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For Agile Hive: VERSION 34



Introduction

This user manual covers all of the dashboards provided by Agile Hive based on the Atlassian tools Jira and Confluence and explains their functionality.

  • Jira is the primary system - In Jira, you can find the comprehensive reporting, hierarchical view of all SAFe artifacts and the visual representation of dependencies.
  • Confluence provides support for the documentation, such as for the "Lean Business Case" or discussions about the Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF) of an epics or feature. A major advantage of this solution is that Confluence pages and their content are created automatically from Jira.

To get an overview, please refer to our Agile Hive website and its introductory video.




Agile Hive - An overview of the hierarchy

The diagrams on the right show the following four different "Agile Hive -SAFe configurations:

  • Agile Hive - Full SAFe 
  • Agile Hive - Large Solution SAFe 
  • Agile Hive - Portfolio SAFe
  • Agile Hive - Essential SAFe

These configurations differ mainly in the number of SAFe levels. We have numbered the levels from 1 to 4 and included their names (PORTFOLIO, LARGE SOLUTION, PROGRAM or TEAM). Each level uses specific types of issues such as "EPIC (PORTFOLIO)" or "ENABLER (PORTFOLIO)" at the PORTFOLIO level.

These issues are linked from level to level with special hierarchical links. Agile Hive's linking concept ensures that unauthorized hierarchical links, e.g. from the PORTFOLIO level directly to the TEAM level, cannot be set by users and therefore will avoid errors.

Additional issue types can be used on the various levels as needed. You can also choose to include these issue types in the hierarchy or not.

In principle, you can rename all of the elements (levels, issue types, links, etc.) quickly and easily.


Agile Hive - Full SAFe HierarchyAgile Hive - Large Solution SAFe Hierarchy

Agile Hive - Portfolio SAFe HierarchyAgile Hive - Essential SAFe Hierarchy




Agile Hive Navigation

Agile Hive has its own navigation menu in Jira, in which all dashboards can be accessed easily and centrally. This menu is only visible to employees working in the SAFe context. By default these employees can also see all issues in the SAFe context (however, editing rights are granted on a user-specific basis).

Jira administrators can change the name of the "Agile Hive" menu item in the (see screenshot) as well as the names of all entries in the Agile Hive menu. You can also include additional menu items, headings (shown in capital letters in the screenshot) and even sub-menus.

The menu items shown can be customized for specific Jira user groups. For example, the section with the heading "ADMIN" and its entries, such as "Manage Structure", are only visible to Jira administrators by default.

This example menu shows you a full SAFe configuration with a single Agile Release Train.

All Agile Hive menu items are explained below.




Dashboards

SAFe Report Dashboard

The SAFe Report Dashboard provides an overview of custom reports with information specifically aggregated and displayed for all levels of the SAFe framework. These include burndowns and burnups, as well as roadmap views, velocity charts, forecasts and several real-time progress reports for the various issues and levels of detail, such as epics or features. This gives you a general overview, and includes multiple project dashboards. You can see such an overview for each SAFe level. Users can create their own dashboard without affecting this SAFe Report Dashboard.

In addition to the SAFe Report Dashboard, there is the Portfolio Dashboard. This provides a high-level overview at the Portfolio level.

The Program Dashboard lets you see the progress and status of features and enablers from an Agile Release Train. In our example, only one dashboard is configured. A separate Program Dashboard should be created for each Agile Release Train.

The Team Dashboard lets individual teams see their progress in their sprints.

For a detailed explanation of each report and the configuration options, see the Agile Hive - SAFe Reports documentation.

Gardening Dashboard

Links between SAFe artifacts at the Portfolio and the Team level is done via issue links in Agile Hive. Results displayed in SAFe reports are also based on these links. The Gardening Dashboard lets you see the issues for which a link is missing and provides an overview of the issues where links should be maintained in order to produce meaningful reports and overviews.

