multiple teams, multiple programs, multiple products. Are the business and tech teams in sync? Are the technical teams mapping up to strategy and business outcomes defined during planning? How do we connect that thread without manually aggregating data?
This is where Jira Align can help.
More information on Jira Align
Webinar:Define your Enterprise Strategy with Jira Align
Why Jira Align?
Today’s digital economy presents opportunities and threats at every turn. To thrive in this dynamic environment you need agility throughout your organization. Jira Align enables you to lead in the fast-moving digital world by connecting your business and technology operations in real-time. It brings together the teamwork happening across an organization into an all-encompassing view that connects strategy, work, and outcomes. And because large-scale technology initiatives are increasingly complex, this visibility, context, and alignment are essential. Jira Aligns helps you embrace change and make speed a competitive advantage.
With Jira Align, modern organizations can:
Align at the Enterprise level
Make all work visible
Understand execution data
Collaborate across teams get aligned
Accelerate Enterprise Agility
Use value driven backlogs
See real-time roadmaps
Improve Business Operations
Drive better quality
Drive Business Outcomes
Deliver value faster
Speed concept to cash
Gain market share
Improve customer sat
How does Jira Align benefit scaling in my organization?
Jira Align provides more optimized and predictable delivery with fully aligned organizations across every level of scale. It bridges the gap between business and technical delivery, leading to nimbleness across the organization and innovation with agility. It delivers value rapidly by shortening delivery cycles, increasing operational efficiency, improving quality and responding faster to changing market conditions. It enables the organization to improve customer satisfaction by responding quickly to market changes and shortening time to market. It ensures that the organization always stay aligned to the why through a federated, unified platform spanning program, product, portfolio and development team layers.
Jira Align has reporting and metrics capabilities that provide various roles with the various aggregated data visible to ensure that:
- Changes in scope can be tracked across teams
- Results are visible early on, resulting in more rapid feedback cycles
- Leading and lagging indicators can be quickly determined to inform go-no go decision
Jira Align provides a wide range of role based metrics and dashboards. As an example, Jira Align offers a Program Room of the ART for Release Train Engineers and Program Managers, showing the progress of the Program Increment. Release Train Engineers can also see teams’ performance through a multi-tier burndown chart and keep track of dependencies during the PI using Dependency Maps.
As another example, for Business Owners, the Portfolio Room shows performance of the Agile Release Trains, including financial performance and resource planning.
This is only a small sample of the metrics and reporting available in Jira Align. With the aggregation of data cross-enterprise, presented in a highly visual fashion, individuals can assess how teams are performing and make adjustments as necessary.
How does Jira Align benefit Transformation Teams?
Jira Align builds in functionality to help increase the efficiency of your transformations, incorporating features to make scaling easier, such as lightweight customizable governance or the “WHY” button. It helps break down the barriers between portfolio, product and engineering to allow all areas of the enterprise to work better together, becoming more agile together. Also supports all scaling agile methodologies, so that it becomes easier to align your organization’s agile development practices. Jira Align enables organizations to scale more efficiently like Jira Software allowed organizations to transition to Agile/Scrum more seamlessly.
Is Jira Align or Portfolio for Jira better for my needs?
“Scaled agile” is a huge problem space. Atlassian’s philosophy is to guide, not prescribe, as organizations evolve their agile approach.
There are multiple parts of the Atlassian agile product family, including Jira Software, Jira Align, Confluence, and Marketplace apps.
Portfolio for Jira is best for:
Single tribe with a single goal or OKRs
On a single instance of Jira
It’s about organic growth from Jira
Jira Align is best for:
Targeted at 1K + orgs
Multiple Jira instances and potentially other team tools
Visibility at entire enterprise scale
More information on Jira Align vs. Jira Portfolio
Blog: Is Jira Align, Jira Portfolio or Jira Apps the Best Scaling Strategy for You?
What companies have successfully used Jira Align?
Multiple companies have successfully used Jira Align to scale their team’s agile practices. Some case studies are available on the Jira Align resources page. Some of the companies currently using Jira Align include AT&T, Anthem, NCR, TIAA and Duke Energy.
What other frameworks does Jira Align support?
Other than offering full SAFe support, Jira Align supports a range of other leading frameworks including:
- Lean Startup
- Value Engineering
- Scrum at Scale
What type of Industries can Benefit from Jira Align?
Any organization that engages in software development, views its software development competency as a strategic aspect of its operation and is interested in effectively scaling this competency can benefit from Jira Align. Currently Jira Align is successfully deployed across multiple verticals including:
- Financial Services
- Manufacturing / Automotive
- Retail / ECommerce
- Technology / Telecom
I am an Executive. How can Jira Align help solve some of my challenges?
