Matt Ryall, head of product for Jira Software at Atlassian, said the road mapping tools first provided in Jira a year ago are now being employed by 45% of customers, making it the most rapidly adopted feature in 18 years the project management application has been around. Thus far, Atlassian reports end users have created more than 2 million road map items within Jira.
Additional capabilities added to the road mapping tools provided in the latest edition of Jira include a drag-and-drop dependency mapping feature, support for filters to track projects more easily, a progress bar that indicates macro-level progress of each road map item, an ability to set up hierarchy levels on the road map, and the ability to set up road maps inline with a single click.
In addition, a live Jira road map can now be integrated with Confluence, a complementary tool from Atlassian for managing projects spanning multiple teams.
Atlassian currently offers several road-mapping solutions, including a team-level option in Jira, a program-level road map known as Portfolio for Jira and an enterprise organization-level version dubbed Jira Align. Atlassian has committed to making all three of these offerings work better together in 2020.
In addition, Atlassian is committing to bringing together the various road-mapping capabilities is provides across its portfolio. The company plans to enable organizations to aggregate multiple road maps into a single consumable artifact and is exploring ways to make road-mapping functionality accessible beyond Jira users. As more organizations in the age of digital business realize how much their future success depends on timely delivery of software, the number of end users who want to be able to monitor the pace of application development projects continues to expand.
In general, Ryall said Atlassian is focused on modernizing the end user experience for a project management application that is employed by more than 65,000 customers to manage software development projects. Much of that effort is focused on adding a visualization layer that will make it easier to navigate software development projects that continue to become more complex as organizations embrace, for example, microservices-based architectures.
Competition across the project management category is intensifying as startups look to drive alternative approaches that they claim are designed to support, for example, a mobile-first user experience that makes it easy to visualize data. It’s not clear to what degree any of those offerings are gaining traction, but a significant amount of venture capital is starting to pour into the sector.
In the meantime, visualization tools that promise to make it easier to appreciate what project events will have the most impact on the business are always going to be welcome. The real challenge, of course, remains getting developers to share accurate assessments of their progress with project team leaders. The good news is, it’s becoming much easier to automatically gather that data from the various repositories developers now rely on to check code in and out of various systems without having to ask anyone for an actual update.