10X: Program Board

Topics in Program Board:

About this report

The Program Board may seem to be a simple scheduling and tracking board, but it is far more than that — it is an agreement between product management and the development teams on what functionality will be delivered at various points of the upcoming or current PI.

 

The Program Board displays the status of features, dependencies, objectives and milestones through symbols and color-coding.

Note: While the Program Board is a "living document" with the ability to move features, dependencies, and objectives between sprints, organizations that perform planning with the entire program before program increments begin should only need to make minimal updates. In fact, if you see the feature delivery shifting out of early sprints and see many features due in the final two sprints, this is an indication of an immature and/or unhealthy program.

Navigation

You can access the Program Board from multiple locations:

Search icon

  1. Select the Search icon from the left Navigation menu; a search box displays.
  2. Begin typing “Program Board” in the Search box.
  3. Select Program Board from the Search Results section below the Search box.

Program Room page

  1. Select the Program icon from the left Navigation menu.
  2. Select Program Room under Program.
  3. From Sprints section of the page, select View Program Board.

Reports page

  1. Select the Reports icon from the left Navigation menu.
  2. From the top of the Reports page, begin typing “Program Board” in the Search box.
  3. Select the report once it displays below the Search box.

Note: You can also use the categories on the left to search for the needed reports.

Left Navigation menu

  1. Select the Program icon from the left Navigation menu.
  2. Select Program Board under Manage.

Prerequisites

  1. A program increment (PI) must exist in the system and be tied to a program.

How are report values calculated? 

No additional calculations or algorithms are used in the report. All status information is pulled from the corresponding work item and its field values. See color-coding for an explanation of what conditions cause different colors to be displayed on the report for features, dependencies, objectives, and milestones.

Report views, actions, and functions

Filter the board

The Program Board can be filtered using the Configuration bar to view items tied to a selected program, team, or portfolio. You can further use the Configuration bar to filter items tied to a specific program increment.

Change the view type

The Program Board has three different views with varying levels of detail. To change the view type, select the change view icon from the upper-right corner of the page and choose one of the following options:

  • Normal View: All work items are displayed on the board as cards with their IDs and titles displayed. Color-coded status is highlighted on the left of each card. Dependencies, objectives, milestones, and split features are notated with the corresponding symbol in the upper-right corner of a card. 
    Note: Because dependencies are associated with both a Requesting and a Depends On team, dependencies may be listed on the board twice: once for the Requesting team, and once for the Depends On team. If the Depends On Team is in a different PI than the Requesting Team, the dependency will appear for the Depends On Team in the column that best matches the anchor dates of the Requesting team’s PI.

  • Small View: All work items are displayed on the board as their corresponding symbols with their IDs displayed.
    Note: Because dependencies are associated with both a Requesting and a Depends On team, dependencies may be listed on the board twice: once for the Requesting team, and once for the Depends On team. If the Depends On Team is in a different PI than the Requesting Team, the dependency will appear for the Depends On Team in the column that best matches the anchor dates of the Requesting team’s PI.

  • Heat Map View: All work items are displayed on the board as sized-down versions of their corresponding symbols with IDs displayed. 
    Note: Because dependencies are associated with both a Requesting and a Depends On team, dependencies may be listed on the board twice: once for the Requesting team, and once for the Depends On team. If the Depends On Team is in a different PI than the Requesting Team, the dependency will appear for the Depends On Team in the column that best matches the anchor dates of the Requesting team’s PI.

Rank teams

In any view, you can rank your teams to change the order that teams display. To rank teams:

  1. Click Team Rank in the top-right of the Program Board to open the Team Ranking window.
  2. In the Program drop-down menu, select the program you’d like to rank teams within.
  3. A list of teams in the program display. You can drag and drop teams within the list to change their order.
  4. Once the teams have been reordered, click the X icon at the top of the Team Ranking window to close it. The Program Board automatically updates to display the new team ranking.

View and edit item details

Hover over any item to see more details display in the lower-left corner of the board. ID, Name, and State fields are displayed. If applicable, any planning issues will be indicated by the presence of red or orange color blocks.

Select any item displayed on the board to display its Quick View slide-out panel. Some fields are editable depending on the type of item selected and your permissions. More details on any planning issues are listed at the top of the panel. See feature Quick View fields for more information.

To display the full item editor slide-out panel, select the highlighted name of the item from the top of the Quick View panel. You can edit most item fields from the resulting display.

Visually change a feature’s target sprint

The Program Board allows you to move features across sprints to visualize when a team should deliver their stories or standalone feature. This is useful for both upfront and continuous planning methodologies. Managers and planners in an organization will manually move features into sprints for each team during planning meetings or ceremonies.

