The concept of Boxes we introduced to BigPicture and BigGantt makes project and project portfolio management as easy as possible. With Boxes, you can group all your projects, products, teams, or portfolios just like you would organize your photos into various collections. In combination with advanced filtering options, this approach 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 various ways to organize tasks available in Jira and other connected platforms. Two basic principles 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:

BigPictureBigGantt
  • 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)
  • 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 a particular Program, the Program Increments where the features are selected for development during the PI planning meetings, and the Iteration where the teams themselves plan the decomposed features into user stories.

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 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 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:

You can use the following predefined Box types:

  • Agile project - A built-in type, that is recommended for projects run in agile methodology
  • Classic project - A built-in type, that is recommended for classic (waterfall) projects
  • Hybrid project - A built-in type, suitable for hybrid projects involving agile and classic approaches
  • Hybrid stage - A built-in type, that helps to organize a hybrid project schedule into stages
  • Iteration - A built-in type, that helps to schedule work iteratively
  • LeSS Requirement Area - A built-in type, designed for multiple teams working together on one product.
  • Portfolio - A built-in type, that stores agile, classic, and hybrid types of projects
  • Program - Basic Box type that lets you divide the work into lower levels such as Iterations, Stages or Program Increments
  • Program Increment - A built-in type, that allows for grouping iterations into increments (recommended for SAFe® adopters)
  • SAFe Art - A built-in type, to represent an Agile Release Train (recommended for SAFe® adopters)
  • Sprint - A built-in type, that helps to schedule work iteratively
  • Stage - A built-in type, that helps to organize classic project scope into stages

Play with sample data

Play around with the app without affecting your data.

All tasks in a resulting Box are internal (exist only in the app and don't affect Jira):

Import Jira projects

Set up a Box based on your Jira projects.

Select one or more Jira projects you want to include in the scope of a Box.

Select a Box type:

If you have selected more than one project, you can create a separate Box for each. Adjust a toggle switch accordingly.

Create a new portfolio

Set up a portfolio Box - a Box in which you can nest your projects. Portfolio Boxes help you organize your work and provide you with reporting capabilities. 

Adjust the Box information: