Extending Jira Software to support SAFe

Atlassian’s Jira Software is commonly used to track team-based agile software development work. It was originally designed to help developers track issues (bugs) and work items and evolved over time to support agile teams using Kanban and sprint-based development efforts.

However, its default data structure and developer-based user interface are a barrier to its use as a strategic planning tool for non-technical business users. It was never intended to support large-scale agile software development efforts like SAFe, which requires the ability to plan and track work using strategic themes, lean budgeting, portfolio epics and agile release trains.

Targetprocess and Scaled Agile Inc. have been partners for many years and we’ve continually enhanced our support for SAFe by adding templates to our Solution Libraries. We have upgraded our core architecture to natively support large-scale SAFe-based planning, tracking and visualizing status at the PI, solution, portfolio and organizational levels.

View of Targetprocess work item hierarchy in support of SAFe
View of Targetprocess work item hierarchy in support of SAFe
However, we recognize there are teams that prefer to continue using team-based tools they are familiar with – such as Jira Software. To allow these organizations to support large-scale SAFe-based implementations, we have extended the capability of these tools to support SAFe through an enhanced integration with Targetprocess. Our integration with Jira provides a continuous connection between team-level Jira work items and SAFe-based program and portfolio level plans. This capability allows teams to continue to use the engineering-oriented tools (Jira) they are familiar with, while business users and release train engineers can track status, manage dependencies, adjust forecasts and build visual roadmaps at the program, solution or portfolio levels using Targetprocess.Visual RoadmapsBy using this integration, portfolio managers, business leaders and release train engineers perform their SAFe-based strategic planning in Targetprocess, which offers an intuitive visual interface for managing strategic themes, building lean budgets and organizing how work should be prioritized across their business portfolio. During PI Planning sessions, the work can be further broken down by the teams and assigned to sprints where dependencies can be visualized and resolved and teams can refine estimates and priorities in preparation for tactical execution. During the execution phase, all the Features (Jira Epics) and User Stories – whether created in Targetprocess or Jira – will remain synchronized across both platforms as work progresses. This allows the development teams to use Jira to manage their day-to-day work, and business leaders to track status and progress against OKRs. As work progresses, all estimates, progress and the status of work is synchronized across the two platforms.Extending Jira to support SAFe by connecting it with Targetprocess ensures your business will always have an up-to-date, enterprise wide view of progress and status across the organization. Business users and portfolio managers can use Targetprocess’ non-technical visual interface for strategic planning and forecasting, while engineering teams can continue to use Jira Software to manage code, releases and track their day-to-day work.

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