Program Management requires keeping track of the cards spread across boards and are dependent on each other for completion so that they get executed in a synchronized manner to achieve the objectives. The Program Board helps you do this effectively with its timeline-based visualization. Here, the chosen cards are positioned on the board based on their PI/Sprints and ART teams respectively. Dependency links can then be established between the cards as per the business needs so that they eventually lead to the completion of top-level objectives.
Program Board is available at the Program Level. So you can not only add existing cards from the Program and Team level Work Boards but also directly create cards on the Program Board itself.
This way, you get a holistic view of the important cards and can easily focus on completion of dependent cards from lowest to the highest level.

Accessing the Program Board

To access the Program Board, go to your work board, and select Program Board from the board menu.

Note:  The Program Board is available at the Program level only.

Program Board Layout

The Program Board has program increment(PI) column on the horizontal axis. Each PI column is divided into sub-columns of its Sprints. Just above the horizontal axis, we have a Timeline that shows the duration(dates) of each Sprint. The vertical axis contains the teams of the Agile Release Train(ART).
The cards are placed as per its ART Team and Sprint. This way, the cards are sequentially positioned sprint-wise from left to right and team-wise from top to bottom. Each PI shows the total number of cards within it.

If your Program Board shows too many PIs, and you want to focus on the Open PIs only, you can do so by clicking the Open PI Only slider button on the column header.

  Note: If any card is already linked with another card of a closed Sprint, then even if you enable the Open PI Only option, that closed Sprint will still be displayed on the Program Board.

Working with Cards

See the following sections to know what all you can do with a Work Card in the Program Board.

Add an existing Card

To add an existing card perform the following steps:
1. Click the Add Card icon () on the side toolbar, which is on the left of the Program Board.
Note: You can add Program level and Team level cards only such as Feature, User Story, and so on.
2. In the Search textbox start entering the name or ID of the card.After you hit ENTER, the search results are listed below for single or multiple occurrences.

Alternately, you can refine your search by clicking the down arrow  and selecting a particular attribute from the list like Id, Title, Description or others.

3. Select the required card(s) and click Add to Board button.

Note: If you are adding a card, which is not allocated to any ART or Team, then it will be added in the topmost None row (None ART & None Team) of the Program Board.
But if the card is allocated to an ART, but not a Team, then it will be added to the None row (None Team) of that ART.

Add a Card

You can directly create a card in the Program Board itself.
Note: You can create Program Level cards only like Feature and Enabler Feature.
To create a card perform the following steps:-

1. Right-click on the board, where you need to add the card.
Note: If you don’t want the card allocated to be in any ART/Team, then you can click in the None row of the Program Board.
2. Click Add Card.
3. Select the Card type, and enter the Card title. Click Save & Next.
4. The card will be added to the Program Board in the respective Sprint/PI and the ART/Team.
Note: The same card will also be created in the first lane and its first column of the Work Board.

Edit a Card

Clicking the card will open its pop-up view. We can modify its attributes and click Save to apply the changes.
If the Sprint/PI or Team / ART has been modified, the card gets positioned as per its new settings.
Note: Archived cards will be displayed in read-only mode only.

Remove a Card

Right-click the card that needs to be removed, click Remove Card. The card and all its dependency links will be deleted.
Note: It only deletes the card from the Program Board, and not from the Work Board. Team level cards can only be removed.

Assign Cards to  PI, Sprint, ART, and Team

Along with linking cards between two cards, you can also assign a card to a PI, Sprint, ART, and Team. To perform such action, you need to first click the Card Drag-drop icon from the side toolbar and then drag any card to the required PI, Sprint, ART, or Team cell. Once you drag-dop the card to PI and ART, the cards will also get tagged to them. Once you are done with drag-dropping cards, then you can go back to the link card view by clicking again the Card Drag-drop icon.

Note: A card cannot be drag-dropped and assigned to a closed ART or Sprint.


Creating the Links

To create a link between cards:

Click on a card, then drag the cursor to the dependent card. The link will be created in the respective colors as mentioned below:

Link colors Links
Green 1. If both the cards are in the same Sprint.
2. If the Dependent card is in any of the previous Sprints
Red If the Dependent card is in any of next Sprints

Example: You have 2 cards, Testing and Development. The development card is in Sprint 1 while the latter is in Sprint 2.

When I link Testing to Development, it means the Testing card is dependent on the completion of the Development card. So the link will be in green color.

Note: Cyclic links are not allowed.

Color of the Links 

The color of the dependency link is decided according to the given conditions –

  1. If there is a dependency on a card and any of the four fields (Done date, Due date, Sprint date, and Release date) are available, then it will decide the color by comparing the dates of the following fields in the given order –
      • If the Done date is available, then the Done date of Predecessor and Successor is compared. it will compare the done dates of the card
      • If the Done date is not available, then it will look for and compare the Due date of Predecessor and Successor.
      • If the Due date is also not available, then it will look for and compare Sprint date of Predecessor and Successor.
      • If the Sprint date is also not available, then it will look for and compare the Release date of Predecessor and Successor.

    Similarly, if one card’s done date is available and the other card’s done date is not available then it will compare the first card’s done date with the second card’s due date. Likewise, if the second card’s due date is also not available then it will compare the first card’s done date with the second card’s sprint date and so on. The same is applicable for the availability of the fields on the first card.

    Now, if the value of a predecessor field is before the value of the successor field then it is an ideal scenario and hence the color of the dependency links between the cards is green. If the value of a predecessor field is after the value of the successor’s field then the color of the Dependency links will be red.

  2. If there are dependency links (relation) on a card, and value of any of the fields (Done date, Due date, Sprint date, and Release date) is not available then the dependency link color will be grey.

Managing the Dependency Links

If you click anywhere on the dependency link between the cards, then the following operations are displayed:

  1. Remove Link
  2. Highlight Complete Neighborhood
  3. Highlight 1 Degree Neighborhood
  4. Show Dag View

Remove Link

To remove dependency link between two cards, click the Remove Link ( ) icon.

Highlight Complete Neighborhood

Subnet(neighborhood) is a set of cards on the board that has dependencies among themselves. When you create dependency links between two or more cards, a subnet is formed.

Clicking the Highlight Complete Neighborhood icon () highlights all the cards of the subnet and defocuses the rest of the cards.

Highlight 1 Degree Neighborhood

Clicking the Highlight 1 Degree Neighborhood icon() highlights the cards that are linked to the cards of the current Link and defocuses the rest of the cards.

Show Dag View

Clicking the Dag View icon( ), open up a new pop-up displaying the cards of that subnet and their links with the respective PI or Sprints.


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