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Atlassian Jira: What is Portfolio?

By NicoleC
Apr. 3, 2018

Portfolio is a tool that enables teams to build plans and track progress in Jira Software. Being an add-on for Jira, it provides seamless integration with all data within the Jira system. It also provides multiple estimation methods, a visible roadmap, scenario planning, unlimited hierarchy, and reporting for any team.

Portfolio has three key value propositions: Visualization, Hierarchy and Alignment.

Visualization

Portfolio is designed in a way that helps team visualize all of their schedules and projects in one place. Here, teams can see all projects across a timeline.

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Hierarchy

Portfolio has an uncapped hierarchy function which means that users can create unlimited hierarchies for their project. This allows users to map Jira stories, bugs, and tasks into a separate custom Portfolio hierarchy level. However, it is noted that if users try to add new hierarchy levels between Stories and Epics, it may cause irregular results, which is why it is recommended to only create new levels of hierarchy above the Epic level.

From an Agile point of view it is really only necessary to use Epics, Stories and tasks. However, adding a level above Epics called "Initiatives" you you enable Jira Portfolio to plan at the Initiative level.

Hierarchy.JPG

An Initiative is the overarching layer that is a parent to Epics. As defined by Atlassian you can "Think of them as higher-level business priorities or big projects potentially spanning multiple teams. So in Jira Portfolio, you can combine the work from multiple agile teams and roll them up into larger initiatives."

Alignment

Portfolio is designed so you can see how closely your efforts and achievements align with your business goals.

The target audience for Portfolio ranges from Project Management, Product Leadership, Development, IT & Executives.

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Why is it helpful?

Its design helps teams visually track their projects and issues and makes it easier to coordinate with one another.

Portfolio enables teams to create agile roadmaps by allowing teams to prioritize workload and separate tasks into sprints.