How do I setup JIRA and JIRA Agile for the Scaled Agile Framework?

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The Scaled Agile Framework is a popular framework that provides one perspective on how to provide governance to the Agile framework. To get JIRA setup to go in line with the guidelines of the framework.

Step-by-step guide

  1. Create Projects in JIRA for both the Scrum Teams that you have as well as a Project for the Portfolio.
  2. For the Portfolio Project, create a Kanban Board. This project should only have one Issue Type, which is Epics, and they should only have Developer Roles filled by the person in charge of Business Epics or Architectural Epics.
  3. Create Scrum Boards for each of your Teams at the Project level and modify the filter to be "Project = 'Portfolio' OR 'ABC'".
  4. Create Kanban Boards for each Program, and point the Program Board's Filter to the Projects included in the Program. Teams will be using Versions as Releases, and you will be able to manage Program releases from this level. If you choose to, you can have an additional project for your Program backlog, and also have this point to the Program Management board.


  • With this, you will have Business Epics feeding your Project Teams directly, and Project teams rolling up to the Program level (which is not ideally how SAFe would describe it, however this is the way that I would set it up in JIRA). As new stories get put into the individual team backlogs, they are associated with a Version for a release at the Program level, and an Epic for Portfolio reporting.

  • Depending on how your Program level is structured, have your Product Management teams focusing on Epic reports, andy our Release Management team focusing on Version Reports.


Related articles

Program Management in JIRA Agile

Portfolio Management in JIRA Agile

Last modified on Dec 19, 2013

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