Aligning strategy and execution with Triskell and Jira

Many Agile teams use Jira in their day-to-day work. This tool has all the necessary functionalities to keep a controlled record of your activity and to be able to configure it in a simple and intuitive way, Kanban boards, roadmaps, task lists and reports to monitor the progress of your backlog throughout sprints and iterations.

However, when it comes to aligning execution with project portfolio planning, Jira does not reach this level as it was not designed to perform actions such as budget management, project prioritization, or resource management. Surely in your company Excel is used to create reports in which you report to management on how the tasks of your Agile teams are aligned with the company’s objectives and strategic planning.

A task that, as you know, is time-consuming, and for which it is more efficient to rely on a PPM solution such as Triskell Software. Why? Read on and we’ll explain.

The importance of aligning strategy with operations

Many companies fail to achieve their strategic objectives not due to incorrect planning, but because when it comes to aligning this strategic vision with its execution, teams and departments lose the focus on these objectives, and they end up wasting their time on actions that represent no value to customers or the organization.

And why do they lose focus on the objectives? Mainly because the company does not have efficient information artifacts with which the executive part of the organization can get feedback from business planning and management in real-time and vice versa.

In the changing environment that we are experiencing as a result of digital transformation, in which companies have to respond in an agile way to changes (both within the organization itself and in the environment), it is essential that strategy and execution go together so that companies do not lose competitiveness in their markets.

Agile teams and Jira: the perfect match

In this highly competitive environment, where organizations have to work to launch new products, services or features in the shortest possible time, teams and departments working within Agile organizations should have tools that allow them to record all the events and initiatives they develop internally in their teams.

As of today, Jira has consolidated as the tool of choice for many teams working with Agile methodologies. Developed by Atlassian, this tool is adaptable to any Agile methodology, and allows you to set up Kanban or Scrum boards, roadmaps, and can also manage the demands of customers and the organization itself through User Stories or Issues, through which Agile teams can efficiently track their backlog.

Nevertheless, not all that glitters is gold. Although Jira meets the requirements as a tool with which to execute the organization’s portfolio of projects and products, its functionalities are not adequate to plan the project portfolio in an agile and efficient way. There are certain actions, such as resource planning (human and financial), or the prioritization of tasks in such a way that they are aligned, for example, with the OKRs of the organization, that cannot be performed from the Jira interface.

A PPM software, the solution for having a global vision of strategy

This lack of visibility in Jira of the strategic side of the company can have consequences in terms of both planning and execution of the project portfolio. Either incorrect project planning, or an incorrect breakdown of the budget allocated across the project portfolio, or an incorrect allocation of resources… All these circumstances can cause the company to fail to achieve its strategic objectives, and therefore lose competitiveness in the market.

Hence, in addition to Jira, it is necessary to resort to other tools with which to have a complete view of both the management of the project portfolio and its execution. And surely, when you read this, a tool will have come to your mind: Microsoft Excel. However, this is not the most appropriate solution. We are not going to go deeper into this point because we have already published an article on the blog that refers to the pros and cons of Excel as a tool for Project Portfolio management. We will only say here that Excel does not reach the degree of efficiency, visibility and real-time updating that a PPM solution does.

A PPM software allows to create and manage an unlimited number of product and project portfolios, aligning them from a single interface with the company’s strategic objectives, displaying real-time information, dashboards and management reports fully customizable, and giving the possibility to integrate its interface with other external tools.

The benefits of integrating Jira and Triskell Software

And precisely this, being able to integrate with external tools, is one of the functionalities that Triskell Software’s PPM solution offers compared to other tools on the market. Triskell can be integrated with Jira. An integration that is bidirectional, i.e., Jira objects can be replicated in Triskell and vice versa. And it is fully customizable in two ways:

  • On the one hand, it is possible to connect Triskell to more than one Jira interface simultaneously, which increases the range of possibilities when synchronizing information between the two systems. This solution is ideal especially for large organizations that have several departments using different instances of Jira.
  • In addition, this configuration can be automated. That is, certain actions performed in Triskell can be automated so that the information is automatically replicated in Jira and vice versa.

This bi-directionality and configurability when integrating Triskell and Jira allow organizations to have a complete view not only of the company’s strategic objectives and how these are reflected in its portfolio of projects and products, but also how they are being managed by the different teams and business areas. This ensures that all individuals and departments in the organization are on the same page and are all moving in the same direction towards achieving common objectives.

Being able to have this global vision of strategic planning and execution thanks to Triskell Software’s integration with Jira has countless advantages for both companies and Agile teams in their day-to-day work. Here we are going to enumerate seven benefits that organizations will immediately obtain.

  1. One more step towards Scaled Agile.
  2. Portfolio Management at the highest level.
  3. Initiatives aligned with OKRs.
  4. Allocation of resources according to the needs of the organization.
  5. Combination of Agile and non-Agile practices.
  6. Breaking down silos within the organization.
  7. Ad-hoc setup of the integration.

1. One more step towards Scaled Agile

We have already mentioned that Jira by itself is not a tool that can provide support in prioritizing tasks, allocating resources or preparing budgets. In addition, Jira is also not designed to work with agile methodologies at the enterprise level such as SAFe. This tool lacks certain functionalities to connect issues or user stories with strategic plans, value streams or ART Release Train (ARTs).

If you work with SAFe in your organization, by integrating Jira with Triskell you will be able to connect ARTs and value streams with the PIs or iterations being worked in Jira, as well as facilitating the management and execution of the Lean portfolio with which you can prioritize and allocate resources more efficiently to those projects that really represent value for the company.

2. Portfolio Management at the highest level

Thanks to this integration between Jira and Triskell, PMOs will be able to take their project and product portfolio management to the next level. From Triskell you will be able to manage projects with their corresponding budgets, resource allocation, delivery dates, etc, while in Jira, the development and operations teams will be able to execute the project following Agile practices.

Both objects, the projects created in Triskell and the tasks (iterations, sprints, user stories, etc) managed in Jira are replicated from one system to another. So the PMO will have full real-time visibility into the progress of projects by the development teams, and development teams will be able to prioritize their backlog according to the priority, allocated resources and delivery dates of the projects they are working on.

3. Initiatives aligned with OKRs

If your organization works with OKRs, thanks to Triskell you will be able to monitor in real-time the status of each of the initiatives that are underway to achieve the objectives and key results of the organization.

For example, from Triskell you can create objectives, and then for each objective, you define three key results. At the same time, you can create in Jira the corresponding objects linked to the results defined in Triskell. Thanks to the integration of both systems, from Triskell we can create projects and issues in Jira linked to those OKRs that the organization wants to achieve. which will allow the enterprise to have a global and real-time view of whether they are on track to achieve their objectives.

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4. Allocation of resources according to the needs of the organization

Thanks to Triskell Software’s functionality to simulate What-If scenarios at the portfolio level, the allocation of human and financial resources for the following releases to be worked on in Jira will be made in a reasoned manner. This way we ensure that the PMO assigns the necessary resources to the different development and operations teams to complete the projects successfully.

5. Combination of Agile and non-Agile practices

Jira is a tool designed to be used by the Agile development and operations teams of the organization since its interface is specially adapted to implement many of the practices of Agile methodologies (Kanban or Scrum boards, iterations, sprints, releases, versions, etc). And from Triskell Software the Project Portfolio would be managed thanks to being the most flexible PPM solution on the market.

Therefore, thanks to this integration between the Jira and Triskell interfaces, the development and operations teams would go hand in hand with the strategic and portfolio planning carried out by the PMO of the organization, creating an environment in which Agile and non-Agile practices coexist in harmony and with common objectives.

6. Breaking down silos within the organization

Thanks to the integration of Triskell Software with Jira, you will have a complete and real-time view of the progress of each of the projects in your portfolio, and what each department involved in these projects is doing for their successful implementation.

With this integration, you will therefore have the strategic and operations part of the organization connected in pursuit of common objectives. In case your company still has departments or teams still working in silos, this integration between Jira and Triskell would be an important step towards their elimination, as the most strategic part of the business will have full visibility of each of the operations teams and what is expected of them.

7. Ad-hoc setup of the integration

While Jira is a tool intended to be used by developers and IT teams in the organization, Triskell Software is a customizable, flexible and easy-to-use tool that adapts to the needs of those who will use it.

This simplicity has also been transferred to the way Jira and Triskell are integrated: it is an ad-hoc configuration, i.e. no development or advanced technical configuration is required to implement this integration. Therefore, by following a few steps from the Triskell configurator, you will have its interface connected to the Jira interface in the blink of an eye.

Conclusion: Keep all your teams under your radar with Triskell and Jira

The major challenges faced by companies as a result of the digital transformation we are experiencing are, on the one hand, to align strategic planning with execution. And on the other hand, to get all the teams and work areas of the organization to work together towards the achievement of common objectives, thus eliminating silos.

This integration between Triskell and Jira provides companies with the necessary support for the integration of their strategic objectives with their project portfolio, being able to monitor and measure each of the initiatives and projects they have underway.

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Triskell Software is the PPM solution with which you can take your organization’s portfolio management to the next level, aligning it with strategic planning and, thanks to the integration with Jira, with execution.

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