Agile Hive is an app for Jira Software and can be downloaded via the Atlassian Marketplace.
Try it for free for 30 days without limitations.
- Jira Software 8.4.0 or higher.
- Confluence is technically optional but highly recommended for implementing SAFe in terms of content, such as Lean Business Cases, Epic Hypothesis Statements or PI Planning Overviews.
- After the installation is complete, Agile Hive directs you to the "Settings" page.
- Please set a user with administrative privileges and "Edit issue" and "Browse project" permissions on all Jira projects that will be used in the Agile Hive context.
Agile Hive provides preconfigured projects for all four SAFe levels. Easily create a project for every Team, Agile Release Train, Solution and Portfolio with the corresponding template.
Go to 'Projects → Create Project' and select the desired project template.
Matching boards are also created automatically by Agile Hive. Of course, you can adapt the delivered project configuration to your wishes.
If you want to use existing projects, please follow this link:
Example - Creating an Essential SAFe (Agile Release Train + Teams)
» Creating the Agile Release Train project
- Go to 'Projects → Create Project' and select the 'SAFe ART Project' template.
- Enter a project name (optionally adjust the project key and the project lead).
- Repeat those steps for all your Agile Release Trains.
» Creating the Team projects
- Go to 'Projects → Create Project' and select either the 'SAFe Scrum-Team Project' or the 'SAFe Kanban-Team Project' template.
- Enter a project name (optionally adjust the project key and the project lead).
- Repeat those steps for all your teams.
With the help of the Agile Hive Project Hierarchies, you can map the four SAFe levels (Portfolio, Large Solution, ART and Team) as well as the business units (Jira projects like an ART or team project) located therein.
The SAFe levels are represented as horizontal layers. The business units are shown as colored nodes within the layers.
Go to 'Administration → Manage Apps → Project Hierarchies' to configure the Agile Hive Project Hierarchies.
Example - Creating an Essential SAFe Project Hierarchy (Agile Release Train + Teams)
» Create the SAFe Layers
- If you have no layers yet, you will be prompted to: “Click here to add your first Layer”.
- Create the first Layer and name it "Agile Release Train" or "ART". In the column "SAFe level" please select "ART" from the dropdown.
- Create the second Layer and name it "Team". In the column "SAFe level" please select "Team" from the dropdown.
- Close the "Configure Layer" dialog.
» Map the SAFe Projects
- Click on the grey Layer "ART" (on the right side an area will slide open, showing the name of the layer and a Drop-Down menu titled Projects).
- Clicking on the drop-down, a list of all Jira projects is displayed. By typing a name or a key of a specific project, you filter the results.
- Choose a project. It will be displayed in a list under the drop-down, labeled “New”. This indicates, that this project will be assigned to the layer once you press Save.
- Repeat this process for the Layer "Team" until all teams are inserted and visible inside the view.
» Relate the SAFe Projects
Select a project within the "ART" Layer in the hierarchy view. In the sidebar is a drop-down titled "Child Projects".
Clicking on the drop-down, a list of all Jira projects is displayed. By typing a name or a key of a specific project, you filter the results. Choose a "Team" project.
Repeat step 3 until all "Team" projects are inserted & finally press Save. The selected "ART" should now be connected to the first "Team" project with a grey line.
Automated Agile Hive Main Menu
The hierarchy is automatically displayed in a menu called Agile Hive and is accessible to all users (reload the current page if it is not visible it in the top navigation).
This means that users can conveniently access the various projects and immediately access the numerous Agile Hive views.
Introduction - Custom Issue Types, Workflows, Screens & Links
Agile Hive does not take anything away from you or limit you, on the contrary, you retain full flexibility. You can adapt all Issue Types, Workflows and Screens to your needs. Only a few Agile Hive fields should be used here and there - that's it. Let's take a closer look.
The following applies to all Agile Hive projects and their issue types:
- Every Issue Type is optional
- Add as many Issue Types to every Agile Hive Scheme as you want
- Every Issue Type can be renamed
- Every Issue Type can be removed from the Agile Hive Schemes
- Every Issue Type can use other icons
- Every Issue Type can be deleted
- If the Issue Type Objective or Risk haven been deleted & you want to use Objective or Risk again, simply create new issue types with the name ‘Objective’ or ‘Risk’ and Agile Hive automatically uses them
- Only the Issue Types Objective & Risk are used for specific reports
The following applies to all Agile Hive projects and their workflows:
- Use your own workflows or adapt those from Agile Hive. There are no restrictions.
