With the features page, you can manage your features at a central location. You can select which columns to display using the Columns Shown option. To sort the features, click the column heading.
Note: Only fields that are set as Active in Details Panels Settings are available for selection as columns on the page.
To view or edit the feature details, click its name in the grid. The following fields are available:
- State indicates where in the development process the feature is. If the Map Process Steps to States option is enabled on a process flow, then when you set a state and save the feature, the process step will be changed based on its association with the feature’s state. If you select the state with no process step mapped, the process step will be changed to the last process step of the previous state (for all states except for the first one in the list) or the first process step of the second state (for the first state in the list).
Note: If you’re using the Jira connector, the state assignment is locked in Jira Align after it's been set to Done for an item and synced to Jira. To change the state assignment in Jira Align after the feature has been synced to Jira, you'll need to change the status assignment on the corresponding Jira issue.
- Process Step is a part of a developmental process flow and is used to provide a continuous flow of value through the agile process. The field will display the process flow from the primary program associated with the epic. Select the + Show More Process Flows link to display process steps associated with additional programs. If the Map Process Steps to States option on a process flow is enabled, then when you set a process step and save the feature, the state will be changed based on its association with the process step.
Note: If you’re using the Jira connector, the process step assignment is locked in Jira Align after it's been set to Done for an item and synced to Jira. To change the process step assignment in Jira Align after the feature has been synced to Jira, you'll need to change the status assignment on the corresponding Jira issue.
- Type of feature being developed. For example, a feature may be architecture related, an enabler (non-architectural features used to support upcoming business requirements), non-functional, supporting (features for teams who aren’t development or QA-focused), or it can deliver direct business value. This serves as a way for specialized resources to easily see items they should be focusing on.
- MMF shows whether the feature is a part of the minimum marketable feature. This option is critical for optimal flow and impact.
- Blocked status alerts stakeholders that the development of this feature is currently blocked.
- Priority is used as a broad way of to rank the priority of the feature vs. other features.
- Contained In shows the work item hierarchy of the feature, including the related theme, epic, and/or capability (if enabled) of the feature. Clicking a work item opens its slide-out details panel.
- Primary Program is responsible for the delivery of the feature. Select Multi-Program Feature under Approach, and then you will be able to assign a feature to multiple programs under Additional Programs.
Note: If you’re using the Jira or Azure DevOps connector with a single-program feature, the primary program assignment is locked in Jira Align after it's been set for an item and synced. You can change the program assignment in Jira Align after the feature has been synced by setting the Approach dropdown to Multi-Program Feature.
- Additional Programs help to manage features through multiple programs. You can assign features to any program. If programs associated with the feature are not associated with its parent, those programs are automatically added to the parent when the parent and child are associated.
Note: If the primary or additional programs are changed, and one or more program increments assigned are outside those programs, you’ll receive a notification prompting you to change the PI assignments.
- Approach is used to define whether the feature will be completed by the primary program or multiple programs.
- Product is used for generating a product-specific roadmap and product room.
- Product Objectives are vision statements from the product vision page and are used in the Product Room.
- Theme assigns a theme to this feature. If a feature has a parent epic, then the feature inherits the epic’s theme. We recommend selecting a theme for all stand-alone features that have no parent epic or capability.
- Owner is the person ultimately responsible for the end delivery of the feature.
- Parent Epic/Capability is the epic or capability this feature belongs to.
- Program Increments assign a feature to the PIs that it is intended for development in. A feature always inherits the parent's PI. If a feature has a capability or an epic, then the feature can only be assigned to the program increments assigned to the parent that do not have the Done status. If no parent is assigned, then all PIs based on the selected program are shown. If a parent has no PIs selected, then the feature has Unassigned Backlog as an option.
- Release Vehicle is a child of the program increment and typically relates to service packs or release packages. You can assign a feature to any active release vehicles even if they are associated with a different program increment than a feature. Only the release vehicles with the Planning and In Progress statuses appear here.
- Target Sprints define when work begins and finishes on your roadmap. This does not impact your work planned on the program board.
- Estimation System is used to estimate a feature. The options for estimating features are WSJF, T-shirt size, points, and team/member weeks.
- Related Story(s) show the child stories associated with this feature.
- Tags make features much easier to find within a system.
- Blocked Reason states the reason for this feature being blocked.
- Report Color helps to visually differentiate features in the Story Backlog, Plan By Quadrant, and Epic Scheduling reports.
