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Your Burning Questions Answered: Jira Align, SAFe & Scaling Agile

Atlassian Tools, Agile, Jira Align

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Isos recently hosted a webinar, Navigating Scaled Agile with SAFe®, Jira Align and Marketplace Apps, that was very well attended and chock-full of information about how to successfully scale Agile in companies of all sizes. For our attendees who work at enterprise organizations, we conducted a demo of Jira Align, Atlassian's Enterprise Agile planning tool (recognized as a leader in Gartner's 2020 Magic Quadrant).

We had so many questions from attendees at the end of the webinar that we weren't able to respond to all of them in the allotted hour, but we made a promise to address every unanswered question in a blog. To that end, may we present our answers to all of your burning questions about Jira Align, Scaled Agile, SAFe®, and more...

Is Jira Align connected to Jira or does it function separately?

Jira Align is connected to Jira via an API. It can be connected to several Jira Cloud or Jira Server/Data Center instances.

 

If you have a Jira license, can you automatically use Jira Align?

No. Jira Align licenses are entirely separate from Jira licenses. Managers, RTEs, POs, PMOs, and other key stakeholders are the individuals who typically require a license to see the rolled-up progress reporting within Jira Align.

Organizations pay for one Jira Align user for every four Jira, Trello, or integrated users. Essentially it's a 4:1 ratio. For more information, you can visit Atlassian's pricing info page.

 

Is there a sandbox available for hands-on learning of Jira Align?

Yes, the Atlassian team has a Launchpad trial instance for prospective Jira Align customers. A free trial is not available otherwise.

If this is something you're interested in, please reach out to us today. We're happy to discuss your needs and requirements, and assess whether or not Jira Align makes sense for your organization.

 

What are the key differences between Rally and Jira Align? 

Jira Align is an extremely comprehensive, all-in-one Scaled Agile platform that defines, plans, and reports on every layer of your company's unique methodology.

Rally, on the other hand, is more comparable to Atlassian's middle-of-the-road solution for scaling Agile, Advanced Roadmaps, or apps like Big Picture. Rally requires a piecemeal approach to package together the functionality needed to properly scale your Agile team's work execution to strategic initiatives and organizational goals.

 

Does Jira Align only work if your company has implemented SAFe?

While Jira Align works best for organizations looking to scale Agile, SAFe is not required. Jira Align supports all Agile scaling methodologies, including LeSS, DAD, and Spotify.

 

What types of organizations benefit the most from Jira Align?

Jira Align is recommended for enterprise organizations that have at least 100 Agile teams and/or 1,000 team members. The tool is predicated on Agile team data, and thus wouldn't be properly utilized if that data isn't already being generated from your lower-level teams.

 

Are there any headaches when it comes to bolting Jira Align onto an existing Jira installation?

The connector between Jira and Jira Align itself is relatively simple to configure.

The headaches typically arise when the teams that use Jira utilize processes that don't map well to Jira Align. Teams are not always set up to effectively collaborate and manage work across teams. Agile teams provide the data that Align uses, and if that data isn't standard across those teams, it can create difficulties when scaling to the enterprise level. This is where it helps to have an experience Atlassian Solution Partner, like Isos Technology, step in and make sure all of your teams are aligned (no pun intended...) as far as how they work and track data, information, etc.

 

What should an organization know before implementing Jira Align? Do you have any useful resources or information that would be helpful to companies starting out with JA?

Jira Align is unique for Atlassian, in that it requires a professional services team to launch it within your organization. Part of purchasing the product means you're also purchasing the expertise to help your organization succeed. Here are a couple of tips:

  • Take a look at Jet, a free marketplace App provided by Atlassian that will assist you in evaluating your Jira instance and whether or not you're ready for Jira Align.
  • An experienced Atlassian Solution Partner, such as Isos Technology, can help you determine if Jira Align is right for your organization. Reach out to us today for a detailed demo, an Agile assessment, and a comprehensive checklist of what you should consider when evaluating Jira Align for your organization. We hope to hear from you soon!

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TAGS: Atlassian Tools, Agile, Jira Align

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