The concept of Boxes we introduced to BigPicture and 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 (Board and Gantt modules)
  • Allocated resources (Resources and Gantt modules) 
  • Key Deadlines / Milestones (Markers) 
  • Goals and Objectives (Roadmap module)
  • Risks (Risks module)

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.

Managing Boxes and Box Types

Agile, Waterfall, or Hybrid? Whatever methodology, the App is designed to comply with the organization’s chosen framework or any array of frameworks. Be it a SAFe® program, a LeSS product, a Prince2® project, an ART,
 a Program Increment (PI), an iteration, a phase, you name it — each of these frameworks now has a default template available in the App, already preconfigured to be consistent with it.

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 BigPicture 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.

If you are using BigPicture Enterprise, there are additional predefined Box types which you can use:

  • Portfolio
  • Waterfall project
  • Hybrid project
  • Agile project
  • Waterfall stage
  • Hybrid stage
  • SAFe ART
  • LeSS requirement area

The BigGantt version includes one Box type configuration (the default Box configuration) which was 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 Box can simulate the following:
    • Portfolio
    • Waterfall project
    • Hybrid project