The release of BigPicture version 8 is fast approaching. So far, we have touched the Boxes, Scenarios, the new Gantt chart, and other milestone features of portfolio-oriented BigPicture 8. Now, let’s have a closer look at the practical aspect: an organization is using BigPicture 7; they are facing an update to version 8. What’s good to know? Can, or should they put off the upgrade to BigPicture 8 long after the date of release? Are there any costs related?
First, the BigPicture 8 release has been scheduled for Summer 2020. Global warming is a fact of life, though ;)
The majority of the below remarks apply to the release of BigGantt 8, too.
Is it worth upgrading from version 7 to 8?
If you’re into portfolio management, then definitely yes, for the Boxes of BigPicture 8.
If it rings true with you, that teams should be allowed to keep their beloved Trello and Azure DevOps, then also yes, as BigPicture 8 will deliver those integrations over the course of its lifetime (see calendar).
For all others, the answer is positive, too, since the modules known from BigPicture 7, such as Resources, Board, Roadmap, Risks, and so on, get updated or even entirely redesigned, as is the case with the new and faster Gantt chart. Also: the new Calendar module has its premiere in BigPicture 8.
How to prepare for the update?
If you’re on Jira Cloud, then once BigPicture 8.0 has been released, Atlassian will do the update for you in the background. Neither can you advance nor postpone the upgrade.
If you’re on Jira Server / Data Center, then the update is the Jira admin’s responsibility. We recommend an isolated test environment for BigPicture 8 before you upgrade your production environment. Or at least make a backup copy of your live data.
If you’re particularly sensitive to issues and bugs, consider the following procedure: wait until at least a week has passed since the most recent release of BigPicture 8.x.x and upgrade only then. For instance, if version 8.0.2 is being current at the moment, and the full seven days have passed since it was released, then this 8.0.2 version could be considered stable enough for an organization that is very sensitive to software-related issues. Here’s more on BigPicture versioning.
Email support (a) softwareplant.com if you have an issue.
I have/have not an active license of BigPicture.
If your BigPicture license is valid, then the upgrade to BigPicture version 8 is free of charge. The support costs zero as well in case anything goes wrong.
If you don’t have an active subscription, then you have no choice but to remain on BigPicture 7 or an earlier version until you renew. In the case of Jira Server, it costs 50% of the prices quoted on the Atlassian Marketplace to renew. With the Data Center hosting, it costs 100% of standard fees to renew. Once your BigPicture subscription has expired, you can renew within the next 12 months, but in most cases, you get missing months only. For instance, if your BigPicture license expired in June, and you renew in September, your newly purchased subscription will get you as far as the next June, i.e., nine months and not 12. But, you can negotiate that with Atlassian, especially if the 12-month grace period is coming to an end.
With Jira Cloud, not having a license is not an option. There is no read-only mode.
Any missing features in BigPicture 8?
BigPicture 8 is a more mature portfolio management tool than BigPicture 7 was. The Eight tends to add modules and features to the set available in BigPicture 7 rather than deducting them. Even still be aware of these facts:
- ‘Private’ mode, available in BigPicture 7, has been discontinued. If any of your programs have the ‘Private’ mode enabled, those programs will become ‘public’ once you upgrade to BigPicture 8. Of course, you can still ensure the privacy of such programs in BigPicture 8 using standard user rights.
- Since there is the 2nd generation Gantt chart in BigPicture 8 (and in the corresponding BigGantt 8). If you had ever set custom Gantt chart views (perspectives), you’ll notice they have disappeared in BigPicture 8. Very obviously, you can rearrange them in the new Gantt chart.
- A word about the program wizard, which served the purpose of creating new programs in BigPicture 7: since there are Boxes in BigPicture 8, and not just programs, the whole wizard was retired, and instead, BigPicture 8 has pretty intuitive configuration tabs for each Box.
- PIs (Program Increments), as well as Iterations, are also Boxes in BigPicture 8. You create PIs and Iterations in the Overview / Home view by pressing ‘+’ within the Boxes tree view. The ‘Agile schedule’ tab known from early BigPicture 7 versions (one that used to be available within a program’s configuration) has been discontinued.
While BigPicture 7 was an evolutionary step, BigPicture 8 is a landmark release. It’s bringing (a) professional portfolio management [Boxes], (b) integrations with Trello, and subsequently, with extra Jira Cloud/Server instances, as well as Azure DevOps, (c) new modules – the Calendar and the redesigned and faster Gantt chart 2.0, as well as (d) demanded features, such as What-if Scenarios. It’s beneficial for the vast majority of users to upgrade.