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Nov 24

BigPicture Gadgets Leap Forward. New Roadmap Gadget. Gadgets make it to the Cloud

Jira Big Picture gadgets

BigPicture gadgets make your projects presentable in a read-only mode to stakeholders (management, shareholders, employees, clients, etc.). The five BigPicture gadgets – Portfolio overview, Gantt chart, Roadmap (new!), Risks, and Calendar – are embeddable in Jira dashboards and Confluence. Gadgets were long available to Jira Server and Data Center clients. Beginning BigPicture 8.2 gadgets make it to Jira Cloud.

To better understand what gadgets are, let’s compare them to widgets that BigPicture also has.

Table 1. BigPicture widgets vs. gadgets

Widgets Gadgets
Widgets live within the Jira issue detail view or Jira project. Gadgets can be embedded in Jira dashboards or Confluence pages.
Interactive. For example, the Skills widget lets you add skills to a task. Read-only. Clickable, have links, but you can’t add/edit tasks, dependencies, column views in a gadget.
For project/product managers, owners of tasks, assignees. For project/product managers, management, subcontractors, clients, and shareholders.
Widgets are:

  • WBS widget – shows the context of a task, where it sits in the tree-like structure within that project
  • Skills widget – skills necessary to complete a task
  • BigTemplate widget (optional) – buttons for exporting pdfs, docs, xslxs

In version 8.2 arrives the new

Gadgets are:

  • Overview (portfolio tree)
  • Gantt (also used as a roadmapping tool)
  • Roadmap – this one has its premiere in BigPicture 8.2
  • Risks matrix
  • Calendar
Jira Cloud, Server, and Data Center Until BigPicture 8.1 – Jira and Confluence Server, Data Center.

Beginning BigPicture 8.2 – Jira Cloud, too (not yet Confluence Cloud).

Five BigPicture Gadgets for Jira and Confluence

Atlassian has gadgets too, but their gadgets tend to be a granular, issue-tracking type of gadgets, such as Bubble Charts (popular and significant issues in four dimensions).

The more project management-oriented your position or team is, the closer look you might want to get at BigPicture gadgets. There are five of them: Overview, Gantt, Roadmap (the new gadget!), Risks, and Calendar. They display the respective BigPicture modules in read-only, yet clickable mode. Have a look at figure 2.

Gadgets in Jira dashboard

Figure 2. BigPicture gadgets crowd in the single Jira dashboard. Note that the new Roadmap gadget debuts in BigPicture 8.2.

Until BigPicture 8.1 only Server and Data Center users could benefit from the four BigPicture gadgets, both in Jira and Confluence. Starting BigPicture 8.2, Cloud users receive the gadgets, too (available in Jira Cloud, not yet in Confluence Cloud).

BigPicture gadgets in a nutshell

  • The five gadgets are available both in BigPicture and BigPicture Enterprise.
    BigGantt has just two gadgets – Portfolio overview and Gantt.
  • At-a-glance overview of your portfolio, project, or product
  • BigPicture gadgets can give you long-term, mid-term, and short-term perspectives.
  • Various setups will work, for instance, one dashboard for each project or product with all four gadgets in it. Or, quite contrary, many schedules (Gantt gadget) in a single Jira dashboard or Confluence page.
  • Good for both insiders (PMO, C-suite) and external stakeholders (subcontractors, clients), since gadgets are read-only. As for the external stakeholders, they either need a Jira account to be able to observe the gadget – or – you need to show them the gadget through a public Confluence page (the latter available on Server and Data Center).
  • Gadgets are clickable. Jump to a project or task from a gadget.

How to set up BigPicture gadgets?

Read more in the documentation: Adding a gadget to Jira dashboard or Confluence page

Atlassian Confluence Gantt chart gadget

Figure 3. BigPicture Gantt gadget in a Confluence page (available on Server and Data Center hostings only).


BigPicture version 8.2 brings two gadget-related innovations. Gadgets become available in Jira Cloud and the Roadmap gadget makes its premiere (Server, Data Center, Cloud).

Gadgets can represent projects, program increments, phases, iterations, etc., whatever project management methodology you use. Clients, management, and subcontractors can keep an eye on project gadgets thanks to the read-only mode.

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.