Click Full Details to see the following fields.
- Dates help to drive placement of the feature in different reports. Dates for the feature are limited to the dates available for the epic or capability. Note that you have to switch on all three of them in Page Config for any of them to show on this page.
- Portfolio Ask: This date is set early in the process by the portfolio groups when they do their planning to request the delivery date for a feature.
- Start/Initiation: This date indicates when the feature will start. It is used to do the strategic planning activities more effectively. This is not the actual start date of the feature based on when the first story is done. This is the target start date based on intentions of the person submitting the feature.
- Target Completion: This date indicates what the target completion date is. It is used to do the strategic planning activities more effectively. It reflects the date the scheduler believes the feature can actually be completed (versus the Portfolio Ask date which is the date the business wants the feature to be delivered).
When you click Lock next to the dates, the dates are saved. When locked, the following additional fields are saved: The feature's estimate and the effort points estimated on each child story. You can view this data together with the history of changes by clicking the information icon. Click Unlock to set new dates.
- Category enables a user to categorize feature by the genericized reason a feature is under development (for example, R&D, Growth, or Technical Debt).
- Business Driver tracks the reason the feature is being developed based on your organization’s core business drivers.
- Affected Countries box is used to specify which countries are affected by the release. You can release a feature to some particular countries first, and then release it for other countries.
- Functional Area represents a specific business function of your company. You can create it by clicking a green plus sign.
- Capitalized option determines if the epic will be capitalized for financial reporting.
- Source box can be used to track the origin of the feature request.
- Customers can be added to track who requested the feature and who will take advantage of it. Click the document icon to copy customers from the parent capability or parent epic if capabilities are disabled.
- Requester is a person or department of a company that requested this feature. You can create the requester by clicking a green plus sign.
Note: Your role needs to have the Roles > Program > Features > Requesters > Manage Requesters permission to add the requester values.
- Associated Ticket links the feature to the external ticketing system if applicable.
- Benefits list the benefits that this feature’s delivery will bring.
Use the doughnut chart to understand the amount of work spent and remaining on the feature and how long it will take to complete it. The progress is based on the child count. For features, it will show the count of stories for them (6 of 10 items accepted).
The progress in the center of the circle is a percentage of children in the Accepted state. If a feature is in the Accepted state, this number is always 100% regardless of the children’s state.
The dials are counted as follows:
- Accepted (blue) is a percentage of children in the Accepted state.
- In Progress (orange) is a percentage of children in the In Progress, Test Complete, and Dev Complete states.
- Not Started (gray) is a percentage of children in the Pending Approval and Ready to Start states.
The items in the Unassigned Backlog are also included.
The Design tab is used to capture UX/UI design information for the feature. Use the following parameters to define the feature's design:
- Hypothesis is an educated guess about the total design needs of the feature.
- Design Stage is the stage of the design process the feature is in currently.
- Lean UX Canvas is a model or approach the design of the feature is based on.
- Prototype is a link to a mockup/prototype of the design.
- Lean Use Cases allows you to choose lean use cases tied to this feature. Click Add to create a new lean use case.
- Design Components allows you to choose design components to this feature. Click Add to create a new design component.
The Value tab for features is used for value engineering--a method to improve efficiency and decrease operating costs through analysis. Value engineering can improve function and lower costs, and determine if features are worth building.
Visit Value engineering for complete details on using this tab.
The Spend tab provides financial information about a feature, depending on its type:
Features with a capability or epic parent
Progression of spend
In the Progression of spend section, you can see how estimated costs compare over time during the lifetime of a feature, to guard against running over budget. The feature's Estimated Spend and Accepted Spend values are displayed as cards. Click on a card to launch the related Spend panel, where you can see how the financial value is calculated.
Two fields are displayed by default: Revenue Growth and Expense Savings. Use these fields to document the estimated impact the feature could have on your organization’s finances.
If enabled through Details Panels Settings, the Work Code field is also available in this section.
Features without a parent (stand-alone features)
At the top of the tab is the Budget field, where you can set the total amount the business has set to fund development of the stand-alone feature. Below the field is the current Accepted Spend for the feature, which is the amount spent during the delivery of child stories. The remaining budget is shown as a value, and also represented by the circle chart to the right.
Progression of spend
In the Progression of spend section, you can see how estimated costs compare over time during the lifetime of the stand-alone feature, to guard against running over budget. The feature's Estimated Spend and Accepted Spend values are displayed as cards. Click on a card to launch the related Spend panel, where you can see how the financial value is calculated.