When a feature is first added to the board – either through creating or editing a related story and assigning it to a relevant team and sprint, or by manually adding an orphan feature – it will be found in the Unplanned Sprint column.

You will need to change the Team Target Completion Sprint field of a feature to move it to a sprint on the board:

  1. Select a feature to open its Quick View slide-out panel.
  2. From the Team Target Completion Sprint drop-down, select the desired target sprint from the available selections, and then close the panel.

Notes: 

  • Edits to this field from the Program Board results in a visual change only and will not impact a feature's Target Start and Target Completion.
  • Features on the board do not inherit their sprint assignments from a feature’s Target Start/Completion fields, nor the status of related stories. The board view is independent from sprint fields on work items.
  • Edits to the Team Target Completion Sprint field can be viewed on the Program Board Feature History Report.

Add, remove, and view orphan features

In Jira Align, orphan features refer to features that do not have any child stories. The Program Board will display an orphan feature under two different scenarios:

  1. Features without stories can be manually added to the board. The added orphan feature will display in the Unplanned Iteration column and associated team swimlane.
  2. A feature may be assigned to a team that does not own any of the feature’s child stories. For example, if Team A is assigned to a feature while Team B owns all of its stories, you will see the feature displayed twice: an orphan feature in Team A’s swimlane, and a non-orphan copy feature in Team B’s swimlane.

To manually add an orphan feature to the Program Board:

  1. Click the More Actions button at the top-right of the page.
  2. Select Orphans from the drop-down; the Program Orphans dialog box displays.
  3. Using the drop-down menus at the top of the Program Orphans dialog box, select a program and a PI that contains the orphan feature; optionally, you can also select a theme and epic.
  4. In the Search bar, search for the name, ID, or tag associated with the orphan feature you want to add.
  5. Once the desired orphan feature is found, use its Select one or more Teams… drop-down field to select the team(s) assigned to the feature.
  6. Click the Update button.
  7. Close the dialog box; the orphan feature is added to the Unplanned Iteration column for the specified team(s).

To remove an orphan feature from the Program Board:

  1. Click the icon that represents the orphan feature to be removed; the Feature slide-out panel displays.
  2. Click the Add/Remove from Board button found in the Target Sprint section.

By default, the Program Board only displays orphan features assigned to a team. To view orphan features that are not assigned to a team:

  1. Click the Extra Configs button at the top-right of the page.
  2. Turn on the Show Unassigned Features option, and then click Apply.

Important: If this option is turned on, you cannot manually add orphan features to the Program Board from the More Actions menu. Turn off this option to restore the ability to add orphans again.

View the board full-screen

View a full-screen presenter view of the Program Board by selecting the full-screen icon from the upper-right corner of the page. This view hides the Configuration bar and Navigation menu. Select the full-screen icon again while in the presenter view to revert to the normal view.

Subreport: Feature History

The Program Board contains a subreport, Feature History, that provides a log of scheduling edits made to features. When a feature’s schedule is modified, the report indicates the user who made the update, the start sprint, the end sprint, and the time stamp when the modification was made.

Program_Board_Feature_History.png

To access and generate this report:

  1. Click the More Actions menu on the top-right of the page, and then select History; the Program Board Feature History dialog box displays.
  2. Click the blue plus + icon to display all available filters. Filter the report by specifying the following feature parameters: Program, Dates, Program Increments, Epic, and/or Tags.
  3. Click the Run Report button; results display at the bottom.

How to interpret this report

An overall scan of the Program Board will quickly give a feel for the health of the program increment for the selected program or team.

Report legend and symbols

Click the Legend icon in the upper-right corner of the page to access a full list of definitions of symbols and color-coding used by the report.


The Program Board displays four types of items, each represented with a shape:

  • Hexagon - Objective
  • Rectangle – Feature
    • Rectangle with right-side highlight – Parent of split Feature
    • Rectangle with left-side highlight – Child of split Feature
  • Bowtie - Dependency
  • Diamond – Milestone 

Status color-coding

The status of each item is team specific and color-coded as follows:

Green - 
Done. All work is finished on the item (feature, dependency, objective). A green feature means all stories are completed, but it has not yet been accepted by the product management team.

  • Features:
    • Marked as Done.
    • All child stories are accepted.
  • Dependencies:
    • Marked as Done. Alternatively, dependencies will appear green if they have been committed and the Committed In sprint has not ended.
    • All associated stories are accepted.
  • Objectives and milestones:
    • Marked as Done.

