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Introducing a new planning experience in Portfolio for Jira (Server/DC)

99 comments

bree Atlassian Team Dec 20, 2018

@Chris Fernandes and @Lutz Hoeger - we have exciting plans for Cloud in 2019, stay tuned. 

Like # people like this

When will Jira Portfolio begin to implement features to support SAFe implementations, like PI Cadence, Program Board feature dependency maps, WSJF prioritization,  Feaure Progress Report with indicators on features that are not meeting their original target estimates, PI Feature capacity planning, where I can load a PI based on teams of teams PI velocity, reports on Business Value delivered estimate vs actual.  I love Jira for Team level SAFe, but it gets very clunky when trying to scale leverage the SAFe framework, where I get pressure to move to CA Agile Central or Version One.  I would like to understand how Atlassian intends to use Portfolio to support organizations who've implemented SAFe?  

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We're on the cloud version...we're not getting this though? 

Getting JIRA into our company: big win for day to day development. 

When team leads saw Portfolio "in action" the reaction was "WTF is this thing? It is so unintuitive...we're building software more complex than this and we can't even understand how to create this and visualize a simple 6 months forward-looking roadmap". 

Looking forward to getting some of the simplification and features that you're listing here for the cloud version. 

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Hi, I am using Jira in the first place for my entire company operations, which is mainly web development and the usual supporting business functions of marketing, etc.  We chose Jira after looking for 1/2 year at the likes of Wrike, Asana, LiquidPlanner, Notion (vs. Confluence), and others.  We are a small company and on Cloud, and Portfolio was a major reason we chose you over the other services.  We are finding Portfolio cumbersome so far, and could really do with seeing some of the features you are describing here - ability to drag and drop, no forced scheduling, etc.  There are great benefits in Portfolio that overcome some of the limitations you guys have in Jira that are limiting for companies that are not strictly developing on your platform.  Thins like only one project per issue, with no other way to organize issues into multiple folders or other hierarchies - solved by Cross-Project releases in Portfolio.  Asana has just released a Portfolio feature, and LiquidPlanner is about to completely revamp its offer.  You guys have done a lot of good for users like myself with the new Jira Next-gen projects, but they are still missing some of the configurability of the "regular" Jira, so we aren't using them.  Now, to hear about all these great changes, and yet again not have access to them, is frustrating.  I was already hoping to use Programs so I could see marketing, and development, plans in one view, but I have given up hope that you'd bring that to Cloud, and now this...

 

I would like to encourage you to keep in mind the Cloud, small biz users such as myself, and release this improved functionality of Portfolio ASAP into Cloud.  You have a great pricing structure and could surely gain many converts over these other competing systems which are much more expensive for small teams, yet all have the benefit of simple set up, which you can't get with Server.  And with that comment above @Josh Frank that there are "no immediate plans" to release the cloud versions of these improvements, I'm wondering the only true way to have hope for these features would be to set up Server.  And there's no way a company like mine would do that, way too complex.

 

So please, consider bringing your updates to Cloud ASAP, I would love to see them and you'd vastly improve my experience.

 

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Just filing another request for this feature to be released on Cloud, and NOW.  It is very frustrating buying into the cloud version with the assumption that cloud users will "get instant access to new feature releases" (this was taken directly from your Cloud vs Server comparison page https://confluence.atlassian.com/cloudkb/atlassian-cloud-vs-server-features-and-use-cases-691011844.html) to then find out that is basically false and if we want a "new feature" like this one, we now need to migrate from cloud to server?  You guys do not make it clear at all when you sell Jira Portfolio regarding what exact features are on cloud vs server, aside from digging through every release note. @Josh Frank mentioned no immediately plan to bring this to the Cloud version - this is a joke right? This major lack of feature parody and support for Cloud is embarrassing. 

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Count me in for needing the expanded features in Cloud. What everyone above said.

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In my experience with Cloud version so far, it is utterly useless and impossible to get it to show what you want. Even worse, it often crashes or corrupts our plan so have to re-make.

Going to convince my management to ditch this product unless they actually make these changes to Cloud. 

Like Larry Heminger likes this
Jake Atlassian Team Jan 09, 2019


Hi @Andy O'Dower@A_Raadls@Mitch Karren@Sarah Kegley, and @Andrew Zibuda:

First thing's first: Happy New Year!

My name is Jake and I head Product Marketing for Jira Cloud, including Portfolio for Jira. Thank you for your interest in Portfolio and your patronage of the product. I know I speak for the entire Portfolio team when I say that it's users like you that keep us excited about continuing to improve the roadmapping and cross-project planning experience in Jira Cloud.

