Want to manage many Jira projects at once? Atlassian has just brought out Portfolio for Jira 2.0, which allows you to view, track and adjust many Jira projects in real time. Portfolio for Jira 2.0 brings a lot of new functionality to Jira project portfolio management. Contact our Atlassian experts today to discuss how Portfolio for Jira 2.0 can help you manage large numbers of Jira projects.
What is it?
Portfolio for Jira (or Jira Portfolio) is an add-on to Jira (primarily Jira Software) which allows you to track and manage multiple Jira projects. Portfolio for Jira draws its data directly and automatically from the Jira projects without the need for manual data input at the level of Jira Portfolio. Its data is updated in real time and always reflects the latest state of the projects It tracks. Portfolio for Jira produces views and reports of project progress; suggests optimisations of resources to allow priority projects to meet deadlines; and allows changes to be made to the projects, subject to permissions and user approval.
Why is it useful?
Jira Portfolio is useful because it makes it easier to run agile projects at scale – it provides portfolio management for Jira. If your organisation has more than a handful of Jira projects, you will be faced with the problem of how to keep track of them all, and how to ensure that resources are allocated appropriately, so that no project is under-resourced, or, if that cannot be avoided, the most important projects are prioritised.
Without a tool like Portfolio for Jira, project progress must be collected manually from project managers and compiled into a report, most likely a spreadsheet. This process is time-consuming and error-prone, and the spreadsheet rapidly becomes out of date. Very often, staff must be assigned full time to compiling such reports and keeping them up to date. Jira Portfolio automates the collection and collation of data, providing management with a more accurate picture of progress and freeing up resources from data gathering to more valuable tasks. Portfolio for Jira management is more efficient and less time consuming than portfolio management with most other tools.
The Jira Portfolio management plugin is one of the most powerful add-ons available for Jira.
- Portfolio for Jira can access the data of all the projects in its instance of Jira. It uses this data to update its reports and charts automatically in real time. It is never out of date.
- Jira Portfolio aggregates all the information about the teams working on each projects, including the skills of each resource and their absences, and uses the information to forecast project outcomes.
- The information from the various projects is shown as a single ‘Portfolio Plan’ in Portfolio for Jira. Various different views of this plan can be displayed (see below).
- Portfolio for Jira contains an algorithm to suggest optimisations to resource allocation. The optimisations shift resources from projects which have more resources than they need to those which do not have enough. The highest priority projects receive preference.
- If the algorithm recommends changes to projects or resource allocation or other project changes, those changes can be made directly in Jira Portfolio. However, doing this without first informing the affected project managers / scrum masters could cause confusion in the team, so such top down changes must be ‘committed’ before they are made in the underlying Jira project(s). This feature minimises the risk of accidental changes, and allows the project manager(s) to be consulted or at least informed in advance.
- Portfolio for Jira facilitates cross-project releases. In other words, it manages complex releases that contain the output of multiple projects. It has a plan view which allows users to focus on particular release versions, as opposed to having a full project or board view, using a similar filtering system to the Jira issue navigator. This prevents the planning of particular releases being submerged in a mass of non-relevant data.
- Reports include the ability to view the status of a particular release only, with only the Epics/Stories included in that release.
- The Portfolio plan can be displayed in ‘Schedule View’, which shows the projects and their timelines; ‘Scope View’, which shows the Epics and Stories of the projects, or in ‘Team View’, which shows the activities of teams and their members.
For more information on Portfolio for Jira and how it can be used to improve your project portfolio management, contact our Atlassian experts.