Jun 24
Big Picture 7 for Jira

BigPicture 7 and 7.2. What’s changing?

Are you using Jira for managing projects? BigPicture version 7.2 has arrived. What’s new and how to upgrade from BigPicture 6?

BigPicture is one of the most popular Project Portfolio Management plugins for Jira. It features scope, roadmapping, board, resource, risks, teams, the Gantt chart modules and is SAFe compliant. It’s been a while since the launch of BigPicture 6. What’s changing in BigPicture 7.0 and 7.2?

 

Board 2.0 ***

Calendar

*** June 2019 – BigPicture 7.2, now live

** October 2018

* September 2018

Board 2.0 arrived in June 2019 in BigPicture 7.2. Project managers call the thing ‘Program board’.

Wait! Hasn’t a program board been a part of BigPicture for quite a while? Yes indeed, it has, but until BigPicture ver. 7.1 that board was more about iteration planning. When it comes to the higher-level, Program Increment planning, the new Program Board 2.0 in BigPicture 7.2 is your best bet.

We’ve followed SAFe’s recommendations for PI planning, when designing the new Program Board.

New Program Board in BigPicture 7.2

The new, SAFe compliant Program Board module debuted in BigPicture 7.2 in June 2019. You can show and hide task dependencies here.

 

 

Inline editing is finally in BigPicture ***

In BigPicture 7.2 inline editing is available in the Scope and Risks modules, but you’ll soon be able to inline edit data in the remaining components of BigPicture/BigGantt.

Edit data inline

From BigPicture 7.2 onwards, you can edit data inline—in Scope and Risks modules, for now.

 

Improved Gantt chart ***

Starting BigPicture 7.2 and the corresponding BigGantt 4.0:

  • tasks are automatically scheduled based on assignee’s working days. In other words, individuals’ days off are finally taken account of when you schedule or reschedule tasks
  • Auto bottom-up and Auto top-down new rescheduling modes were added. If the auto bottom-up mode is on, parent tasks will be adjusted to their children; if the auto top-down mode is on, it’s a parent task that guards the periods of sub-tasks.

Check more newly added Gantt chart features in BigPicture 7.2 Release notes.

Auto bottom-up, auto top-down task modes, Gantt chart, BigPicture 7.2, BigGantt 4

The new Auto bottom-up and Auto top-down task modes replace the previous Auto mode; starting in BigPicture 7.2 and BigGantt 4.0.

 

Better Roadmap, Resources, Scope  ***

Check the full list of features we added to BigPicture 7.2/BigGantt 4 in June 2019, such as bar and pie charts in the roadmap module. These charts inform teams how a sprint, iteration or program increment are progressing.

 

What if I’m still on BigPicture 6?

If you are still on BigPicture 6 we definitely recommend upgrading to at least BigPicture 7.1, as you might like the below features added to BigPicture in Fall 2018. Here are tips on how and when to upgrade. Most users upgrade for free.

 

Skill planner **

Calendar

*** June 2019 – BigPicture 7.2, now live

** October 2018

* September 2018

Resource allocation

BigPicture 7.0 allows you to assign skills to a task. Then the resource module will:

  • show allocation, underallocation and overallocation of various skills** based on data from individual tasks
  • on the same screen, you’ll see the allocation of teams and team members, as in BigPicture 6

How to manage skills in BigPicture?

Skills in Big Picture 7

Skills allocation in the resource module of BigPicture 7. Observe the two red ellipses.

 

Skills needed to complete a task. Jira BigPicture 7

Skills needed to complete a task can be assigned to that task in BigPicture 7.

 

New roadmap *

Planning

BigPicture 7 Server boasts a new SAFe compliant roadmap. The current, BP6 roadmap, however, proved so popular that it remains available in the “Boards” tab. The new, BP7 roadmap may look familiar to Cloud users, as it has been present on Cloud for some time.