The filter "TEAM to ART Link Missing" lists the Stories that are not yet linked to a Feature at the Program level. Similarly, the "ART to Portfolio Link Missing" filter lists any Features that are not yet linked to an Epic at the Portfolio level. The "Link skips Program Level" filter lists Stories that are directly linked to an Epic at the Portfolio level. This does not usually happen, since it is not possible to link the Story and Epic directly. However, if a Feature is converted to a Story, an incorrect 'shortcut' may be introduced (exploit).




Portfolio Level

Create issues at the Portfolio level

So that the "Portfolio Level Structure" and "Portfolio Board" views can display content, issues must be created first. Use the Create button in the top navigation bar to go to the Create Issue screen. Select the "Portfolio" project (see screenshot 1).

The standard Issue Types are as follows:

  1. Epic (Portfolio)
  2. Enabler (Portfolio)

Issue details are distributed over two tabs:

  1. Business Details (screenshot 1)
  2. WSJF (screenshot 2)

The following fields are important:

  1. Epic Owner - Select a person to be the Epic Owner in the user selection field.
  2. Business Value - Select one of the following from the drop-down list: None,1,2,3,5,8,13,20,40 or 100.
  3. Risk Value - Select a value from the drop-down list.
  4. Time Criticality - Select a value from the drop-down list.
  5. Job Size - Select a value from the drop-down list.
  6. Original Job Size - Enter a numerical value here.

The Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF) is calculated as follows:

  • Business Value + Risk Value + Time Criticality = Cost of Delay
  • Cost of Delay / Job Size = WSJF

The Cost of Delay and the WSJF are are calculated automatically and these fields cannot be changed by a user.


Epic issue details

A newly created Epic can be seen in screenshot 3. The WSJF and all other values are listed in the Details panel.

If the Time Criticality changes, you can change its value here. The WSJF calculation is automatically updated using the new Time Criticality value.

The "Issue Links" panel contains links to seven Confluence pages. These were created with the AutoPage app. Additional information on the status of automatically created pages, is displayed in the AutoPage panel to the lower right of the issue.

Administrators can configure when Confluence pages should be created, in which space, and using which template. Whole page trees can also be created. In this case, the page tree was created when the process was created, linked to the Jira issue, and populated with dynamic content.

Such dynamic content includes, but is not limited to:

  • names of Confluence pages as based on the Jira issue key and its summary.

  • configuration of Confluence macros such as the Jira macro.

  • embedded Jira fields in Confluence pages with live synchronization and page versioning.

You need to link issues to build the SAFe artifact hierarchy. To add a link, select More > Link.

Screenshot 4 shows you the different links possible at the Portfolio level:

  1. relates to
    1. is always available.
    2. has no influence on the SAFe hierarchy.
    3. can link to any issue.
  2. PORTFOLIO TO ART LINK
    1. is only available at the Portfolio level.
    2. affects the SAFe hierarchy.
    3. can link to issues at the Program level (with the exception of Risk (Program) which can not be linked to).
  3. PORTFOLIO TO LARGE SOLUTION LINK (only available in the Full SAFe configuration)
    1. is only available at the Portfolio level.
    2. affects the SAFe hierarchy.
    3. can only be linked to issues at the Large Solution level.

Links that affect the hierarchy are always displayed in uppercase letters.

Enter or search for the issues you want to link to. You can add links to several issues at once!

Note: only valid issues can be linked to with the "PORTFOLIO TO ART LINK" and "PORTFOLIO TO LARGE SOLUTION LINK", for example the issue "Epic (Portfolio)" with a link type "PORTFOLIO TO ART LINK" cannot be linked with a story at the Team level. This is indicated with a red error message.

Common error: Trying to link several processes that are on different levels. This is not possible. You need to ad links level by level!

If you have added a link that affects the hierarchy, it is displayed in both the Issue Links panel and in the Structure panel, which visualizes the hierarchy. This panel may be minimized - expand it when required.

