How to Set Up Team & Roadmap Boards in Easy Agile Programs

When using Epics in your Program Roadmap, Easy Agile Programs supports either sourcing Epics from the 'team' agile boards that make up the Program, or using a dedicated 'Roadmap' agile board. The main difference between these two styles of agile boards is the Jira Saved Filter (JQL) that determines what issues are shown on the agile board.

Today we're looking at an approach that allows you to include Epics from individual 'team' Jira projects whilst also including Epics from a separate and dedicated Jira project for the 'group'.

Programs is built around Agile Boards

Picture a group in your company called 'Space Exploration', and that group includes three teams: Team A, Team B, and Team C.

Jira Software has both projects and agile boards. We decided to base Easy Agile Programs on agile boards as they provide a lot of flexibility around how they're configured.

An agile board determines which issues should be displayed based on the Jira saved filter, which can be as simple as all issues from a project, or a complex nested JQL query.

This example will use 4 Jira projects.

  • SPACE - Space Exploration
  • TEAMA - Team A
  • TEAMB - Team B
  • TEAMC - Team C

The team projects will hold both Issues and Epics that are specific to each individual team. The SPACE project will only hold Epics that are shared between all Teams.

We will also create 4 agile boards. One for each team to work from, and a dedicated 'Roadmap' agile board for managing those shared Epics.

Team Board Configuration

First up we'll need to create a Scrum board for each team. The filter used for the team boards will determine the issues that a given team will work with in their backlog. When creating a program in Easy Agile Programs using Epics you have two options:

Program only includes Epics from Team agile board

In this configuration each team will only see Epics from their own project in the Jira Backlog. The shared Project Epics will still be visible and linkable within Easy Agile Programs but won't be visible within the standard Jira Backlog.

This configuration is ideal when your shared Epic project has a large number of Epics that you may not want to include in every Team Backlog.

For this configuration the default board filter generated for a new Scrum Board is perfect. If you've created Scrum boards with your team projects there's nothing else to do here!

PROJECT = TEAMA ORDER BY RANK


Program includes Epics from the Team and Roadmap agile boards

In this configuration each Teams backlog will include their own Epics, and Epics from the shared SPACE project. 

For this configuration we need to set the board filter for each Team to include every issue from their Team Project and any Epics from the shared project

If you've created your Team Projects with the default Scrum boards you'll need to update each filter as follows substituting TEAMA for each Team.

PROJECT = TEAMA OR (PROJECT = SPACE AND TYPE = Epic) ORDER BY RANK


Roadmap Board Configuration

For the Roadmap board we're going to include Epics from all the Team boards (Team A, Team B and Team C) and Epics from the shared project (Space Exploration). We recommend a Kanban board for your Roadmap. You may also wish to review Understanding the cycle time of Epics in Jira. The board filter for your Program Roadmap Board should look like this:

PROJECT IN (TEAMA, TEAMB, TEAMC, SPACE) AND TYPE = Epic ORDER BY RANK


Alternatively you could assign each Project to a Project category to simplify the JQL. If every Project was included in a category called "Space Program" your Roadmap filter could be:

"Project Category" = "Space Program" AND TYPE = Epic ORDER BY RANK


Easy Agile Programs Configuration

Finally we want to tie this all together in Easy Agile Programs. When configuring your new Program you'll need to select the following setting for your Program Roadmap. 

I want to schedule epics from a dedicated agile board onto my Program Roadmap

Add all your Team Boards and set your new Roadmap board as your dedicated Program Roadmap Board.

Epics from every Team and your shared Project will now be available in Easy Agile Programs to be scheduled in your Roadmap.