How better is the BP7 roadmap?
  • it facilitates both strategic and tactical and operational planning
  • how? By allowing a user to set goals both on the Program Increment and Sprint levels
  • goals can be set for individual teams or for a program as a whole
  • drill down the BP7 roadmap to get a detailed picture of a Sprint
  • drill up the new roadmap to get a bird’s eye view of the upcoming 1-3-6-12 months or more
  • set task-based goals or the so-called artificial goals. The artificial goals tend to be utilized for more general, tactical or strategic planning


With the BP6 roadmap, while Sprints do function, there are no artificial goals (all goals are effectively tasks), no long-term, PI level goals and little aggregation of Sprints into Program Increments.

BP6 roadmap. Still available as board in BP 7

Roadmap in BigPicture

The BP6 roadmap remains available in BP 7 in the “Boards” section.

BP7 roadmap

BigPicture 7 roadmap

The new roadmap, designed with SAFe in mind, is available in BigPicture 7.

New Scope module *

Operations

The Scope tool is a tree structure of tasks – a decomposition of work to be done. The thing is well known in the project management world as Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). Although the WBS has been present as part of the Gantt chart module in BigPicture 6, we decided to include the entirely new WBS tool in BigPicture 7.

Within SoftwarePlant we interchangeably call the new tool “Scope”, “Overview”, “Structure” or “WBS”.

Work Breakdown Structure, Scope Big Picture 7

Scope module of BigPicture 7.

 

User-configurable risk cards *

Drag&drop fields to customize the layout of cards in the risk module of BigPicture 7.

You could, for instance, add the ‘Baseline start date’ field to the layout to make it evident to everybody when a risk becomes current.

Configurable risk card in BigPicture 7

Drag&drop a field from the ‘Available fields’ section to customize the risk card’s template.

 

 

What’s next? BigPicture 7.5

BigPicture 7.5 (and the corresponding BigGantt 5) will debut in 2019/2020.

  • it will have the entirely new [Boxes] Portfolio Management module, featuring SAFe full support. [Boxes] will replace the current Program Manager. Read more on [Boxes]
  • the Gantt chart in both BigPicture and BigGantt will have what users have long asked for:
    • Live Sync, or collaborative editing; it has to do with multi-user environments. When 10 or 30, or 100 users rely on the same Gantt chart, it’s important that everyone sees every change immediately. With the new Live Sync feature, every single one of those users will see all activity in real time. No more hitting the refresh button and hoping nobody made any additional changes in the meantime.
    • Sandbox Mode, a.k.a. what-if scenarios. The sandbox mode lets you create and test ‘alternate worlds’. You could later delete these alternative schedules, leaving the production timeline untouched. Or you could commit to one of them.

Stay tuned.

 

How to upgrade from BigPicture 6 to BigPicture 7.1 or 7.2?

As we’ve gradually tested BP7’s features in live BP6 instances, with the new features hidden, we believe the transition between BigPicture 6 and BigPicture 7.1/7.2 will be seamless and trouble-free for nearly all users. Just download BigPicture 7.1 or 7.2 if you’re on Jira Server or upgrade if you use Jira Cloud.

Is the upgrade free of charge? Yes, for most users. Let’s look at various scenarios:

  • if you’re on Jira Cloud the upgrade is always free.
  • if you’re on Jira Server
    • and you purchased BigPicture up to one year ago – the upgrade is also free,
    • for those who obtained their Server licenses before a year ago, the upgrade is also free if they have renewed
    • if you haven’t renewed maintenance for your BigPicture Server licence you can upgrade to BigPicture 7 at 50% of the current purchase price of BP 7.

Enjoy.

 

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The good news
Aug 2019
BigPicture named Agile at Scale App. The new ‘Agile at Scale’ category of apps for Jira debuted on Atlassian Marketplace. More.
July 2019
New Reporting component for BigPicture 7.3 and the corresponding version of BP Enterprise is scheduled for a release in July. Pie and column charts, as well as spreadsheet-style reports,  will be available – more.
July 2019
Find a perfect match – new in BigPicture 7.4. Assign tasks semi-automatically. Get five best candidates (individuals or teams) based on skills and/or remaining capacity – more.

Upcoming events

See you in:

  • San Diego for SAFe Summit, Sep 29 – Oct 4
  • Paris during Valiantys Enterprise Day, Oct 17

Complete calendar

About The Author

With his automotive background Marcin goes beyond the 'Jira + software development' standard. He likes simple, up-to-five-sentence answers to complex questions.