The following applies to all Agile Hive projects and their screens:
- Adjust the screens according to your wishes. Add any fields & sort them as you like.
- We recommend keeping the Agile Hive fields in the various schemes in order to be able to view and edit important information directly in the issue.
Agile Hive Links
All Agile Hive Linktypes can be renamed.
The outward / inward link of the following links can be renamed:
- Agile Hive Objective Link
- Agile Hive Risk Link
- Agile Hive Dependency Link
- Agile Hive Hierarchy Link
Custom Epic Panel
The 'Custom Epic Panel' allows you to display issues from a higher SAFe level in the Epic Panel of a Jira board. This empowers users to use drag and drop to hierarchically link for example stories on team level to Features on ART level.
The same procedure can also be used for other scenarios. For example, another board can be used exclusively for objectives. Instead of Features, the team's objectives could be displayed in the panel and thus enable a easy linking between team issues and team objectives.
Since these settings can be stored for each board individually, numerous use cases are possible and all unaffected boards continue to work with the standard Jira Epic Panel functionality.
Go to 'Administration → Manage Apps → Custom Epic Panel → Configuration' to configure the behaviour of Epic Panels in the desired Jira boards.
Example for all Teams of one ART
- Click on "Create new configuration"
- Enter as Panel Name "ART" or "Features"
- Enter as JQL: project = "Your Project" AND statusCategory != Done
- Enter all Team Boards of the specified ART
- Set the Link Type to "Agile Hive Link"
- Set the Link Direction to "Inward"
- Enter as Backlog Name "Backlog"
- Press Save
AutoPage creates, links & updates Confluence pages, page trees & the page content automatically through Jira. This functionality is mostly used to automize the creation of the 'Epic Hypothesis Statement', the WSJF documentation and the 'Lean Business Case'.
Numerous use cases are possible. Think of automated Sprint review & retrospective pages or Release documentation.
Go to 'Administration → Manage Apps → AutoPage → AutoPage Settings' to configure when Confluence pages should be created, linked & updated automatically through Jira.
Example for automated documentation of Epics
- Click on "Create new rule"
- Rule: As rule name enter "Epic Overview"
- Issue Event Types: Select as Issue Event Types "all events"
- JQL: Provide the following JQL: project = "Your Project" and issuetype = "Your Issue Type for Epics"
- Confluence Space: Provide the Confluence Space where the page should be created
- Confluence Template Page: Provide a Confluence Page, that will be used as a template
- Confluence Page: Choose a Confluence page as parent page
- Issue Link Name: Enter "Epic Overview"
- Press Save
After the installation and configuration is complete (step 1 - 4), it is time to set up Planning Intervals (PIs), create issues & plan some work so that the reports and the other Agile Hive views can present the information.
Please ensure the following before you proceed:
- Layers were created in the project hierarchies and each provided with the correct SAFe levels
- Projects were created using the Agile Hive project templates
- These projects were inserted into the correct layers of the project hierarchies according to their SAFe level
- The projects were linked hierarchically
Note: Of course, further projects can be created at any time and inserted into the layers
Managing Planning Intervals (PIs)
With Agile Hive, PIs can be created per ART. The respective sprints / iterations are then automatically created in the teams.
The user who creates the PIs must have the "Manage Sprints" permission in all child projects of the respective ART.
Creating new PIs
- Open the desired ART project in which the PIs are to be created via the Agile Hive menu
- In the reports view click on the PI dropdown at the top right
- Click on "Create new PI"
- Fill in the fields of the PI dialog & click the Confirm button
Repeat the process for other PIs.
After creation, PIs can be selected in the dropdown at the top right. This means that every user can switch to past, future and current PIs in order to view the reports, Breakout Boards or ART Planning Boards of a specific PI.
- Open the desired ART project in which the PIs should be edited via the Agile Hive menu
- In the reports view click on the PI dropdown at the top right & select the PI which should be edited
- Again click on the PI dropdown and click on "Edit PI"
- Make the desired changes & click the Confirm button
Note: Only future PIs can be edited
- Open the desired ART project in which the PIs should be deleted via the Agile Hive menu.
