How to expand your agile practices across teams and the enterprise with Atlassian tools

Lenny Whitehead
Posted by
Lenny Whitehead
August 31, 2023

Agile methodologies have proven to be highly effective in enhancing collaboration, improving project outcomes, and fostering innovation. To scale these benefits with your teams and across your entire enterprise, leveraging your existing (and soon to be obtained) Atlassian tools can be a game-changer.
As WA’s only Atlassian Gold Partner and experienced agile practitioners (with agile – together with DevOps and Cloud - underlying all of our services approach and delivery), we’re pleased to share this step-by-step guide on how you can expand your agile practices using Atlassian.

Step 1: Start with your stakeholders

First, you need buy-in from your stakeholders. They are going to be able to see their work in progress much more easily, gain insights into where improvements can be made. They will be a whole lot more confident about when their requests are going to be delivered and have confidence that governance processes are being followed.

Step 2: Measure

Next up is defining your Objectives and Key results (OKRs) at the top level, as well as cascading them down the teams. If you’re new to OKRs, check out this free Atlassian guide.

Step 3: Agile at scale framework

Select or create an agile at scale framework to use across the organisation and start rolling that out, team by team, with the learning experiences they’ll need to be proficient.

Step 4: The right tools!

Now to the tool!  

Option 1: Create one or more programs in Jira Align. The ideal groups will traditionally plan together, sequencing work due to dependencies and alignment to commitments, and adhere to an agreed upon scaling framework and strategy.

Get more information on how to Integrate Jira Epics with Jira Align.

Option 2: If Jira Align is currently not in your Atlassian tool suite, we recommend using Jira Plans a feature that comes with Jira Premium. By using Jira Plans, you can combine issues from boards, projects and filters and link these to OKR’s to create portfolio level planning that spans multiple teams or your entire organisation.

Step 5: Portfolio in Jira

Next, create a portfolio, which will encompass multiple programs into a single view and define the value this portfolio is tasked with delivering. You can do this by either of these options, depending on what you choose in step 4:

  • importing the backlog of issues into Jira Align, noting the primary program for these portfolio level objects. The work previously represented in Advanced Roadmaps, that is above the Jira Epic for these teams, will now be aligned to the portfolio and to OKRs.
  • use Jira Plans and first create a custom issue hierarchy above Epic like Portfolio -> Objectives – OKR – Epic and then create your Plans to align the Jira Epics to the Portfolio Objectives and OKR’s

Step 6: Connect

Create connections between the program and portfolio level work items, identifying orphaned work, and associate them with their parent.

  • In Jira Align, begin connecting work at the different levels to risks, dependencies, objectives and key results.
  • In Jira Plans, start using the outcome of your 90 Day planning sessions including dependencies and maybe eve Due dates or Sprint dates

Need more information on expanding your agile practices across the organisation with your Atlassian Tools?

Please get in touch for an initial complimentary consultation.

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