May 11
Big Picture 7 for Jira

BigPicture 7. What’s changing?

Are you using Jira for managing projects? BigPicture version 7 is coming this summer. 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 resource, roadmapping, risks, teams, the Gantt chart modules and is SAFe compliant. It’s been a year and a half since the launch of BigPicture 6. What’s changing in BigPicture 7.0?

BigPicture 7 calendar

* July 2018 – first release

** Fall 2018 – more features added

(1) Skill planner *

Resource allocation

BigPicture 7.0 allows you to divide a task by skills needed to complete that task, e.g. 50% development / 30% testing / 20% marketing work. 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
Skills in Big Picture 7

Skills allocation in the resource module of BigPicture 7.0. Observe the two red ellipses.


Task sliced by skills in BigPicture 7

In BigPicture 7 a task can be sliced by skills. Possible variants of this splitting are shown.


(2) New roadmap *


BigPicture 7 Server boasts a new SAFe compliant roadmap. The current roadmap, however, proved so popular that it remains available in the “Boards” tab. The new roadmap may look familiar to BP6 Cloud users, as it has been present on Cloud for some time. Contrary to BP6, however, both roadmapping tools now integrate to each other, i.e. when you edit or drag&drop a task or a goal in one of the them, then the other reflects the changes.

How better is the new 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 new roadmap to get a detailed picture of a Sprint
  • drill up the new rodamap 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 pre-BigPicture 7 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.

Pre-BigPicture 7 roadmap. Still available as board in BP 7

Roadmap in BigPicture

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


New roadmap

New SAFe roadmap Big Picture 7

The new roadmap, designed with SAFe in mind, is available in BigPicture 7. It’s worth noting that this new roadmap has been around for a while in the Cloud version of BigPicture 6. In BigPicture 7, however, it has been both improved (sync with the BP6 roadmap) and made available in the Server edition.


(3) New “Scope” module *


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”.

Wor Breakdown Structure Big Picture 7

Work Breakdown Structure module of BigPicture 7.

(4) Portfolio Management – SAFe full support **

Medium and Large enterprises

Portfolio management, SAFe full support

Portfolio view, i.e. SAFe full support in BigPicture 7 + BigPicture Enterprise.

Do you use Scrum, LeSS and other methodologies, such as Axelos MSP, AgilePM, etc., simultaneously for various projects? Then your organization is like the majority. Wouldn’t it be great to somehow match data coming from those various “pipes” to get the “big picture” of your entire organization? With BigPicture 7.0 this has become reality.

We’ve renamed the Program Manager in BigPicture 7 to “Portfolio View”. With Portfolio View, in other words the overall view of your organization, you can create a tree structure of individual programmes or projects, part of them Scrum-based, the other part Waterfall-based. And suddenly you’re able to:

  • get synthetic reports of the whole organization, e.g.:
    • how dealyed or ahead of schedule the portfolio as a whole is,
    • how much of the budget have we used so far
    • what are the top 5 risks in the entire portfolio
    • what milestones do we face across the portfolio in the next 3 months
  • use predefined PM methodology mixes (such as program + phase) or create your own ones, whether they consist of LeSS, MoP, MSP, AgilePM, PRINCE or other.

In addition not only there is a cross-program view** in the Portfolio view in BP7, but you can drill your portfolio of projects two levels up – through ART (Agile Release Train) level to value-stream level. As shown below:

Multi value stream in BigPicture 7

In BigPicture 7 users can view Multiple Agile Release Trains on a single screen.

Portfolio View pertains only to those who use BigPicture with BigPictures Enterprise extension, usually large organizations. With BigPicture alone the Program Manager has remained.


How to upgrade from BigPicture 6 to BigPicture 7?

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 will be seamless and trouble-free for nearly all users. Just download BigPicture 7 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 licences 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.