Everyone who’s a fan of paper sticky notes, who works in a Scrum or Kanban team and at the same time uses some ALM tool, has already thought about the optimal solution how these two worlds could be combined. Am I right? Now with one Scrum board of one team, the effort to keep it synchronized with an ALM tool is still manageable. But imagine now that 150 people are planning in 3 locations and for 2 days with paper sticky notes. Hundreds, even thousands of handwritten sticky notes have to be transferred correctly into Jira afterwards. This activity is definitely not a dream job, obviously, and in the best case, someone who was involved in the planning process will do this work. Which is expensive.
1980: 2017 we will have flying cars
2017: Manually transfer sticky notes to our ALM tool
That’s not sexy at all.
Imagine the same setting, 150 people, 3 locations, 2 days of PI Planning. When ever you take a look into Jira, the written sticky notes are already in there. They are even in the right iteration. Even the story points are synchronized and the issue type is correct as well. After the first day of PI Planning, on your way home there’s something else that comes to your mind and you create a new issue in Jira and move it into one of the iterations planned in the PI Planning. The next day the sticky note hangs on the wall, in the right iteration. Magic? Dream of the future? No, this is the PI Planning App.
We are repeatedly asked why we have developed an integration with Jira. There are considerably better suited tools to adapt SAFe®. That might be true. But if you enter the market with a new product like the PI Planning App, you have to choose the customer group that is best served with the intended solution and at the same time is the largest. This group of customers is the basis for building and growing. You then have the chance to grow out of this “niche”. Another important factor in this early phase is who the first customer is. In our case, the first customer used Jira, which with a 53% market share is probably no coincidence. For this reason, the first integration was a Jira integration. If the first customer who would have been willing to pay for our solution was e.g. a CA Agile Central (formerly Rally) or a VersionOne user, we would most likely have developed an integration for one of these tools.
Of course, we are working on integrations to other ALM tools than Jira which will be released in the near future. The first customer to engage in feedback-driven development will receive a perfect integration tailored to their needs.