- In the reports view click on the PI dropdown at the top right & select the PI which should be deleted.
- Again click on the PI dropdown and click on "Delete selected PI".
- Select whether to delete all corresponding Sprints and click the "Permanently delete PI" button.
Note: All PIs including the current PI and past ones can be deleted. Be careful, this step can not be undone.
Since no issues have been created yet, the reports can hardly show anything. If you just want to test Agile Hive or your configuration, it makes sense to create at least one issue in each project.
The following issues should be created in the respective projects for a Full SAFe configuration:
- Portfolio Epic
Furthermore we would like to create a Risk and an Objective in all projects of the teams, ARTs and solutions.
Before we link the created issues with each other, let's take a look at the four Agile Hive links:
(1) Agile Hive Link
- This link type links issues hierarchically, that are located on adjacent layers (layers / SAFe levels cannot currently be skipped).
- It consists of the two link directions "Parent of" and "Child of".
- Purpose: aggregation of progress and statistics for all reports.
(2) Agile Hive Objective Link
- This link type links Team Objectives to other planned issues of the same team.
- You have to link an objective with at least one planned story so that the objective can be seen in the respective PI in the reports (this will be improved soon).
- It consists of the two link directions "Belongs to Objective" and "Is Objective of".
- Purpose: summation of the story points that contribute to the respective objective in the team report as well as progress display based on the completed story points.
(3) Agile Hive Risk Link
- This link type links Risks to other issues, that will mitigate the risk.
- It consists of the two link directions "Treats" and "Is treated by".
- Purpose: Issues that mitigate a risk are automatically displayed in the Team / ART / Solution Reports.
(4) Agile Hive Dependency Link
- This link type links issues to dependent issues.
- It consists of the two link directions "requires" and "is required by".
- Purpose: Visual dependencies in ART & Breakout boards.
Let us link the created issues:
- Link the Portfolio Epic, Capability, Feature & Story hierarchically by starting with the Story and linking it to the Feature with the 'Child of' link. Then link the Feature with the Capability and the Capability with the Portfolio Epic, so that there is a strand across all levels. If the custom epic panel from the optional step 4 has been configured for the projects, the child issues can be linked to the parent issues in the respective Jira board using drag and drop.
- Link a Team Objective with a Story from the same team with the "Is Objective of" link.
- Link a Risk on Team Level to any other issue with the "is treated by" link.
- Link an issue that is dependent from any other issue with the "is required by" link.
Of course, you can also create the links from the second issue. Make sure to use the correct link direction.
Now that we have made all the preparations, we can do the PI planning and bring the Agile Hive reports as well as the Team Breakout views and the ART boards to life.
Select a team from the Agile Hive menu. You are now in the Agile Hive Report for the selected team. Now you can easily switch to the Team Breakout Board and the ART Board using the buttons at the top left.
- If the Breakout Board is opened from within a team, it is team-specific and represents the respective team in the first row. The capacity for this team can then be entered here.
- If the Breakout board is opened via the ART project, the teams are displayed alphabetically and consequently no capacity can be entered.
- The ART Planning Board is always displayed identically, regardless of which project it was opened from.
Step 1 - Capacity
- Enter the capacity for each sprint of your team
Step 2 - Assign Features
- Open up the ART Backlog Sidebar and drag and drop the ART issues into your team. They will be displayed as swimlanes (Feature Lanes).
Step 3 - Feature Breakdown
- Break down those ART issues into Stories (or any other team issue type) by hovering into a swimlane, clicking the '+Add' button & creating a new Story.
- These issues are automatically linked hierarchically with the ART issue and are also scheduled in a sprint.
Step 4 - Dependencies
- Dependencies are shown automatically for all issues that are linked with the Agile Hive Dependency Link (requires / is required by).
ART Planning Board
The ART Planning Board is an automatically generated view and therefore no steps are required here.
- The completion of features and other ART issues is calculated automatically with Agile Hive. The respective feature is thus represented in an iteration in which it is completed.
- Dependencies that were set via the Agile Hive Dependency Link are displayed visually. In addition, all other planned issues are shown on which the ART issues depend.