I want to be crystal clear that we have some very big and exciting plans for future of portfolio functionality over the next six months. We have a larger team working on Portfolio than ever before and I guarantee you it remains a top priority for the Jira organization and the Atlassian business.

As several of you have mentioned in this thread, there are a few areas where we could do a better job of making the roadmapping and cross-project planning experience in Jira Cloud simpler, more intuitive, and ultimately more valuable for you and your teams. To be 100% transparent, instead of putting bandaids on the things that were broken, the Portfolio team is taking a much more wholistic approach to deliver you a product that we know you will love. So please bear with us for the next few months as we make some dramatic improvements to the way that you and your teams build and share roadmaps--improvements that will set your teams up for faster and longer term success.

Because Atlassian is a public company we simply cannot provide any public timelines, but know that we have teams working around the clock on Portfolio for Jira Cloud and we could not be more excited about what we're building and re-building for our many Cloud users. Again, this is going to be a very big year for roadmapping and cross-project planning in Jira Cloud. Stick with us!

As always, we are here for you and welcome your thoughts and feedback. If you have questions or concerns, the Portfolio team members in this thread would welcome them. And in the meantime please stay tuned for updates. We know you're going to love what we're up to!

Thanks,
Jake

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I am working in a Cloud instance of JIRA and trying to determine the best path forward for our company / Release Trains.  The recent reviews of Portfolio for JIRA in the marketplace lead me to believe that this is not the solution suited for an organization that is early in their agile transformation or scaling efforts.  While the leadership in my organization needs visibility into the work, I fear the issues with implementing Portfolio for JIRA will shift the focus off of aligning the org, changing the cultural, embracing Agile values and understanding the Agile Principles.  I will instead end up wasting energy teaching 150 people how to use a tool that is (based on reviews and your responses) not matured itself.  

I like JIRA, I have used it at multiple companies.  This is the first company that I have used the Cloud version.  It clearly is not the same as the server version I am used to.  I don't understand why that is but, I am sure there is a neatly canned answer for that question. 

Bottom Line:  I have went through most of the documentation you have online, watched third-party videos and solicited one of your Platinum Partners (who offered to charge nearly six figures to implement and manage a scaling solution in JIRA).  I do not want to tarnish my (or Atlassian's) reputation by poorly implementing a tool.

Given my concerns and the fact that I only have the Cloud version of JIRA, how would you suggest I proceed?  Wait until the Cloud version gets better?  Leverage the out of the box Confluence + JIRA solution and figure it out myself?  Go back to using excel, sticky notes, markers and PowerPoint status reports?

Obviously I am frustrated that this decision isn't an easy one.  The marketplace reviews are not helping but I am thankful that they are making me think.

After reading a review above this one, I wanted to comment on the CA Agile Central (Rally) comment.  I do agree that they are way ahead of Atlassian when it comes to serving the scaling needs of large companies.  The reporting / charting capabilities were a bit more advanced as well.  They give teams the tools to write their own gadgets fairly easily for dashboards.  (Things you all should have done long ago)  The basic reports provided are not enough given that most charts use count instead of Story Points.  Unless you are a #NoEstimates organization - a chart based on count is pretty useless.  Most of my analysis and reporting has to be done in excel after an extract.

Josh Frank Atlassian Team Jan 10, 2019

@Joe Collins, One thing to confirm if Jira Software Cloud is feeling really different is that you are indeed on a Classic template vs. one of our new next-gen templates. The Classic template should have all the features and functionality you're familiar with from the Server version of Jira Software.  

Regarding Portfolio Cloud, it's available for a free trial. I'd give it a try to see if it meets your requirements. There are a lot of good onboarding materials for Portfolio Cloud, like our webinar and guide. If Portfolio doesn't meet your requirements, there are other solutions in our ecoystem that may meet your requirements as well. 

Really looking forward to hearing about the 2019 cloud plans as they roll out.  

The real value I get out of portfolio is not in creating a roadmap and sharing it with others -- there's too much shifting of issues within Jira and complexity for it to ever be truly accurate, and I don't want to tell developers they can't re-prioritize a story if they run into an issue.  The value for me is in doing data analysis on our current projects, getting status, figuring out what is left to be done, what teams are over/under capacity, etc.  I always turn the gantt chart off, admittedly.

I'm not a product manager, I'm a development manager with extremely complex cross-team projects with lots of dependencies I want to analyze and collect data to send some hand-curated status reports up from it.

