Plan Roadmaps

CA Agile Central’s roadmap planning helps product and program managers create realistic work plans that consider business value, technology risk, feature size, and development capacity.

The Beta release of the Roadmap Planning board is meant to provide you with early access to this feature and give you a way to provide feedback about how well you like it and what you would like to change. We also hope you will validate or refute our assumptions about how organizations prepare and execute feature and release planning:

  • How does your organization prioritize and schedule features?
  • Which personas do pre-planning and planning activities?
  • Which feature information is key for the planning process?
  • How does the organization use themes and objectives in the planning process?
  • Which filters are needed for the backlog and the plans?
  • When is a plan approved? What events are triggered? What changes a plan’s approval?
  • How do work management and deployment processes differ?
  • What are the characteristics of an organization’s planning cadence?
  • Who are the stakeholders of the plan and what do they want to know?

Portfolio Roadmap page

Roadmap planning includes the following topics:

Plans

The board has one backlog column and one or more plan columns with up to three plans in view at any time. A plan has the following:

  • A timebox (start and end date) where development work is performed (not necessarily when it is delivered); typically, this is a quarter or a 10-week PSI
  • The features and MVFs (or lowest-level portfolio items) that are being developed in the timebox
  • A descriptive name that is meaningful to the organization represented by the plan
  • A theme that summarizes the goal of the work in the plan (for all the teams and all the work in the plan)
  • Estimated capacity ranges (in feature points) at various levels of the organization, usually teams or groups of teams

Plans and milestones

Plans, releases, deployments, and milestones are closely connected.

A plan is a timebox for planning and executing development work across CA Agile Central projects. Multiple teams with connected or dependent work usually plan together using the same cadence.

You may be using releases today. A release ties features, stories, and defects to a development timebox for a project. Multiple projects may use the same release name and date to indicate that they are aligned to the same development cadence. Eventually, the plan will be the single reference for release timeboxes across projects.

A milestone is a named date of a specific type (deployment, market event, integration test point, GA for a particular market) when work is delivered. Milestones can be associated with one or more work items. The same work item can be associated with one or more milestones. Milestones will be supported in a future release of CA Agile Central.

A deployment represents the date (not timebox) when software or systems are delivered to some group of people (for example, integration test, domestic market, international market, hardware group, or the public at a market event). Features, stories, and defects can be associated with one or many deployments (or milestones or events). CA Agile Central will support deployments and other types of milestones and events soon.

Note: If you are using releases today, they won't go away with roadmap planning. We encourage you to start using plans and milestones once they are available for roadmap planning. Some CA Agile Central customers use the CA Agile Central Release object to specify both releases and deployments. This can cause overlapping releases and release gaps.

Views, charts, and filters using release will continue to operate as they do now, views using plans and milestones will be added incrementally.

Get started

The Roadmap Planning board is accessible through the Plan → Roadmap navigation. In Beta phases, there will be one roadmap for the workspace that share a common planning cadence and plan themes across projects.

Organizations and divisions who plan on different cadences may either choose to move to the same cadence or wait until CA Agile Central supports multiple roadmaps per workspace.

Permissions

As the Beta phase begins, a user must have subscription or workspace administration privileges to make changes to settings or plans on the Roadmap Planning board. During the beta timeframe, CA Agile Central will add a new role for program management authorization (not the same as project-level administration) that begins to separate activities specific to product and program management.

The roadmap will be still visible to workspace users who do not have one of these roles.

Tutorial

When you first open the Roadmap Planning board, there is a splash screen and a five-slide tutorial that describes the value of this activity.

If you have permissions to change the plans, you can click through to get started. Other options are to Learn More (help topics) or to dismiss the tutorial page.

Setup

These settings are all made in the board itself (in the heading area of each plan).

The first person to set up the roadmap sets it up for the entire workspace. Be sure to work with other organizations sharing this roadmap when choosing plan names, themes, and timeframes.

 

Edit timeframes by clicking on the dates. Change the name of the timeframe by clicking on the title. When you update the timeframe name, the plan name is automatically updated.

You can set low and high-capacity ranges at any project level. Ranges do not have to be set for all projects—only the projects where you may be doing capacity planning. Use the project picker on the top-left of the page header to choose the project for which you want to set a capacity range.

These ranges are a guideline for determining the reality of a plan based on engineering capacity. The ranges do not roll up, but the cumulative (feature) points in a plan do roll up and may be compared to the capacity at any project node in the project hierarchy.

A capacity meter indicates whether you have yet to reach the low capacity range (blue), are within the capacity range (green), or have exceeded the capacity range (red). The percentage to the right of the meter shows your capacity in relation to the high end of the range.


Backlog

The backlog shows all features in scope (according to the project picker) that are available for scheduling, in ranked order. The backlog does not include features with an actual end date (features already complete). You may re-rank features in the backlog column and these ranks will persist in other CA Agile Central views (similar to the Portfolio Kanban).

The Add New button at the top left of the board helps you add new features directly into the backlog.

The backlog shows the first 25 prioritized features. Click Show more cards to load up to 25 more at a time.

Backlog filters

You may further filter the backlog using the filter control at the top left of the Roadmap Planning board. When filters are applied, the button turns blue.

The Initiative filter enables you to select one or more initiatives to filter features in the backlog. Besides helping you to find features quickly, this filter also displays features for an initiative that have not yet been scheduled. You may also select No Parent to show unparented features in the backlog.

CA Agile Central uses features to refer to the lowest-level portfolio items (the cards on the roadmap) and initiative to refer to the feature's parent, but the board will adapt to your own naming conventions for these types of portfolio items.

We will add more filters (possibly tags, states, and custom fields) as we work with our Beta customers to determine which are the most valuable.

Themes, plans, and feature cards

Once entered, you can display or hide themes using the arrow control to the right of the themes. Add a new plan by clicking +, and change the plans in view using the scroll arrows.

You can perform the following:

  • Move feature cards from the backlog into a plan, and from plan to plan.
  • Edit the preliminary estimate directly on the card, and you can hover over and view the feature points associated with the preliminary estimate.
  • Reposition the order of cards in a column. This does not affect the global rank of the feature in CA Agile Central, but it gives you a means for trying out different cut lines in your plan.
  • Specify which fields to display on the cards. Click the Show on Cards icon, make your selections, and click Apply.

  • Use the Refined Estimate field to enter an updated estimate during capacity planning as more is known about the features being planned. This value will override the Preliminary Estimate value in capacity summation.
  • View child stories on feature cards by clicking on the points icon at the bottom of the card. From the story tray, you can re-rank stories, edit, copy, delete, move, split, or add stories, defects, and tasks.

 

Use the feedback dialog from the Feedback badge on the top right of the board to help us make your experience better.

What's Next

Keep visiting this page to view upcoming enhancements to roadmap planning.

Plans and milestone names will be available on grids as columns and filters.

For statuses and details of features that are coming soon, visit CA Agile Central Ideas.

Tips

  • You must be a subscription or workspace administrator to make changes to the roadmap.
  • Plan names, dates, themes are shared across projects in the workspace.
  • Re-ranking cards in the plan columns do not affect ranking in any other CA Agile Central views.
  • See a list of supported browsers.
  • If you use an IP whitelist, you must select the Enable additional CA Agile Central services integrations field (below the IP range text field).

Feedback

Need more help? The CA Agile Central Community is your one-stop shop for self-service and support. To submit feedback or cases to CA Agile Central Support, find answers, and collaborate with others, please join us in the CA Agile Central Community.