How the Jira Roadmap Feature Can Help Overcome Agile Challenges?

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Last updated on
06th Aug, 2021
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06th Aug, 2021
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How the Jira Roadmap Feature Can Help Overcome Agile Challenges?

Among the many tools that are available in the market to help teams plan, track and improve work efficiency, the Jira software by Atlassian is among the most popular. It provides several features that help teams to maximise value at every stage of the product development, from creating boards and product backlogs to bug fixing and releasing. In this blog we attempt to understand the Jira roadmap and how it helps Agile teams progress better through an Agile development project.

What is a roadmap?

A product roadmap is a high-level plan that serves as a tool to map an idea, develop the strategy for a product, align customers / stakeholders and the funds required to develop the product—GSA Tech Guide 

A roadmap is a plan of action, a visual representation of the plan of action for a product during its evolution from ideation to release and maintenance. It states the short- and long-term goals of the project, defines its objectives and sets task allocations.

For Agile teams, the product roadmap provides a context for the tasks the team has to undertake. The roadmap helps teams and all those involved in the project to follow the Agile values of early and continuous delivery of valuable software. A roadmap clearly outlines priorities and thus helps teams to focus on critical deliverables and maximise value.

Why you Need Roadmaps in Jira?

Source: atlassian.com

Jira software offers team-level roadmaps, helping teams better plan project work and tasks. Large tasks can be planned several months ahead, and you can get a visual layout of how tasks will pan out over time. 

At the macrolevel, Jira roadmaps help teams understand what they are working on and how it ties back to the overall objective of the project, in other words, how the tasks allocated connect with the overall product strategy. Having a high-level view of the tasks, helps change or re-prioritise and re-order items based on customer feedback. This is an important feature of agile projects as customer feedback must be implemented in order to ensure stakeholder satisfaction. 

The Jira roadmap can be easily accessed by both the teams and the stakeholders or investors giving them a view of the project at any point in time. While the roadmap offers only a high-level view of the project, the Jira roadmap offers features to add more detail that can be accessed by team members.

The Jira roadmap allows large tasks to be broken down into epics, with clear dates and deadlines given for all tasks. Any changes made to the epics will also automatically adjust the dates and timelines; thus, always giving the team relevant information.

Additionally, the Jira roadmap provides various features to improve communication within the team and improve planning.

Roadmaps aren’t only for the development team. They are also a great way to communicate and share the project status and objectives to various other teams such as the marketing team, sales team etc and the stakeholders and investors.

Key Concepts
Jira Roadmap With Hierarchy

Source: atlassian.com

There are certain concepts you must know of before you start creating the roadmap in Jira.

  • What are Epics: Agile is all about breaking down large projects into smaller parts. In Jira, Epics are large body of work that are broken further into tasks with each task having a goal that has to be delivered.  They are also called parent issues. On the Jira board, Epics are displayed as coloured bars. 
  • What are Child Issues: Epics are broken down further into child issues, such as stories, tasks, or bugs or any user defined ones. They can be created directly in the roadmaps from the Epics that they belong to.
  • Start and due dates: Every task/epic would need a start and an end date that will help you communicate plans with team members and stakeholders as well as with resource management. 
  • Filters and view settings: The Jira roadmap provides several filters and view settings to search for and modify things and make it better to view by filters. 
  • Dependencies: Dependencies are activities or tasks that are linked or dependent on each other for completion. These are important in product development as well-mapped dependencies help teams to plan for alternate solutions or paths. Jira allows mappingdependencies between epics in the roadmap.
  • Share the roadmap: Jira allows the sharing of the roadmap. You can share your roadmap with team members, stakeholders and other interested parties as a presentation, attaching it as an email, hosting it on cloud or by printing it. 
  • Export the roadmap: You can export the roadmap from Jira as an image and send it to various stakeholders or team members.

Types of roadmaps

Your roadmap reflects the status of your project and hence must cater to the audience accessing it. Your roadmap will be different for the management, marketing team and stakeholders. Let’s look at some of the different types of roadmaps: 

  • C-suite

For the management or leadership of your organization, you should make sure that the roadmap reflects the goals, and the project aligns to the business objectives. 

  • Engineering team:

Through the roadmap, the engineering team will know the scope, goal and shape the project needs to take. The roadmap for the development team should include information on releases, features and requirements. 

  • Marketing team:

The marketing team will want to understand how the project benefits the customer. The roadmap for this audience should include product strategy and goals along with the benefits that each release or feature will bring to the customer.  

  • Stakeholders: 

The roadmap made for stakeholders should include information about releases and other critical timeline. It should not delve too deep into details, but rather should present clear and concise information.  

Key points to remember while setting up your Jira roadmap

Jira Roadmap Simplifying Team Communication

Source: idalko.com

 There are a few things to consider before setting up the roadmap in Jira. First, gather all information needed including customer insights, market reviews, team goals and targets. This will help to plan out priorities and set tasks. 

You also need to know who the audience for your roadmap is. You can change the level of detail, the information and the view of the roadmap depending on whether your audience comprises your own team, external stakeholders or investors or management. Your roadmap should contain the right amount of information and detail depending on who you are presenting it to.

When done correctly, Jira can be a great tracker for not just you but also your stakeholders who will appreciate the transparency and information you provide through your roadmap 

Overcoming Agile challenges with Advanced Roadmaps for Jira:

  • Track progress

Often scaling Agile comes at a cost, and product owners and scrum masters are unable to set goals and allocate tasks to large teams. Jira roadmap is a perfect tool for large scale agile projects, providing features that help to set business goals and track project progress. The advanced roadmap for Jira allows presentation of data in a manner that allows transparency and oversight of the whole project.  

  • Get more visibility of projects

Advanced Jira roadmaps allow you to view the dates for sprints and releases along with their interdependencies and associated risks or bottlenecks. This allows one to get visibility of delivery dates and dependencies and prepare for any risks that you may foresee. This is a great advantage for project leaders who are accountable for reporting on deliverables and allocation of resources.  

  • More efficient teams

Advanced roadmaps are a living document that can be continuously updated to keep everyone in the know and clued in on status and work progress. This eliminates the need for developers to spend time on static progress reports, and rather concentrate on deliverables.

Advanced roadmaps also provide features and filters to allocate tasks to team members based on their capacity, thus improving efficiency.   

Conclusion 

Jira roadmaps have revolutionised the way teams and projects work. This is a great tool that helps you to track the project on a macro level, plan work and maximise resources. Its myriad features help enhance team efficiency, prioritise better and ensure timely deliverables while also allowing stakeholders to always participate and view project progress.  

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