Thanks for the updates in this thread on Portfolio Cloud - the widening gap between Server and Cloud here is quite surprising but good to hear a little more about your plans for the year (hopefully we'll have something at the Vegas Summit?). 

One thing I am very interested to know about is how closely you (the Portfolio team) are working with the Jira Next Gen Project group - there seems to be a parallel track for roadmap tooling developing in Next Gen - I presume there is a cohesive plan at Atlassian that will see Portfolio providing seamless value-add on top of these new features without them eating your lunch or requiring duplication of effort? 

Like other commenters, we are very keen for a faster, more intuitive interface for large projects - as it stands Portfolio performance issues get in the way of wider uptake, which is frustrating as we need the functionality. We hope there will be an opportunity to test drive before general release, as there has been with recent changes to Jira.  

Like Josh Frank likes this

My interest in Portfolio is due to my new responsibility to "make all work visible, and identify resource capacity and constraints", which is a tall order as we aren't mature yet in Scrum practices. We are using the cloud version now and plan to migrate to server version in 3Q19.

Currently, I show the senior team a MS Project GANTT chart so they have a visual representation of progress across the report year. This is what I want Portfolio to replace.  I'm wondering if it makes more sense to use the roadmapping features in Next Gen projects, although I'm getting push-back from my support teams.

As I continue to learn, I"m watching this thread and finding your comments interesting. Ultimately, I want to be able to do what @Allison_Lanager does for her portfolio.

I'm reading the comments. Some comments say that the project manager wants to use P4J to understand what their resources are doing and if they are free in the future and when. To me this consideration, which I hear very often in Italy from project managers who say they are experts, seems a very serious mental fixation. To give a practical example it is as if a general wanted to program in the smallest detail, soldier for soldier, on the battlefield, who should shoot, when and to which enemy. We all understand that it is impossible and that the most logical reasoning, for which I think that P4J is suitable is instead to reason for Team. Stopping simply to understand if an entire team is hired by the enemy or not at a certain time. Without going into details "soldier for soldier".

 

attention this is my personal comment and does not refer to the comments already present here

Like # people like this

My company originally planned to move from JIRA 7.3 to the Cloud's latest version and the corresponding Portfolio, but we can't find a viable nFeed replacement, so we're staying server-based.  I think that is going to prove to be good for me as a PM based on everything available.  =}

@Kalos Bonasia1, I'm making two assumptions: 1) your comment regarding resources was a response to my post, and 2) English is a second language and you weren't trying to insult me by saying i have a very serious mental fixation. With those two assumptions, I feel I need to clarify my posting. I am not interested at all in the daily work of team members. In fact, I don't even want to know their names. What I want is to give our senior team a reasonable start date for future projects based on capacity. I envision a quarterly planning process where we look at a development project and say "this will need one dedicated .net developer and one UX designer. When can we expect those resources to be available given their current workload? It's not realistic to tell our board that we haven't a clue when or if we can take on a new initiative. I'm not looking for absolutes or guarantees; just a "2Q19 start" would suffice.

Now, I admit to being a newbie here. I need to learn more about teams. I'm from a small company with 6 developers with different skill sets, 1 UX designer and 1 tester. It's not unusual to have only one and up to 3 developers work on a project; we have never had a project to which they were all assigned. So I struggle with putting them into a team and assign the team to a project.

I feel I've inadvertently moved this discussion off it's topic and I apologize to the watchers here. Again, this is all new to me. Can someone suggest a better forum for me to continue this discussion? I'm very eager to learn.

Respectfully,

Sarah

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@Sarah I do not know you and I have not commented on your comment, I wanted to report my experience on this plugin and the fact that here in Italy many people who call themselves project management experts focus too much, I think wrong, on the fact that a product such as P4J must necessarily display the status of the resources taken individually. I'm sorry for you but you're wrong. you made a wrong assumption. maybe I did not realize that I commented on your comment when I wanted to comment on the post and in this case I apologize if I put my comment under your comment

Thomas Atlassian Team Jan 15, 2019

Hi @Sarah Kegley,

 

If you are looking for a more targeted discussion on this topic and want to ensure you can reach a larger audience, you could start a new discussion or question (and link it here for continuity) using the "Ask the community" button on the top bar. Don't forget the `portfolio-for-jira` and `agile` tags to help reach the right people!

 

Cheers,

Thomas

Like Dave likes this

Any ideas when Optimize (auto scheduling) is coming for Kanban?