Portfolio SAFe Hierarchy

The "Portfolio Structure" dashboard displays SAFe issues hierarchically. Depending on which SAFe configuration is used, this structure may be more or less complex. In the example below, a Full SAFe configuration is assumed, which contains all four SAFe levels:

  • Portfolio
    • Large Solution
      • Program
        • Team

The following is an example structure in Agile Hive (see the screenshot):

  • Epic (Portfolio)
    • Capability (Large Solution)
      • Groups for program increments 
        • Feature (Program)
          • Groups for active, future and completed sprints
            • Story

To drill down through the levels, click on an arrow icon before any of the issue type or group icons in the "Summary" column.

Note: The Add button in the toolbar works differently in this dashboard and is preceded by a +. You can create issues as usual. Ignore the error message that may appear in this dashboard

Portfolio Board

The Portfolio Board is a Kanban board where all portfolio artifacts (Epic + Enabler) are displayed. Custom charts are displayed below the WSJF summary.

There is no automatic sorting according to WSJF (but this can be configured on request).




Program Level

Create issues at the Program level

So that the "Program Roadmap", "Program Board", "Risk Board" and "Risk Matrix" dashboards can display content, these issues need to be created. Create and issue and select the "Program" project. If your company has multiple Agile Release Trains (ARTs), you should select the appropriate ART project here. The default issue types include:

  1. Feature (Program)
  2. Enabler (Program)
  3. Risk (Program)
  4. Impediment (Program)


Program Board

The Program Board provides you with an overview of the status of all issues at the Program level of a Release Train. The Kanban board is divided into the individual Program Increments (PIs) with swimlanes. By moving issues to another column on the board, you can change its status (alternatively, you can change its status in the issue details).

PIs are indicated as versions in the Program project. To create a new PI, you need to be a administrator for that project. To manage PIs, go to Project settings > Versions.

To assign an issue to a PI, enter the PI in the Fix Version field.

Program Roadmap

The Program Roadmap provides a different view of the issues at the Program level. The columns represent the individual PIs. You can also move issues in the Program Board with drag and drop. When you move an issue to another column, the issue is transferred to the corresponding PI. This change is visible in the issue itself and in the Program Board.

You should avoid moving issues to another row because the rows group issues of different types - moving an issue to another column changes its type. For example, a Feature can become an Enabler - this is not wanted in most cases.

Dependencies between issues can be displayed on the Program Roadmap. Show or hide the dependencies via Toggle Links in the top right corner of the toolbar.

Risk Board

The Risk Board outlines all the risks of an ART. All issues are displayed, and those that contribute to the risks are linked with a red line.

Blue links also show dependencies between non-risk-related issues

  • X-axis: The PIs where the risks are located. The "Unscheduled" column is used for all unforeseen risks.
  • Y-axis: Groups issues dynamically by their types.

You can drag and drop Risks into their PIs.

Note: Avoid moving issues to another row - moving an issue to another column changes its type and has an affect on reporting. This can not be technically prevented.

Risk Matrix

The Risk Board can display all risks of an ART in a matrix as well as in a list. Risks are categorized by two fields:

  1. Risk Probability
  2. Risk Consequence

The values can either be changed directly in the issues or in the Risk Board using drag and drop.

Note: You can create issues by clicking in a cell. Only risks can be created. If you select another issue type and create the issue, the action is aborted with an error message.




Team Level

PI Planning and dependencies

PI Planning gives you an overview of all the issues in a PI as well as the teams involved. The columns detail the individual sprints of the teams working on the PIs (displayed as Cadences in the dashboard).

The upper section displays a timeline with an overview of the scheduled PIs. Select the PI you want to view in the PI Planning on this timeline.

Select "Links" from the toolbar to show the dependencies between the issues. You can also display only dependencies that are planned in the wrong order (in red).

Select "Manage Roadmap" to configure which teams are displayed. A sprint must be defined for each cadence and each team in order to display the issues in the sprints and the dependencies between them.

Example team KING

This is an example of a team board, which is a Scrum board that displays the active sprint by default. You can open the backlog dashboard as required.


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