The concept of Boxes we introduced to BigGantt makes project and project portfolio management as easy as can be. With Boxes, you can group all your projects, products, teams, or portfolios just like you would organize your photos into various collections. This approach in combination with advanced filtering options will give you unprecedented clarity and control over every undertaking you’re responsible for. Even if you count them in thousands.

You can use Boxes in a variety of ways to organize tasks available in Jira and other connected platforms. There are two basic principles which apply to Boxes:

  • There is no limit on the number of Boxes maintained using the App.
  • There is no limit on how many objects (Tasks, Projects, Versions etc.) a Box can hold. The scope of the Box can include any set of Jira issues.

With Boxes you can manage the following areas:

  • Scope (Box Configuration and Business Administration)
  • Dependencies between Tasks (Gantt modules)
  • Allocated resources (Gantt modules) 
  • Key Deadlines / Milestones (Markers) 

Box Within a Box

The brand new concept of Boxes within Boxes allows you to easily, with a single click, narrow down the scope of your work to the desired granularity level without losing any features offered by different modules.

For example, one of the Boxes you can create can represent a SAFe Agile Release Train. This Box has three layers which are the Box itself representing the Agile Release Train with all the or a Team of Teams working on particular Program, the Program Increments where the features are selected for development during the PI planning meetings and the Iteration where the decomposed features into user stories are planned by the teams themselves.

SAFe Agile Release Train Box viewed using the Timeline mode of the Overview module:

Program Increment 1 Box viewed using the Timeline mode of the Overview module:

You can jump into any of those levels and the App will filter out all the work items which are already planned on the higher level. This lets you focus on what you are currently interested in, while, at the same time, you can use all the modules offered by the App and, for instance, generate reports for a particular phase, Iteration, PI, etc.

Selecting the PI will narrow down the scope of this particular Program Increment Box if you click on one of the Iterations. You can start planning your work or simply monitor what's already planned. 

This is just one example, and the App offers much more. Your Boxes can represent project phases or stages, Projects, or even reporting periods of your organization.

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Managing Boxes and Box Types

When you buy a car, you must pick a model - its impossible for a car to exist and not belong to a car model category. A car model encompasses a range of similar cars.

In BigPicture 8 we have introduced a concept of Box types - you can think of them as pre-configured Box templates. After a new Box has been created, you can further customize it to deviate from Box type specifications. 

Each Box must belong to a type. You can't create a Box without selecting it. 

BigGantt allows you to have three BoxTypes (you can created as many Boxes of a given type as you want). Box types have already been preconfigured and are ready to use as soon as you have installed the App. However, you can make adjustments to make sure the setup meets your needs.

Thanks to the 'Box Types' templates you will save a lot of time as you need to configure it only once. When the preconfigured setting of a given Box Type fails to match
 an unusual or a more complex business scenario, you can customize it freely or create a new one from scratch.

The standard BigGantt version includes three Box type configurations (the default Box configuration) which were already available in the previous versions of the app:

  • Program Box – previously known as a Program. The concept of a Program is very broad and you can adjust the configuration to your needs. 
  • Program Increment – this type is recommended for SAFe® framework adopters.
  • Iteration – helps to schedule work iteratively.

Program Box – previously known as a Program. The concept of a Program is very broad and you can adjust the configuration to suit your needs. Program Box can easily simulate the following:

  • Portfolio
  • Waterfall project
  • Hybrid project

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