Please make the Team field that is managed by Portfolio something we can more fully uitilize in JIRA. We had to do a database workaround to be able to make the field mandatory (we require it on new issues created in most projects, so that it is clear which issues are slated for which team).

 

Further, our head of QA does a serious amount of reporting based on JQL queries, and he is unable to "order by" the Team field - it says "Field 'Team (Portfolio)' does not support sorting." when he tries, and he says he is unable to use it as an axis either

Please allow for other types of custom fields - particularly date fields and numerical fields. We track both a "commit date" (date a team has committed to delivery for a given epic) and "value score" (an ROI based value score for the epic that is used to rank it against other epics for priority), and to fully utilize Portfolio's new plan view for governance and exec meetings, we'd like to expose these columns as needed.

In the "Limitations" section I found that the "Optimize" function is still under development. Is there any chance that the "backlog scrambling" performed by the "Calculate" function in Portfolio 2.x can be at least configured to be disabled in the new experience?

Referring to Jordan Lee's question: any idea when the scheduling function will be available for KANBAN? Is it useful to wait?

Love it, I assume there will be an announcement to make this new experience available in Cloud during the upcoming summit...

The missing capacity integration in the new experience prevents us from switching. 

  • No overview per team member if capacity is exceeded.
  • No way of adding capacity exceptions per team member (holiday, etc)

Other things we miss:

  • sum of estimates for childitems in parent item
  • having the releases (milestone) in the left pane (similar to epics/initiatives) so that you get a better overview of the milestones (name is not visible at the moment without clicking on the milestone icon).

@Roi Fine 

Some of the issues we are having:

  • The limit on the number of issues of a single type that Portfolio will display. For our Programs, we exceed this easily, and Portfolio throws up its hands and proclaims it cannot display the items, a very poor user experience! I'm sure this could be handled more elegantly. Atlassian's solution to create Program plans is not really that useful. Having to create different types of plans just because you can't display the data is not a great solution
  • Even when you can display large data sets, it is extremely slow and clunky. Refreshing is a nightmare. It's just unusable. I can see that there have been performance improvements in Portfolio, but it is still not enough. A complex filter in JIRA may take 1-2 seconds to return, the same filter in a plan can take 30+ seconds!
  • If you add a mandatory select custom field to the plan and display it, you actually cannot select any values from this field when creating an issue (it is blank!). Portfolio does prompt for a value for each and every issue you create when you commit, but this is extremely laborious when you are creating many on the fly. Furthermore, as you can't see the values as you create, you don't get visibility on what you are doing
  • Portfolio ignores policies and controls set by other plugins such as Scriptrunner and JSU, it completely bypasses them! (unlike JIRA). You could argue the problem is with the other vendors, or with Atlassian, personally I don't care. Either way, the integration is a mess!
  • If Epic Link is mandatory, and you try to create an issue under this in Portfolio, it wont succeed. It doesn't seem to recognise the context and set the Epic Link. This is probably a bug.
  • Ranking is not consistent between Portfolio and JIRA. This causes no end of confusion with our users
  • If you create a plan and set the columns, that display configuration cannot be saved or made consistent and visible for other users
  • The behaviour of Portfolio works best with boards, using projects and filters cobbles some of it's functionality around velocity, forecasting and capacity
  • The Teams concept is very weak (try sharing teams across plans, a nightmare to set-up and get to work properly). Why do we have to add the teams to every plan? This is extremely tedious when adding 20+ teams, and you never know if you get them all. Surely, since Teams are Portfolio constructs, it should have availability to all Teams, and each plan should automatically include Teams that have issues assigned to them
  • Some of the data in Portfolio is not available in JIRA, very inconsistent and confusing to users
  • Roll up of Story Points is different in Portfolio to JIRA, very inconsistent and extremely confusing to users. (Ironic, given both products are developed by the same company).
  • Setting a value like release on a parent item automatically cascades that value to all child items. Not sure why you would want this, has created so many problems in the past. Either way, you should give the user an option on whether they want the cascade.
  • Why can't Status be updated from the plan?

In short, no-one uses Portfolio in our organisation, it is just not usable. Like JIRA it does not scale, and is not useful for large Programs of work. To be fair, it looks good on paper, and may even be useful for small data sets.

To be honest, I believe Atlassians claim that this is a Portfolio product is optimistic and misleading. It is really just a planning tool. Now that Atlassian have acquired AgileCraft, I'm hoping we will see some real progress in the Portfolio space.

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