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May 31

‘Agile at Scale’ apps on Atlassian Marketplace. What tools for a modern manager?

Winner, finishEver since emerging as a conscious discipline around the year 2000, agile’s been growing increasingly popular, especially in IT development, finance, and construction industries. Simultaneously, modern software is taking the world by storm—advanced apps are facilitating the way we communicate, schedule meetings, and plan our undertakings. Amidst this technological revolution, Atlassian, the owner of the world’s largest software marketplace, is not being idle. As more and more people are migrating to Jira (their flagship issue tracking app), and as a growing number of large companies are finding value in the agile approach, Atlassian has launched a new ‘Agile at Scale’ collection of apps, now live on Atlassian Marketplace, as a prudent response to what the market is specifically looking for.

12 agile at scale apps

The new ‘Agile at Scale’ Atlassian Marketplace category contains 12 apps (at the time of writing the present article) specifically selected by Atlassian for managers looking to scale up their team’s agile processes. Yet, refreshing the Atlassian ‘agile at scale’ page a couple of times will reveal that only three of them, namely Structure for Jira, Portfolio for Jira (later rebadged to Advanced Roadmaps), and BigPicture have their positions fixed in the upper row, while the other apps reappear at random positions. We are taking the liberty of presuming that these three apps are in fact the crème de la crème of the category.


Atlassian's top 3 Agile at Scale apps

The top 3 ‘Agile at Scale’ apps for Jira.

BigPicture on the Atlassian’s ‘agile at scale’ podium

Pleased to find SoftwarePlant’s BigPicture as one of the apps to apparently offer the greatest business benefit, we move on to substantiate its inclusion in the new Atlassian category. BigPicture is an advanced Project Portfolio Management fully adaptable with Jira software. It is a SAFe®-compliant tool that serves as a solution for achieving greater enterprise agility and leveraging it to improve company’s productivity and bring enhanced results. Among other things BigPicture offers to:

  • do cross-portfolio, cross-program, and cross-project planning
  • visualize objectives on a cadence-based Roadmap
  • align teams to a shared set of goals using agile boards
  • optimally manage resources and eliminate waste while maximizing customer value
  • help middle and top management easily access up-to-date information
  • for more information, please see the 5- to 60-minute tutorial videos

Change is the only constant—the app’s drag&drop, quick filter, and inline editing features are addressing the needs of agile-oriented customers for changes and adjustments to be entered at a move of a hand or a click of a button. All of the above make BigPicture a very useful tool for scaling agile, which could not have come unnoticed by the mighty Atlassian.

How to choose the ‘agile-at-scale’ app for the Atlassian environment?

The Atlassian Agile at scale category is there to offer some initial guidance for managers who are after software for scaling agile practices across their organization. Yet, this is only the first in a number of steps you ought to take to make sure you choose an app best suited to your needs. Other things include:

  • searching for information on specific features,
  • watching product demos
  • looking for articles that compare specific apps (e.g. How to choose a project management tool for Jira?)
  • reading the users’ opinions on the Marketplace
  • you might as well want to research the Atlassian marketplace to compare the apps’ star ratings or numbers of active installations
  • how often a given developer releases new versions might also give you a hint (‘Versions’ tab on Atlassian Marketplace)

Last but definitely not least, make sure you give your chosen app an actual try by downloading a trial license. Time-consuming as all of the above may seem, it is the best way to ensure your investment will eventually pay off, saving you time, bringing improved results, and fostering greater satisfaction of your teams and your customers.

Also, see ‘How to do Program Increment planning in Jira BigPicture?’ and a whitepaper ‘SAFe PI Planning with BigPicture’ to see the extent to which Agility is built into BigPicture.


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.