Users with ‘Manage Programs’ permission can create a new Program from the Programs List screen.


How to create a new Program

  1. Name your Program

2. Add Objectives and Roles

(Optional, though recommended)  What are the main Program Objectives you want to communicate to your teams? Who are the main points of contact for the Program who can help to answer any questions? Are there any links to Confluence that would be helpful to include?

3. Team Boards

From the Team Boards dropdown, search for the names of the teams you would like to include in your Program

4. Program Roadmap

Select which issue type/s you would like to schedule on your Program Roadmap and where the issues for your Program Roadmap live.

See Program Configuration below for more details.

5. Nominate the dependency link type you want to be visualised on y our Program

Click ‘Show Advanced’ to display the Dependency Link Type field. By default, it is set to ‘blocks / is blocked by’, use the dropdown if you wish to visualise a different link type on your Program Board.

Want more info on choosing a dependency link type?

Choosing your Program Roadmap configuration

There are three key layers to Easy Agile Programs. The first layer is the Program Roadmap - a high level overview of all scheduled increments for a Program and the planned features/epics for that Increment:

Program Roadmap screen example in Easy Agile Programs

Product Managers/Release Train Engineers can schedule issues onto the Increment Roadmap to communicate the focus for the Program Increment.

This is important to understand when it comes to how you’d like to configure your Program Roadmap, as the configuration determines the source and type of issues shown on the Roadmap.

Which configuration is best for my organisation?

The configuration is determined by two key factors:

  1. Where you would like to source features/epics from? This really comes down to whether an agile release train has a centrally managed backlog or whether teams manage their own backlog of features.

  2. Would you like to use other issue types apart from Jira epics?

There are three configuration options for the Program Roadmap, outlined below

Start with this column

Option A

Option B

Option C

Are the Jira Epics you’d like to schedule onto the Program Roadmap from the Team Boards you have added to your program?

(tick)

Select Option A if you would like to schedule Jira Epics from the agile Team Boards added to the Program.

This option is best for teams that manage their own backlog of features (Jira Epics)

(error)

(error)

Do you want to schedule issues from a single dedicated agile board onto your Program Roadmap?

(error)

(tick)

This option is best for agile release trains that have a centrally managed backlog of features.

(tick)

This options is best for agile release trains that have a centrally managed backlog of features.

Is the issue type you’d like to schedule Jira Epics only?

(tick)

(tick)

Select Option B if you only want to schedule Jira Epics onto your Program Roadmap and these Jira Epics can be found on a single dedicated agile board.

(error)

Option C is common amongst agile release trains that have new issue types they want to visualise on the Program Board in addition to Jira epics.

Would you like to schedule issue types other than Jira Epics onto your Program Roadmap?

(error)

(error)

(tick)

Select Option C if you want to schedule any issue type onto your Program Roadmap and these issues can be found on a single dedicated agile board.

Which options is best for me?

I want to schedule:

  • From selected Team agile boards onto my Program Roadmap

  • Jira Epics only

I want to schedule:

  • From a single dedicated agile board onto my Program Roadmap

  • Jira Epics only

I want to schedule:

  • From a single dedicated agile board onto my Program Roadmap

    • Any issue types

Added benefit

(info)

Option B and Option C both allow Quick Filters on the Program Board, Increment Roadmap and Team Planning Board.

Set up Option A

After selecting ‘I want to schedule epics from the selected Team agile boards onto my Program Roadmap, you can continue to Create Program i.e. step 5 in the ‘How to create a Program’ table.

Set up Option B

  1. Select ‘I want to schedule epics from a dedicated agile board onto my Program Roadmap’

  2. From the ‘Roadmap Board’ dropdown, select the board where the Jira Epics you wish to schedule can be found:

Set up Option C

  1. Select ‘I want to schedule other issue types from a dedicated agile board onto my Program Roadmap’.

  2. From the ‘Roadmap Board’ dropdown, select the board where issues you wish to schedule can be found

  3. Select the Jira Issue Link type from the dropdown to determine how the team level issues are linked to the issues scheduled at the Program Roadmap level


Editing your Program

Users with ‘Manage Programs’ permission can edit their Program from the Program Roadmap.

