JIRA Simple SAFe Setup - part 2

The Simple JIRA SAFe setup – Part 2

Please read first part of this article that explains how to do the initial setup – The Simple JIRA SAFe setup – Part 1

Continuing with the Kanban Program Board

Let’s continue with setting up some of the default SAFe steps into the kanban board for our Program.

JIRA - Settings for Program Board

And it will end up looking like this…

JIRA - Kanban program board

Great – now we need to take a small detour and head over to JIRA Portfolio, so we can get the relationships in place for epics and features. Enabling JIRA Portfolio gives us access to a special field that can be used for linking SAFe epics and SAFe features easily.

So into Portfolio setup (you can see the “path” in the screenshot) and set up our structure.

JIRA - Portfolio configuration

Now it’s starting to look a little like something SAFe-ish. Let’s create our first feature and link it to the epic we just created like shown.

JIRA - Create feature

And then we get a nice pretty feature on our board with a connection to our epic.

JIRA - Program board with feature

So – if our teams should implement that – then let’s give them a nice setup also. Let’s head to the “Board Settings” for team A (and remember to do the same for team B so they don’t feel left out).

JIRA - team backlog

And add some columns (whatever works for your team – everybody is different). Remember that you might need to be an admin on the project itself to change the columns.

JIRA - team workflow states

That’s more like it… We also just need some magic JQL to fetch the SAFe features (epics) from the other project we created. So let’s go to the board config and fix that.

JIRA - team board settings

Edit the filter query to something like this.

JIRA - filter query

Create a story on the board.

JIRA - Create story

And link it to that SAFe feature you created earlier on (it shows as an Epic as that is what JIRA calls it. Just get used to it – or hack the translations if it really annoys you).

JIRA - Team backlog with story

Start a sprint (sorry, iteration for SAFe fanatics) and we can see how it looks on the Scrum board.

JIRA - Sprint board

JIRA Portfolio Plan overview

Final steps would be to get an ART overview using JIRA portfolio. That can be done in a matter of seconds. Just create a new Plan in Portfolio.

JIRA - Portfolio create plan

Pull in all the boards we just created…

JIRA - Portfolio setup

And in the next step remove the boards that are not actual team boards…

JIRA - Portfolio all boards

So we end up with these two teams (for capacity calculations).

JIRA - Portfolio team boards

And that’s it. JIRA portfolio now shows you the whole structure. If you want to add a SAFe Capability to it also for 4 level SAFe – be my guest (but for your own sake, please don’t). 🙂

JIRA - Portfolio full overview of epic, feature and story

Comments are welcome. The only actual modification we made was to add an extra issue-type which I really can’t see we can avoid. Other than that we generally avoid using custom fields when working with JIRA as we try to keep it as clean as possible.

Objectives, risks, retrospectives – they belong in Confluence (or another tool like Kendis).

Posted in Atlassian JIRA, Scaled Agile Framework for enterprises.

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