Leadership often struggles to make sure that the organization is driving the right enterprise value and staying in step with corporate strategy. Furnishing real-time, up-to-date views into where value is being delivered in the portfolio relative to what the heck we’re spending all this money on. They also have challenges in aggregating the data of what is actually being delivered. With Jira Align, they can have data views into portfolios and where resources are being spent in real time. Managers spend a lot of time creating datasets or development teams building out data sets. Accountability of the individual programs (and their teams) for work they’ve committed to becomes a complicated, unclear burden. Reporting is specifically tailored to executive needs, so that information can be delivered up to the highest levels accurately, quickly, and regularly.
With metrics and scorecards that provide transparency into what the teams are actually working on, Jira Align will save a considerable amount of time and have it all in one solution.
Jira Align provides real-time visibility into:
- Portfolio Value to Spend
- Budget vs Estimate vs Actual
- Strategic Governance
- Resource Management
- Metrics and Scorecards
- Project Funding and Status
I am a Release Train Engineer/Program Manager. How can Jira Align help me solve my challenges?
Release Train Engineers help to ensure that programs within their organizations run smoothly and that resources are optimally allocated to ensure on-time delivery, with a focus on train predictability and value delivery. Release Train Engineers often struggle to provide up-to-the minute insight to assess if deadlines can be met, in addition to the managing of dependencies and risks between multiple programs. Program managers must track and resolve program risks, impediments, and dependencies while keeping the organization informed.
With Jira Align, Release Train Engineers and Program Managers have access to a visual program dashboard, with forecasting, simulation, risk tracking reports, and more. They now have access to reports with exactly the right information, updated to the minute. Jira Align provides a visualization of program cross dependencies that help to mitigate risks. It also allows for a comprehensive view of resource allocation across projects, and visibility into inefficiencies and gaps that can be quickly resolved.
Jira Align provides Release Train Engineers with:
- Program Board
- Forecasting and Simulation
- Program Tracking
- Aggregated Progress
- Multi-tiered Roadmaps
- Dependency Management
I am a Portfolio Manager. How can I benefit from Jira Align?
Portfolio managers are tasked with communicating the value of funding strategic initiatives to investors, analysts, and employees. They are challenged with demonstrating, with tangible evidence, that the work program teams are delivering maps back to strategic investment themes. They often struggle with defining a plan for how more robust Agile / bi-modal process will be improved in time. It can also be a challenge to maintain Lean Agile principles (i.e., reducing WIP, managing flow), while attempting to scale within the organization.
With Jira Align, Portfolio managers now have a real-time, top-to-bottom, connected roadmap that aggregates data in a meaningful and convincing way.
Jira Align provides Portfolio Managers with the real-time tools they need:
- Real-Time Connected Roadmaps
- Resource Allocation
- Work in Progress
- Investment vs Actuals
- Strategic and Financial Alignment
- SAFe Portfolio-Level Support
Does Jira Align align with SAFe?
Jira Align is the only platform purposely built for Scaled Agile Framework (SAFeTM). Jira Align comes with full, native support for SAFe 4.5, including configurable settings for the main SAFe configurations: Essential SAFe, Portfolio SAFe, Large Solution SAFe and Full SAFe. Since Jira Align supports multiple portfolios for the same instance, there is no need to purchase multiple instances to customize the SAFe configuration for less or more advanced portfolios.
Jira Align includes a number of additional benefits for SAFe implementation, including:
Strategy Room, where you can define your hierarchical organizational strategy on the basis of the 9 SAFe principles.
1. Lean Budgets: Allocate Lean budgets to strategic themes in the Portfolio Room.
2. Investment vs Actuals: Monitor your execution spend against the theme budgets.
Solution Management: Actively manage backlogs of capabilities with Kanban and WSJF prioritization.
3. SAFe Checklists: Create checklists to help users follow workflow steps or actions, in sequence, or access specific Jira Align pages and training videos.
How does Jira Align compare to other platforms?
In its recent “2019 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Agile Planning Tools” Gartner declared Atlassian as the leader with Jira Align. The report details how Jira Align helps organizations accelerate their Agile transformation and highlights its favorable position compared to other marketplace offerings.
How do organizations deploy and access Jira Align?
Jira Align is only provided as a Saas (cloud-based) offering on high availability secure cloud platform.
How does Jira Align support Jira? Or Does Jira Align replace Jira?
The integration of Jira Align with Jira provides the organization with bug & issue tracking, project management, & reporting at scale. Jira Align DOES NOT replace Jira Software as Jira is where the team level work (engineering) gets done. As we start cross-planning across the team, this data syncs with Jira Align and rolls up to the higher levels of the Enterprise. Jira Align adds important capabilities such as consistent reporting at every layer, methods for allocating and tracking against dollar budgets at all levels, tracking dependencies between work items in a highly sophisticated visualization, real-time connected roadmaps and more.
How long does it take to implement Jira Align?
A typical Jira Align implementation would typically take around 3 months, or aligned with a PI is ideal way. It usually is paired with some coaching, based on the organization’s maturity on scaling journey.
How do I learn if Jira Align is right for my organization?
Thriving in today’s digital economy requires agility throughout your organization. Reducing silos between business and technology requires scaling. And scaling at the enterprise has its challenges. Connect with one of our Jira Align experts to learn more.