From this screen you can:

  • Edit the Program Name

  • Add or delete teams from the Program

  • Change the dependency link type visualised on the Program

Deleting your Program

Users with ‘Manage Programs’ permission can delete a Program from the Programs List screen.


FAQs

What board types can be added to my Program?

Scrum, Kanban, multi-project and Team-Managed (Cloud) boards can all be added to your Program.

Team-Managed boards can be added to a new or existing program although some of the functionality is limited depending on your Program’s configuration. 

Please read our documentation on team-managed boards for more information.

Can I add a team to multiple Programs?

From version 4.2.0, boards can be added to multiple Programs.

Prior to version 4.2.0: Boards can only be added to one Program.

Current workaround - Create a new board with the same board filter so you can visualise the work of a shared services team across multiple Programs.

What is a ‘Team Agile Board’?

Programs is built around Agile Boards. Jira Software has both projects and agile boards. We decided to base Easy Agile Programs on agile boards as they provide a lot of flexibility around how they're configured.

An agile board determines which issues should be displayed based on the Jira saved filter, which can be as simple as all issues from a project, or a complex nested JQL query.

Search by the agile board name to location the team and add them to your Program.

Team Board Configuration

First up we'll need to create a Scrum board for each team. The filter used for the team boards will determine the issues that a given team will work with in their backlog. When creating a program in Easy Agile Programs using Epics you have two options:

Program only includes Epics from Team agile board

In this configuration each team will only see Epics from their own project in the Jira Backlog. The shared Project Epics will still be visible and linkable within Easy Agile Programs but won't be visible within the standard Jira Backlog.

This configuration is ideal when your shared Epic project has a large number of Epics that you may not want to include in every Team Backlog.

For this configuration the default board filter generated for a new Scrum Board is perfect. If you've created Scrum boards with your team projects there's nothing else to do here!

PROJECT = TEAMA ORDER BY RANK
CODE

Program includes Epics from the Team and Roadmap agile boards

In this configuration each Teams backlog will include their own Epics, and Epics from the shared SPACE project. 

For this configuration we need to set the board filter for each Team to include every issue from their Team Project and any Epics from the shared project

If you've created your Team Projects with the default Scrum boards you'll need to update each filter as follows substituting TEAMA for each Team.

PROJECT = TEAMA OR (PROJECT = SPACE AND TYPE = Epic) ORDER BY RANK
CODE

Roadmap Board Configuration

For the Roadmap board we're going to include Epics from all the Team boards (Team A, Team B and Team C) and Epics from the shared project (Space Exploration). We recommend a Kanban board for your Roadmap. You may also wish to review Understanding the cycle time of Epics in Jira. The board filter for your Program Roadmap Board should look like this:

PROJECT IN (TEAMA, TEAMB, TEAMC, SPACE) AND TYPE = Epic ORDER BY RANK
CODE

Alternatively you could assign each Project to a Project category to simplify the JQL. If every Project was included in a category called "Space Program" your Roadmap filter could be:

"Project Category" = "Space Program" AND TYPE = Epic ORDER BY RANK
CODE

Order of features on the Edit Roadmap screen doesn’t match the Program Board

Programs enables you to order features on the Edit Roadmap screen so you can prioritize upcoming work. This order will also be reflected on the Program Board if Jira’s issue ranking is enabled on the board(s).

If the order of your features on the Edit Roadmap screen is not reflected in the Program Board, first check the board configuration to enable issue ranking.

To confirm issue ranking is enabled on your board, make sure the board filter query includes the following clause:

ORDER BY Rank ASC
NONE

See Enable ranking in the Jira help documentation for more information.