Five Ways to Effectively Plan with Portfolio for JIRA

There are times when even agile teams can’t get around a certain level of planning. But, it can be quite challenging to balance daily tasks within a sprint along with the added pressure of a plan.

Since development teams organize their day-to-day operations in JIRA, Atlassian developed Portfolio for JIRA, which takes planning to a new level. The new plugin helps align product roadmaps with sprint planning, keep track of dependencies, manage team skills, and pose what-if questions.

Embedding roadmaps in the sprint planning process

In order to reach organizational goals, a software team’s daily work has to line up with the long-term product roadmap. The roadmap and team backlog are on two different lists, which are also in two different systems. Oftentimes, they start out together, but then grow in different directions. Now, it takes more time to jump back and forth between the roadmap and backlog. In high-level planning, the team’s backlog needs to be joined, and after the end of the sprint, the high-level plan gets manually updated.

A more practical approach would be to have the product roadmap linked right to the team’s work in JIRA and have it be aligned with the backlog in real-time. Portfolio for JIRA is dynamically linked to the boards of the teams so that all necessary data can be incorporated into a realistic roadmap. In doing so, things like rankings, dependencies and team availability can be taken into account. The system takes over the planning work.

JIRA Portfolio-Plan erstellen

How can you then integrate this product roadmap in the next planning meeting? Since Portfolio for JIRA is dynamically linked to the JIRA boards, the system automatically suggests what can fit into the next sprint. The operations planned in Portfolio for JIRA can be assigned directly to the team’s sprint. This is a great starting point for sprint planning, in that it can be discussed and further refined.

Make the most of your team’s skills

In an ideal team, everyone can do everything well. The planning is simple and flexible and things continue on normally, even when team members are missing. In reality, however, this is rarely the case. Sometimes you have to consider who can do what kind of work to ensure accurate planning and avoid bottlenecks.

Portfolio for JIRA can be used to define skills for team members. The planning process can be refined by looking at specializations within the team and finding the necessary skills for certain tasks. Once the right skills are found and the respective people are assigned, tasks can be divided up based on the abilities required for them.

Portfolio for JIRA 4

Looking at change by posing what-if questions

Stakeholders like to ask questions like, “Why don’t we add this feature to the the next release?” or “Why can’t we just do it next week instead of next month?” In Portfolio for JIRA, product or project managers can clearly and easily present the impact of different variables on planning (e.g. changing a release date). Such information is great for communicating openly with stakeholders and helps identify trade-offs. The roadmap also presents what is realistic. Because all data in Portfolio for JIRA are dynamically linked to JIRA software, they’re always up-to-date and accurately reflect the team’s work and its capabilities.

Building a self-service information center

How’s the planning coming along? How’s the project going? Anyone who regularly needs these questions answered and sends status reports needs Portfolio for JIRA. Portfolio keeps all stakeholders on the same page. There are various reports that provide the answers to stakeholder questions, such as progress towards strategic objectives, the roll-up of all releases, and a schedule showing projected release dates.

No need to manually export data to prepare status updates for a meeting – stakeholders simply need to look at the portfolio plan. Those who don’t want stakeholder involvement can assign read-only access, thanks to plan permissions.

We’re your Atlassian partner!

Are you interested in Portfolio for JIRA? Would you like to learn more and test JIRA with the Portfolio plugin in a live system, free of charge and without obligation? Or do you want to license the product directly? We are an Atlassian Platinum Partner and one of the largest groups of Atlassian experts worldwide, with experience in hundreds of Atlassian projects. We’re happy to help in all aspects concerning the introduction and optimization of your Atlassian tools: consulting and licensing, training, integration and customization, individual extension, hosting. Feel free to contact us!

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