Expand the Spend Risk section to assess the stand-alone feature's exposure to risk. Select values from the dropdown menus to estimate business impact, risk appetite, IT risk, failure impact, and failure probability. These fields are used for calculating a risk score in the program increment status report. By default, the Financial Risk fields are set to the following:
- Business Impact: High
- Risk Appetite: Low
- IT Risk: High
- Failure Impact: Negligible
- Failure Probability: 1%-20%
Fields that display in this section can be set to visible or hidden from the Details Panels Settings page.
Expand the Other Spend section to set values for fields that provide more context for the financial attributes of the stand-alone feature. Fields in this section are displayed on status reports (financial view). Below are definitions for a few financial terms you will encounter on this tab:
- Efficiency Dividend ($m): An annual reduction in resources available to an organization.
- Revenue assurance ($m): The use of data quality and process improvement methods that improve profits, revenues, and cash flows without influencing demand.
- Return on Investment ($m): A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments.
If enabled, the Work Code field displays at the bottom of the section. Associating a work code with a feature allows users to specify IDs in external financial systems. These fields help users in reconciling data between Jira Align and an external financial system. For example, a set of features or stand-alone features may be tracked in an external financial system using a single work code. The user can then search for all features in Jira Align with that work code to get a view of progress against that financial code.
On the Links tab, you can sequence work items. It is used to create a link from one theme, epic, capability, feature, or story to another one to define that the work item cannot be started before the other one is finished.
Important: To turn on the Links tab, select Yes on the Enable Item Link team setting.
Additionally, on the visualization chart, you can see the items related to each other on the timeline with respective dates and milestones. The chart shows the relationships between the items that have the predecessors and successors for the item.
- Predecessor: A theme, an epic, a capability, a feature, or a story that comes before another work item.
- Successor: A theme, an epic, a capability, a feature, or a story that comes after another work item.
Note: You can select only the items from the same portfolio.
The following relationships are available:
- Story > story; story > feature; story > capability; story > epic; story > theme.
- Feature > theme; feature > epic; feature > feature; feature > capability; feature > story.
- Capability > theme; capability > epic; capability > capability; capability > feature; capability > story.
- Epic > theme; epic > epic; epic > capability; epic > feature; epic > story.
- Theme > story; theme > feature; theme > capability; theme > epic; theme > theme.
You can set up multiple predecessors and successors. Adding an item as a predecessor or successor to another item will automatically manage the links for both of them. This means that when item A is listed as a predecessor for item B, item B will be listed as a successor for item A automatically. Also, when item A is listed as a successor for item B, item B will be listed as a predecessor for item A automatically.
The same item cannot be set as a predecessor and a successor. The parent epic cannot be the predecessor or successor for the child feature or story. The child feature and story cannot be the predecessor or successor for the parent epic.
Important: Unlike dependencies, links do not provide the obligation or require any actions to be taken by anyone. They help to draw a picture of item interdependencies on various levels.
To create links:
- Go to the Links tab.
- Select the portfolio and program from the corresponding drop-down menus.
- Add one or multiple theme, epic, capability, feature, or story predecessors.
- Add one or multiple theme, epic, capability, feature, or story successors.
- Click Save, and then click the View the Predecessors and Successors button to view the created links on the visualization chart.
The main item is highlighted in blue. Use the toggles on the right to highlight predecessors or successors. The related stories appear in the sprints they are assigned to. The related themes, epics, capabilities, and features appear in the sprints based on the following rules:
- For predecessors, if all child stories are assigned to sprints, the theme, epic, capability, or feature appears in the last sprint the stories are assigned to.
- For successors, if all child stories are assigned to sprints, the theme, epic, capability, or feature appears in the first sprint the stories are assigned to.
Themes, epics, capabilities, features, and stories appear in the At Risk column based on the following rules:
- A theme, a capability (at least one of its child stories or features), a story, a feature, or an epic (at least one of its child stories, features, or capabilities) is in the unassigned backlog OR
- A theme, a capability (at least one of its child stories or features), a story, a feature, or an epic (at least one of its child stories, features, or capabilities) is assigned to the same sprint as the main item OR
- A theme, a capability (at least one of its child stories or features), a story, a feature, or an epic (at least one of its child stories, features, or capabilities) is assigned to the sprint that comes after the sprint of the main item.
