A Program Increment is a timeboxed period, often a quarter, in which to deliver a set of agreed features.
Users with ‘Manage Programs’ permission can create, edit and delete a new Increment from the Program Roadmap screen.
How to create a Program Increment
1. Name your Increment
2. Add objectives
(Optional, but recommended) What are the main objectives of this Program Increment that you want to communicate to your teams? What are the teams intended to achieve in this fixed Increment timebox?Are there any links to Confluence that would be helpful to include?
3. Select a ‘Start Date’
When does the Program Increment start?
4. Choose the ‘Sprint Length’
How long are your sprints?
5. Select the ‘Sprint Count’
How many sprints are in your increment?
6. Select the ‘Sprint Source’
The Sprint Length and Sprint Count properties are stored at the Increment level rather than at the Program level. This allows a change of cadence during the life of the Program.
Understanding ‘Sprint Source’: shared vs team managed sprints
There are two options available:
All the teams in your Program Increment share the same sprints.
Benefits of configuring a Program Increment to use shared/global sprints in Jira include:
central sprint management
ease of cross-team reporting
To configure shared/global sprints for an Increment:
Select Teams use shared sprints from a dedicated board:
Under the Shared sprint board heading, select the Board where your shared sprints live/should be created on
Each Program Increment sprint can be configured via their corresponding dropdown. Here is where you can configure any active or future sprints on your dedicated board. If no sprints exist, Easy Agile Programs will create them for you. If you have a specific naming convention we recommend you create your sprints before creating an Increment.
Please note: We recommend that you don’t use the same ‘shared sprints’ across Programs as our custom fields will not work as intended. When an issue is put in a sprint that’s associated with a Program we set the custom fields “Program” and “Program Increment” on the issue for visibility and reporting. When the same sprints are used across multiple Programs, the custom fields will be added for one Program/Program Increment only.
Team managed sprints
All of the teams in your Program Increment manage their own sprints from their agile board in Jira.
Benefits of configuring a Program Increment to use team managed sprints in Jira include:
autonomy of the teams to manage their own Sprints on their agile boards
To configure team managed sprints for an Increment:
Select Teams independently manage their own sprints on their team board:
Once selected, each team will need to map the sprints from their agile board in Jira to the Program Increment. The first time you navigate to the Team Planning Board you will be required to map your sprints. We recommend doing this straight after creating the Increment, before anyone in the broader team starts planning so that the correct sprints are selected.
Each sprint can be configured via their corresponding dropdown. Here is where you can map any active or future sprints on your dedicated board.
If no sprints exist, Easy Agile Programs will create them for you. If you have a specific naming convention we recommend you create your sprints before creating an Increment.
Editing an Increment
To edit an Increment, click the menu on the Increment and select “Edit Increment”.
From here you can:
Change the Increment Name - changing the name will automatically update the custom fields
Change increment start date
Change the length of sprints in your increment
Add or remove sprints from your increment
Remap sprints if you’re using ‘Shared sprints’
If you’d like more editing capabilities, please reach out to us with an explanation of your use case.
Deleting an Increment
To delete an Increment, click the menu on the Increment and select “Delete Increment”.
Does every sprint need to be the same length?
Yes, at this stage all sprints must be the same length. If you’d like more flexibility with variable sprint lengths please reach out to us with an explanation of your use case.
Can I create overlapping Increments?
Currently it is not possible to create overlapping Increments as it would be difficult to view the Program Roadmap. If you’d like to be able to create overlapping Increments, please reach out to us with an explanation of your use case.
What if I synced the wrong sprints?
If you are using shared sprints, go to the Program Roadmap, click the menu on the Increment and select “Edit Increment”. You can change the sprints from here.
Team Managed Sprints
From version 4.2.0, you can change the sprints mapped to your increment from the Team Planning Board.
Simply click on the sprint name to open up the ‘Change your Sprint’ modal. You’ll be able to select another sprint as long as its not already used by the same Program. You can also select closed sprints.
To make theses changes you must have ‘Manage Sprints’ permission in your Jira instance.
For versions prior to 4.2.0, there is currently no simple way to remap sprints. The present workaround is to remove the board from the Program and add it again. This will trigger the “Sync your Jira sprints” page when you go to the Team Planning Board and you can reselect your sprints.
Please note: this will reset the sprint mapping for that board on every Increment in that Program and it will not be possible to select completed sprints for any previous Increments you may have.
Are sprint dates synced with Jira?
The dates shown in Easy Agile Programs are calculated based on the start date, sprint length and sprint count. These dates are currently not synced with Jira so it is possible to have conflicting dates between Easy Agile Programs and Jira.
Does every team in the Program have to follow the same cadence?
Following the guidance from Scaled Agile, our product has been designed for all teams in your Agile Release Train to have the same length sprints.
Why does Easy Agile Programs automatically create sprints?
When there are no active, or existing future sprints, Easy Agile Programs will automatically create them for you.
For example, if your Program Increment is configured as X5 2 week Sprints, and Team A has no active or future existing Sprints on their board, Easy Agile Programs will create X5 new Sprints on Team A’s backlog.
When using team managed sprints, how do I select a closed sprint?
When first syncing your sprints, you will only be able to select active sprints from the ‘Sync your Jira sprints…’ page.
To select a closed sprint:
Create a placeholder sprint in your Jira backlog
Sync this placeholder sprint
Navigate to the Team Planning Board and click on the sprint name to open the ‘Change your sprint’ modal
Search for the closed sprint in the dropdown and select
When using team managed sprints, how do I select a sprint that was created on a different board?
When first syncing your sprints, you will only be able to select active sprints that were originally created on your agile board.
To select a sprint created on another board, start by assigning team issues to that sprint so that the sprint appears on your Jira backlog.
Once the sprint is on your backlog, you will be able to select it from the ‘Change your sprint’ modal on the Team Planning Board if it is not already being used by another team in the Program.