In today’s heterogeneous agile software development environments, teams often have the autonomy to select the tool of their choice to track the daily activity of development efforts. One popular tool is Jira Software, Atlassian’s issue-tracking platform that supports both Scrum and Kanban at the team level.
A serious limitation of using Jira Software is that it does not offer native support for enterprise-wide agile methodologies such as SAFe.
The concepts of strategic themes, lean budgeting, portfolio epics, value streams and agile release trains are not built-in to Jira Software’s default work item hierarchy, which results in several challenges.
Even when combined with additional Plugins, Jira Software often lacks the ability to plan and track large-scale, complex work spanning multiple Agile Release Trains and lean portfolio management practices. Targetprocess, a software platform for enterprise agility, tackles these challenges with the following solutions.
Connect lean budgeting & planning with tactical execution
Jira Software has no ability to capture strategic planning budget decisions (lean budgets) in a portfolio kanban, which is the basis for funding the value streams that make up the SAFe portfolio. This means that the SAFe based strategic planning and allocations are not linked to the tactical execution of the teams performing the work.
The work done at the team level may very well be tracked accurately, but there is no automated way to roll up this team-level progress and status to verify that the tactical execution work is aligned with the desired solution portfolio and the associated value streams and lean budget allocations.
Build roadmap, program and portfolio views
With no automated way to aggregate program and portfolio level status information from dozens or hundreds of teams using Jira Software, release train and portfolio managers resort to building these reports manually. They are often depicted using powerpoint presentations or spreadsheets, where the data is derived from multiple team-level reports or weekly status updates.
Other organizations may use PPM-based time tracking systems to aggregate time-based estimates and time spent on work items as a proxy for measuring value delivery and forecasting progress towards milestones. In either case, there is no direct connection between portfolio, program and roadmap views and the status of day-to-day Feature/User Story execution data tracked in Jira Software, resulting in reports that are out of date before they are even distributed.
Gain visibility into relationships and dependencies
Before and during Program Increment (PI) planning, development teams refine high-level estimates, break work into manageable chunks and sequence it across multiple iterations and teams based on their capacity and expertise. During this process, teams need to understand, discuss and easily visualize relationships and dependencies across the planned work.
These dependencies need to be visible at multiple levels (portfolio, program and team) within the organization. Targetprocess provides interactive visualizations that depict dependencies spanning multiple programs, large solutions or complex portfolios of work.
The tools used for strategic planning and lean budgeting are not updated automatically when team-level execution data from Jira Software changes.
This challenge exists because there is no ability in Jira Software to roll-up the status of tactical team-level execution data to the Program/Solution/Portfolio levels for strategic planning and forecasting.
How to Solve this Challenge. Perform Lean Portfolio Management and PI Planning in Targetprocess. Then, when PI planning is complete – the features and user stories are pushed out to the corresponding epics, stories and teams within Jira Software.
The Result. Enterprise-wide status and metrics are automatically rolled up from Jira Software so they are always up-to-date.
After PI planning, the teams can use Jira Software to assign the work to specific team members, adjust their initial estimates, and then execute and track the status of their work within Jira Software.
As the work progresses, the status and progress of the Jira Software work items automatically synchronize with the corresponding entities in Targetprocess. This provides an ongoing, always up-to-date, enterprise-wide picture of status and progress across your entire organization - from team, to program to portfolio levels.
Benefits of connecting Jira Software team-level data to Targetprocess
Connecting Targetprocess to Jira Software allows you to visualize and manage dependencies, track estimates, and perform lean budgeting and strategic planning in Targetprocess, while managing team-level execution data in Jira Software.
This ensures that team-level execution data remains in-sync with strategy, providing an accurate picture of plans, progress and execution status across the enterprise.
Using Targetprocess as the “single source of truth” in this fashion will allow development teams to use Jira Software to track their day-to-day work and manage code and releases.
And business leaders and RTE’s can keep track of cross-team dependencies, Feature and Epic progress as well as steer the progress based on up-to-date portfolio metrics from within Targetprocess.
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Targetprocess was recognized as a Visionary in Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Agile Planning Tools” and was included in the related “Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Agile Planning Tools”
April 2019, “Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Agile Planning Tools” **Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
We have been using Targetprocess for more than three years by now and still been surprised when our teams find news ways and work areas to use it…
It is really so flexible that we can nearly model and effectively use in each workflow we need. New departments request me from time to time to show them “that tool you have with nice cards ☺Jorge Rivero SanchezInnovation Director
I love how adaptable and flexible Targetprocess is. It meets the various needs of so many different departments within our organization. We manage all of our IT, creative and legal workflow through Targetprocess. It’s helped create a centralized location for our cross-department needs – as well as providing a history of our work.Katie MacCabeAssistant Director
I used Targetprocess at some very large multi-team multi-program clients and had a consistently good experience.
I’ve got a lot of experience of Jira, Rally, PivotalTracker, Trello, Mingle and open source agile lifecycle management tools. I like Targetprocess better – it covers a lot more ground, the information architecture is really consistent, it’s solid as a rock and fast too. Best of breed.Peter MerelCTO and Agile Coach
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