Themes, capabilities, epics, features, and stories appear in the Unassigned column based on the following rule:
- If a theme, a capability (at least one of its child stories or features), a story, a feature, or an epic (at least one of its child stories or features) is in the unassigned backlog.
On the Forecast tab, you can view and enter estimates for the teams and programs working on the feature, for the program increment (PI) the feature is associated with. Program and team estimates can also be viewed and edited from the forecast page. Edits made in either location are synced. Learn more about using the forecast page.
You can also edit the program increment (PI) estimate from the Forecast tab. This is the same PI Estimate field found on the Details tab of the feature.
- Values entered on the Forecast tab, including the PI Estimate, are automatically saved.
The Forecast tab is available if your user role has the Admin > Roles > Portfolio > Manage > Features > Forecast Tab permission toggle switched on. A feature must have a program increment associated with it for the Forecast tab to display.
Controls and fields
See the diagram below for an explanation of each control and field on the Forecast tab:
- Program increment dropdown: Displays the program increment the feature is associated with.
- Program row: Select the expand icon (>) to view the teams within the program and their estimates. Select the icon again to collapse the row.
- Team row: The list of child teams within the program.
- Program Increment (PI) Estimate: The total estimated effort needed for working on this feature during the selected PI. This is the same PI Estimate field found on both the Details tab of the feature and on the Forecast page. Changes to this field will sync in all locations.
- Team estimate: Represents the amount of forecasted capacity needed from the team to work on the feature during the selected PI.
- Program estimate: Represents the amount of forecasted capacity needed from the program to work on the feature during the selected PI.
- Sum: Displays next to a program’s estimate when a mismatch is detected between the sum of team estimates and the program estimate. Only available when a program row is expanded. Select the button to aggregate all team estimates and update the program estimate.
- Sum all: Displays next to the PI Estimate field when a mismatch is detected between the sum of program estimates and the PI Estimate. Only available when one or more program estimates contain a value. Select the button to aggregate all program estimates and update the PI Estimate field.
Program increment and PI Estimate
At the top of the tab, the dropdown next to the Estimate for label displays the program increment (PI) that the feature is associated with.
Next to the Estimate for dropdown is the estimate field for the selected PI. This is the same PI Estimate field found on the Details tab of the feature. Use this field to set a total estimate for the feature after forecasting activities. Changes you make to this field from the Forecast tab are automatically saved.
Note that if your feature belongs to a portfolio that uses T-Shirt sizing as its estimation system, the PI Estimate field will be represented as a t-shirt size on the Details tab, while the field on the Forecast tab will be automatically converted and displayed in weeks, according to the settings chosen in the Estimation Conversions portfolio settings.
Programs associated with the feature and the program increment (PI) will display as rows in the Programs and teams section. Use the expand icon (>) next to a program row to display the teams within the program, and their estimate fields. Select the icon again to collapse the row, which will only display the program estimate.
Enter estimates in the Estimate field for a program or team’s row. Entries you make in estimate fields are automatically saved.
The label to the right of the field indicates which estimation system is being used by your portfolio: Team Weeks, Member Weeks, or Points.
- When using the T-Shirt sizing or Team/Member Weeks estimation systems, weeks are displayed. The choice made in the Display Week Estimates In portfolio setting will control whether team or member weeks are displayed.
Note: If the feature is removed from the PI’s scope by unchecking the In-Scope checkbox on the Forecast page, you will see a notification on the Forecast tab and won’t be able to edit forecast estimates.
Sum team and program forecasts
Sum and Sum all buttons will display on the tab when mismatched values are detected.
The Sum button is available on an expanded program row when the sum of estimates entered in team rows do not match the entered program estimate. Select the Sum button to add all team estimates and update the program estimate.
Select Undo to revert changes made by the Sum button.
The Sum all button displays at the top of the Forecast tab, next to the Program Increment (PI) Estimate field. The button will display when one or more program estimates exist, and the total of those estimates does not match the value in the PI Estimate field. Select the Sum all button to add all entered program estimates and update the PI Estimate.
Select Undo to revert changes made by the Sum all button.
- Selecting Sum all will not account for any team estimates.
- For example, if a program’s estimate is 10 points, but two child teams have estimates of 5 points and 20 points each, 10 points will be used as the program’s contribution to the total sum. You can remove these inconsistencies by expanding each program row and selecting the Sum button to aggregate all team estimates before selecting Sum all.
- If a PI Estimate exists, but there are no estimates entered for programs, the Sum all button will not display.