Check mark -
Accepted by the product management team. Checkmarks may display regardless of item color.

  • Features:
    • Marked as Accepted.
    • All child stories are accepted.
  • Dependencies
    • Marked as Accepted.
    • All associated stories are accepted.
  • Objectives and milestones
    • Marked as Done.

Red tab in corner - 
Accepted with planning issues. Symbol is green with a checkmark due to acceptance and done status, but would otherwise be colored red or orange due to planning issues.

  • Features:
    • Marked as Accepted.
    • All child stories are accepted.
    • At least one child story is not assigned to any team.
    • The feature has one or more stories not assigned to any sprint (in the unassigned backlog).
    • There are conflict dependencies with the feature.

Gray - 
Not started. No work has begun on the object in question.

  • Features:
    • Child stories are assigned to teams and proper sprints, but sprint or work has not begun.
  • Objectives and milestones
    • Marked as Not Started.

Blue - 
In Progress.

  • Features:
    • Any child story within the feature is in progress. This works only when there are no stories blocked, unassigned to a timebox, or unassigned to any teams.
    • A story has a dependency and this story is assigned to a sprint that did not pass yet.
    • Objective or milestone is marked as In Progress and/or its date has not passed yet.

Yellow - 
Risks apply.

  • Features:
    • Risks exist with the Open state from a ROAM model.
  • Objectives and milestones:
    • Objective or milestone has an associated risk that is in the Open state of the ROAM model.

Orange - 
Planning issues.

  • Features:
    • At least one child story is not assigned to any team.
    • The feature has one or more stories not assigned to any sprint (in the unassigned backlog).
  • Dependencies:
    • Dependency has no entries set in the Requested In or Committed In sprint fields.
    • No stories are assigned to a dependency.
    • Dependency is not committed to and its release has not begun.
    • Dependency was rejected.
  • Objectives and milestones:
    • Marked as Deferred.

Red - 
Blocked.

  • Features:
    • At least one of child stories of the feature is blocked by an open impediment.
    • A dependency associated with a feature is red.
    • A feature's status is set to Blocked.
    • Child stories are assigned to teams and proper sprints, and the sprint dates are in the past.
  • Dependencies:
    • Dependency is not committed to and its release is in progress.
    • Dependency is committed, but the Committed In sprint has ended.
    • Marked as Blocked.
    • A sprint is past the Requested In or Committed In sprints.
    • Any of the stories associated to a dependency have impediments and are blocked.
  • Objectives and milestones:
    • Objective or milestone has an open associated impediment.
    • Marked as Blocked.
    • Marked as Missed.
    • Associated feature has a red dependency. 
    • Associated feature or story is blocked or has impediments.
    • Associated dependency is red.

Brown - 
Cancelled.

  • Objectives and milestones:
    • Marked as Cancelled.

Black - 
Orphan status.

  • Features:
    • Feature has no child stories.

Outside dependencies

The arrow icon, or , inside of a dependency symbol indicates that the dependency is requested by or dependent on a team that is in a program outside of the program specified on the board. 

  • When the arrow icon displays pointing to the left, the dependency is requested from an outside program team. 
  • When the arrow icon displays pointing to the right, the dependency is requested from a team inside the current program, and depends on a team that is part of an outside program. 

Work item links

The links icon inside of a feature symbol indicates that the feature is dependent on something, or something depends on it.

  • When the links icon displays with a left-hand arrow, the feature is a predecessor with successors.
  • When the links icon displays with a right-hand arrow, the feature is a successor with predecessors.
  • When the links icon displays with arrows on both sides, the feature has both predecessors and successors.

Create and manage links to other work items from the Work Item Links page.

Feature Quick View slide-out fields

The following fields are available in the Quick View slide-out panel for features:

  • Feature ID and name - A clickable link that opens the details slide-out panel. You can make changes from the slide-out and see all details about the feature.
  • Planning Issues - An explanation of why a feature is highlighted in a certain color so that you can identify the issue and take action quickly.
  • Feature Target Completion Sprints - This sprint selection is set on the feature’s details slide-out panel.
  • Target Completion Sprint - Defines when work will finish on your roadmap; it will not impact your work planned on the Program Board.
  • Team Target Completion Sprints - A list of sprints into which a feature may be scheduled. The list is filtered for the selected PI and program. Select the sprint into which you want to schedule the feature. Once a team target completion sprint has been selected, the feature will move to the column on the board for that sprint.
  • Details: Click Here - A link that displays the Work Item Details dialog box, which contains scheduling info for the feature:
    • Use the drop-down menus in the dialog box to set the sprints that you plan to start and finish work on the feature.
    • To unschedule the feature, choose Select One from both the Begin Work and the Finish Work drop-downs. You can select any of these items to view detailed information about them.
    • The dialog box also shows any PIs in which the feature is scheduled for deployment and its current member weeks estimate.
    • A change history shows who made changes to the feature’s scheduling information and when.
  • Stories – Displays stories associated with the feature. Stories that are not highlighted in blue are not assigned to a sprint. Additional fields in this section:
    • Object ID - The unique identifier for the story. The object ID is a clickable link that opens the story details slide-out.
    • Title – The title of a story, risk, or dependency.
    • Sprint. The sprint in which the item is currently scheduled for implementation. If the name of the sprint is red, then there is a scheduling conflict regarding the item’s scheduling and its parent feature. For example, a feature is due in Sprint 1 but the stories will be done in Sprint 2. When a child story of a feature or a dependency of a feature is scheduled and conflicts with the scheduled sprint for the feature’s completion, the feature shows as a red rectangle. To resolve this conflict, you need to select a Target Sprint that is either the same as the latest scheduled story or dependency or one beyond.

      You can also see which exact team missed their work on the feature. If a team did not finish all stories it was assigned to for a feature, and some stories are scheduled for completion past the due date of the feature, the feature shows as a red rectangle on that team’s row of the Program Board. For other teams which finished all stories for this feature or are in progress, the feature shows as green or blue correspondingly.
    • Team assigned/Risk resolution method. The short name of the team assigned to implement the item. For risks, the risk resolution method appears: R (Resolved), O (Owned), A (Accepted), or M (Mitigated).
    • Status. Shows the status of a story, risk, or dependency.
  • Dependency and Risks sections – When present, stories, dependencies, and risks that are associated with the feature will display in their corresponding section. Additional fields are available for these items:
    • Object ID - The unique identifier for the story, dependency, or risk. The object ID is a clickable link that opens details about the specific object.
    • Title -  Shows the title of a story, risk, or dependency. The stories that are not highlighted in blue are not assigned to a sprint.
    • Sprint. The sprint in which the item is currently scheduled for implementation. If the name of the sprint is red, then there is a scheduling conflict regarding the item’s scheduling and its parent feature. For example, a feature is due in Sprint 1 but the stories will be done in Sprint 2. When a child story of a feature or a dependency of a feature is scheduled and conflicts with the scheduled sprint for the feature’s completion, the feature shows as a red rectangle. To resolve this conflict, you need to select a Target Sprint that is either the same as the latest scheduled story or dependency or one beyond.

      You can also see which exact team missed their work on the feature. If a team did not finish all stories it was assigned to for a feature, and some stories are scheduled for completion past the due date of the feature, the feature shows as a red rectangle on that team’s row of the Program Board. For other teams which finished all stories for this feature or are in progress, the feature shows as green or blue correspondingly.
    • Team assigned/Risk resolution method. The short name of the team assigned to implement the item. For risks, the risk resolution method appears: R (Resolved), O (Owned), A (Accepted), or M (Mitigated).
    • Status. Shows the status of a story, risk, or dependency.

Notes: Being able to slot a sprint on the Feature details panel on the Program Board is tied to being a Team of Team member on the corresponding Program Team

Dependency Quick View slide-out fields

The following fields are available in the Quick View slide-out panel for dependencies:

  • Dependency ID and name: A clickable link that opens the details slide-out panel. You can make changes from the slide-out and see all details about the dependency.
  • Planning Issues: An explanation of why a dependency is highlighted in a certain color so that you can identify the issue and take action quickly.
  • Done: The status of whether work on the dependency is complete (set in the Work is Done drop-down on the dependency).
  • Committed: The status of whether the dependency has been committed to a sprint.
  • Depends: The teams associated with the dependency. If the dependency is cross-program, the programs of both teams are also listed here in the format [Requesting Team][Requesting Team’s Program] depends on [Depends On Team][Depends on Team’s Program].
  • Program: The name of the requesting team’s program.
  • Feature: The ID and name of the feature associated with the dependency.
  • Stories– Displays stories associated with the dependency. Stories that are not highlighted in blue are not assigned to a sprint. Additional fields in this section:
    • Object ID- The unique identifier for the story. The object ID is a clickable link that opens the story details slide-out.
    • Title– The title of the story.
    • Target Completion: The sprint in which the story is currently scheduled for implementation. If the name of the sprint is red, then there is a scheduling conflict regarding the item’s scheduling and its parent feature.
    • Team: The short name of the team assigned to implement the story.
    • State: Shows the state of a story.
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