Links Hierarchy FAQ

Q.1 What is it?

Links Hierarchy is an add-on to improve JIRA regular links traceability, supporting cross-project, Agile Epics and sub-tasks with any depth.

Q.2 What is it not?

The Links Hierarchy  is not project planning tool!

While there are many Gantt-like 3rd party add-ons available on the Marketplace for project planning, Links Hierarchy  puts the focus on issue traceability. There is a lot of confusion here as many users confuse planning with tracing. Fail!  Links Hierarchy  is very useful as standalone add-on as well as combined with 3rd party planners! 

Gantt planning add-ons are for project managers providing them a big picture of scheduling. On the other hand, Links Hierarchy is for developers, analysts, testers and others working with a subset of the project issues and therefore impact & tracebility are much more relevant than scheduling.

Q.3 Planning vs tracing?

They are not the same thing:

For example: "the Issue X  is duplicated by the Issue Y "  is something irrelevant from the planning perspective: you have to take in consideration one of them only (X or Y) as the other is a duplicated but... you need to know that they are duplicated!... that is traceability!

Q.4 What kind of projects need it?

As it is generic add-on, it works with any kind of project using links. Of course, as much links are used and hierarchies become more complex, it brings more value.

As it is not a planning tool it would be less useful when planning cascade projects as all the issues are created at the very initial stage of the project and relationships are quite simple: parent-child. Furthermore, traceability could be resolved by sharing the gantt chart. Of course, when such projects come into life and complexity grows gantt charts are unable to deal with the richness and expressiveness of links.

On the other hand, JIRA Agile projects have a quite basic hierarchy: Epic, issues and sub-tasks. But regular JIRA links are totally missing from the Agile Boards: the Backlog is a flat list as well as Sprints and Kanban Columns. If users can link issues to any issue present in the backlog, then Links Hierarchy  resolves the traceability problem by visualizing the hierarchy of any issue in the backlog from the Agile Boards themselves (Server Edition) or from JIRA (Server and Cloud Editions).

Q.5 What about its architecture?

It was designed with simplicity as one of the main goals. It is fully ready to work out-of-the-box requiring zero administration. 
In fact, it has not any configuration parameter for JIRA administrators. All the configuration is done by end users according their needs filtering data and saved locally in their browsers. Hence, it does not require backups nor any sort of synchronization action.

Q.6 What about performance?

The latest versions work pretty well.... though some limits have been included in order to achieve it. Each JIRA administrator's complaint about performance has been taken in consideration, analyzed and resolved. The result is an add-on with a brilliant balance between performance and data visualization.  Of course, some huge hierarchies may not been seen properly, but it was necessary in order to preserver the JIRA overall performance.

Q-7 What sort of companies are using it?

It is being used by hundreds of companies of a wide range of industries. 

Surprisingly, most of the customers are enterprise companies with instances of 500+ users (+75%) and many even with 10.000+ users. This it is not too much common pattern for the rest of the add-ons which have a lot of starter licenses (10 users) and decreasing along user tier growing.  A reason of this behavior would be that small companies have not too much problems with links traceability, so they don't need a tool like this. Medium companies, would require improving links tracebility but they can use the same planning tool to solve both problems at time: planning & traceability. While sharing a project plan is not the right way to solve tracebility problems  in large companies. So they prefer use Links Hierarchy  to bring issue context and traceability for all their issues. Furthermore, busy administrators of large companies love the simplicity of the configuration of Links Hierarchy: simply install it and forget it for ever with thousand of happy users instantly. No extra groups, permissions, DB tables, backups, synchronizers, new concepts, etc. :-)

Q-8. I want to learn more... what are next steps?

Then please, download the User Guide (PDF) for all the details. And do not hesitate send an email at contact@kintosoft.com for further assistance!.