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

99 comments

@Jake your time writing to me is really appreciated, I appreciate you guys have 10's of thousands of users to attend to!

I have completed the interview and it was impressive, and I communicated all my feature requests and as much of my particular use case as I could.  I did want to leave you some more feedback right now:  I am eagerly awaiting for a bunch of Jira Classic functionality to hit Next-Gen.  But one thing I discovered to my chagrin during continued experimentation with Next-Gen is the fact that Epics cannot contain issues from other projects in Next-Gen.  This again gets back to my particular use of Jira with cross-project functionality.

My team has set up Jira, as I believe is a common practice, for projects to be open-ended groupings of work, not one-off "projects" with a start and end date.  This is well explained in this article:

https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Jira-discussions/Project-Setup-Best-Practices/td-p/600425

In reading the documentation in Next-Gen, and now seeing this limitation of Epics, I feel like Next-Gen leans toward projects being more with a start and finish, what you would expect in some traditional project management, and with tools like Basecamp and other, simpler stuff.  If Epics can't contain any issues from other projects, something like project "iOS v.2" would make sense in this context, but it's not how we'd used Jira in the past.  Typically I'd do that type of work as an initiative or Epic, with work from the "backend" and "frontend" projects both taking place to complete iOS v.2 and then release that software.

Do you know when you guys are planning to let Epics hold issues from multiple Next-Gen projects?  I am very enthusiastic about Premium, but without this capability your excellent Roadmaps are not too useful to me.  Alternatively, do you have any plans to get Roadmaps available in Classic?  

Thanks as always Jake!

Like Piotr Zolnierek likes this

Hey, I'm liking the new experience, but there is something pretty essential that seems to be off even on Portfolio 3.3.0 that I just updated to today. It is the team capacity and people availability.

- I have a shared team and I have to manually enter the capacity of the team and it does not care of the hours each person in the team has;

- If there is a person missing (exceptions or absence), the team capacity does not reflect it;

- If the source of the plan is not a board, I do not have the sprints in the plan;

I've tried different setups in Jira and Potfolio and could not make that work. If anyone has any success with that I'd be more than happy to know what I am missing, or it is just portfolio that is missing this.

Like Scott Stephens likes this

I concur with Pavel in some aspects.  I really liked the report section where I can see the capacity, overallocations and it was even broken down by person if you wanted to. This is really needed on the new version to seal the deal.

Dave Atlassian Team Jun 06, 2019

Thanks Pavel and Scott, we appreciate the feedback. We're continuing to iterate on the 3.0 release and you should continue to see new features (and improvements to existing features) rolled over time (we have a new release approximately every 2 weeks). We know that there are definitely areas of improvement to be made in capacity management but I can't give the dates of any specific release when you'll see changes.

There are lots of other areas that we want to improve and there are still some feature gaps, but we continue to listen to our customers and respond to the feedback so our priorities might change over time (this is why I wouldn't want to make any guarantees of dates of any specific feature).

I appreciate this answer is quite vague so might be frustrating - there are so many things we'd like to add to Portfolio and only a finite amount of time and people to deliver them so we are having to prioritise very carefully. I will say that I definitely agree that Portfolio would greatly benefit from the features you're asking for though!

I'd love to see an ETA for the new version of Portfolio for Jira Cloud.  We're a small business ... who wants to manage their own server?  I'd be happy to pay more than the current $10/mo for the new features, but I certainly don't want the expense of hosting my own.  ETA please?

Like # people like this
Jake Atlassian Team Jun 17, 2019

Hi @A_Raadls,

Great to hear from you, and thanks for the follow-up!

First of all, really glad to hear that you were able to get some time with our research team for an interview. It sounds like the interview was super fruitful on both sides! I know our teams absolutely love those opportunities.

Regarding your specific question about cross-project visibility and using epics across multiple next-gen projects, this is absolutely something on our radar. In fact right now we have a team thinking about the best way to approach and solve this need for users. Unfortunately I can't give you a specific timeline, but like everything else in next-gen it is our goal to build this functionality with both power and simplicity in mind. Your use case sounds rather straightforward, but there are a myriad of other use cases that our team is also trying to solve for. If you'd like I would be more than happy to connect you with the team that is currently digging into the cross-project visibility issue. I'm sure they'd love to speak with you and see your specific use case. If you'd like me to put you in touch, shoot me an email (jake@atlassian.com) and I'll make that happen.

At this time we do not have plans to bring roadmaps into classic projects. But I can share that we are currently doubling down on our next-gen efforts and so many of the features and functionality you're waiting on will be coming in the months ahead! So please stick with us and continue to provide the great feedback that you are. We are laser focused on getting both next-gen projects and Jira Premium right.

Finally, it sounds like you're definitely thinking about and using projects in the way they are intended, so don't change a thing there. We can and will meet you where you need us on the features and functionality front.

Have a great week!
Jake

Like Iain McCarthy likes this

It would be great if you could enable an export function for the schedule reports, even a jpg would be better than nothing. But a PDF or Excel would be ideal. Also another vote for putting some love towards the could version of portfolio. 

Dave Atlassian Team Jun 22, 2019

@Chris Thomson Exports (including PDF and CSV) is something we're going to be looking at introducing in the near future, unfortunately I can't commit to any specific dates or releases but we recognise that we need to make it easier to consume the data and roadmaps from plans created in Portfolio. 

Just a super quick update for folks looking to export Portfolio for Jira (Server and DC) information to Excel: we just released a new version of Better Excel Exporter that integrates with and exports Portfolio for Jira custom fields from the Issue Navigator. This way it's one possible solution to just export those issues or use Excel to build different reports, even combined with values from non-Portfolio for Jira fields.

The same integration for PDF will follow shortly.

New Portfolio on Server - Feedback.

 

  • I just realized that new portfolio plan is restricting ability to add scrum and kanban teams to a plan if you use story points.  Is there any reason why this was restricted? A Portfolio may have support teams who would like to use Kanban vs. Scrum. Sometimes these shared teams are dedicated to a Value Stream which is set up to execute a portfolio of work-not external. Its hard to go to edit view of each issue type and set the team vs. adding team from portfolio plan view. I think this is an important feature to add it back.
  • Velocity is not getting pulled into Portfolio view from scrum team boards. Is this a miss or did we configure anything incorrectly?

@Levente Szabo _Midori_ Availability for portfolio cloud?

Like # people like this
Dave Atlassian Team Jun 24, 2019

@Santhi Chitturi  :

  • Velocity is not automatically pulled in from previous sprint boards in Jira. This is something we would ideally like to add but is not something that is on our immediate roadmap. For the time being you'll need to manually add your teams velocity
  • The restriction on not being able to use Kanban teams in a plan that uses points estimation was not introduced with the new planning experience - this has always been a limitation. There are no immediate plans to change this. 

@Chris Thomson , @Larry Heminger Thanks for the question! On the PDF exporting side it's planned but has no release date yet. If it would be a useful app for you, please leave a comment on the feature request. There is no cloud version of Better Excel Exporter yet so that integration will take longer to come out.

Also, @Chris Thomson @Larry Heminger and anyone else interested in exporting Portfolio for Jira data to PDF or Excel: I would like to learn a bit more about your use case for exporting your portfolio plans. If you can share a few thoughts here about what are you trying to achieve with those plans in another file format or why do you need to export, that would be great or join our Slack if that fits you better for a quick chat.

Thank you!

@ David

Thanks for clarifying that it was never an automated feature to pull velocity from team boards. I assumed since it said "Pull from board".

One more QQ - Is there a reason why new version is not showing cumulative story points at epic level? Also how do I see all Teams working on an epic from portfolio view? In the previous version it was consolidating all teams and showing the list. But I don't see these options in new version.

 

@David, Never mind, found the configuration :)

 

@Jake Hey Jake, great to hear from you, I will take you up on getting in touch and ping you shortly.  By the way, I am using a pseudonym here in the community, and I have to say one of the best features you guys came up with lately is to allow customization of profiles here in the community.  I am not a fan of Social Media and was hesitant to have my "real" name in the community where I discuss a lot of pseudo-confidential aspects of my start-up.  This is a "dummy" account I had to set up to get around using my true id.atlassian account, and very glad I won't have to do that anymore!

I did want to say for the benefit of this thread on the record that I am frustrated with the pace of development of your guys' roadmap, and I will look forward to discuss with you directly.  Really looking forward to any interaction the cross-project team would like to have with me, all cross-project functionality is a huge need of mine in particular.  One of my continued frustrations with Jira, and what inspired my attempts with Portfolio, is the lack of visibility of a Roadmap in planning.  My team got stuck in just managing tickets in Kanban boards, but we couldn't really see the big picture well.  Desiring to stick with Atlassian-native tools, we experimented with Roadmap Planner in Confluence, but that lacks the huge plus of most other Atlassian tools - integration.  Any of the movement of those roadmaps in that tool require manual update in Jira Epics and issues.  Manual operations are always a great chance for error or oversight.

My biggest frustration of late is that I am eagerly waiting on the "hierarchy above epics" feature of Premium, and very eager to find out what that's about, and test it.  The Roadmaps in Next-Gen are terrific, but we can't use Next-Gen as my team can't limit itself to planning in just one project. 

I am going to post some examples from other tools I find useful, I hope this is beneficial here in the community although it occurs to me you may want to get this directly and not publicly:

Clubhouse.io - This tool "frees up" Epics, and what they call "Milestones" which is just one hierarchy level above Epics, from belonging to a project.  I find this very useful and Epics, unlike other issue types, are frequently used for planning and grouping cross-project work.  It becomes easier to view on timelines when the Epics aren't automatically associated with projects if they are only including some issues from the originating project.  This also brings up that along with Epics in Jira, the fact that Boards have to "belong" to a project or person limits their use to me, as many of our boards are used for Cross-Project visibility, and thus it's unnatural for them to be "forced" to reside in a project.

Wrike - Here you can plan with folders and projects, which in this case are just folders with timelines. "Tasks," which are like issues, can reside in each.  This means you can group work that is one-off in a few ways:  An example would be "updating a server" that might be in a backend project in Jira, but also in a "devops" category that spans multiple projects, but doesn't belong in an Epic that should have a start and finish.  I think the Jira equivalent here would be cross-project components, or some other ability to group more robust than Labels, which I think are one of the more underdeveloped features of Jira.  I have seen sentiment on the community that Labels should have the option to be locked by admins, I agree with this.  I'm sure we're not the only team with two labels that are the same word, but one isn't capitalized:  "Hotfix" and "hotfix."  This could be solved if the labels could be (as an option in settings) locked down.  Labels also would be well served with things like hierarchy, which is a feature of Wrike, and other advancements, but those are more complex.  I realize Custom Fields have huge customization capabilities, but the thing here is you guys don't have good native "clickable" reporting that is offered with Labels, so custom fields become something for which you almost need an in-house dedicated Jira Admin to get good reports with JQL.

Clickup - Clickup has a feature called "Goals". This is a two-tiered feature where you can set some abstract "goal" that  is simply made up of any group of "tasks" (again like Wrike a Jira "issue" equivalent), and can have multiple "targets," which are nothing more than sub-groups within the Goal.  This is a simple feature of Clickup, but again basically replicates Clubhouse's "Epics & Milestone" hierarchy.  Clickup suggests using these for OKR's and various other uses, but I simply found the ability to group tasks across multiple projects/lists, basically "cross-project," very useful.  I tried to replicate some of this with Portfolio, but there is no way to do this as simply as with Clickup

Product Planning tools - Many of the newer product planning tools that integrate with Jira, such as Aha, ProductBoard, ProductPlan, Roadmunk, etc. have concepts such as goals/objectives that basically apply to issues.  You can then group issues according to these goals.  However in these tools you also "product plan," ie you build out issues/epics, write requirements, etc. and then they have some limited integrations with Jira.  I have found that Jira can handle all the product planning these apps offer itself, for example by creating some new issue types like "idea" and custom workflows for them.  What's missing natively in Jira is this ability to look at a higher level and track goals and objectives.  I think "Themes" in Portfolio is close to offering this functionality, but again it's much more limited than what these apps offer, and I think "Themes" could be easily improved:  More visilbility in the core Jira app, such as Kanban boards showing themes on each card as an option in settings; Themes being updated over time and old themes being visible historically, and so on.

I'd also like to pass along that I continue to be back and forth on the Atlassian suite the last few months, but ultimately have made, what I hope, is the final decision to stick with you in spite of being close to moving off to another platform several times.  I have posted a bit on the community with some frustrations, probably rants in actuality, so sorry if that's not appreciated 😔!  My team and I really like the look and feel of the new Jira and Confluence, Next-Gen in particular, you guys nailed that.  We are going to stick it out at this point, eagerly hoping some features we need, and I hope ones that a lot of other users are hoping for, will be live soon!

Like Deleted user likes this

Hi guys!

I have upgraded our Portfolio version to 3.6.0 and I have to say you guys nailed it! Almost all of the complains I heard when trying to setup version 2 for our teams were improved in 3, specially the "automagic" scheduling that was made without hiting the Calculate button. But there still an issue that is related to the way our company works that is making it almost impossible to us to continue the use of Portfolio. I have suggested https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JPOSERVER-2489 sometime ago, but it is still open. When a user goes out in vacation, we disable the user in Active Directory. I know it is too drastic, but unfortunately there is no plan to change it in our company process. The problem is that as soon as the user goes out, it disappears from the Teams it belongs to, and its issues are distributed to other people. Talking to one of our users, he said that this is also an issue when the user leaves the company. He would like to be able to choose the new assignee of its issues, but it is not possible. Would you please consider create a flag or something like that in order to let us work with inactive users in Portfolio?

Thank you very much!

Individual capacity planning and skills are very usefull to manage team and dead line why do you remove it in the improved experience version ?


For now, I prefer the way you manage team members and the capabilities to assign a JIRA to several members during calculate process in 2 version


Those choices for improve experience version could make us switch to BigPicture plugin.

How could I get access to Jira Software Premium Roadmapping EAP?

I sought and recieved approval for budget to add Portfolio for my new company , never considering that the Portfolio 3.0 server version my teams were using [in 2018] wouldn't be available in 2020 on the cloud version. 

I was very suprised to see the 2.X UI when I clicked "Portfolio".  2.X is frankly unusable without a highly trained PMO to support it.

Y'all have SAAS backwards, we pay a premium over the server product to ensure stability and feature "freshness".  Its been over a year since you rolled out this massive upgrade to your server product, and, no one from Atlassian can even approximate when some of these improvements will be transitioned to your cloud customers. 

Why am I paying a hefty premium for a product that really hasn't been upgraded significantly in 5 years?

When are 3.X features targeted for Cloud?

Like # people like this

Why has there been so much effort to bring Roadmap planning to Jira rather than simply leveraging Portfolio to provide this capability.  If you simply flip Target Schedule with Schedule in Portfolio and then Link Portfolio Target Start to a new Start date field in Jira it would have everything one needs for a Roadmap view.  Target schedule, when selected, would show up as Bars using Target Start and Target Due.  Filters can be leveraged for cross project views.  Hierarchy above EPICs is fully supported.  The portfolio Schedule, when selected, would simply overlay the Target schedule when selected.  This would be a welcome addition to the Cloud solution and allow our company to use Portfolio rather than BigGantt for Project planning, tracking and reporting.

Like # people like this

Any ETA on the new planning experience coming to Cloud? I don't think I can recommend Portfolio to my company if we can't have the same features as 3.0 and especially the new planning experience. 

Like Mark Hasenstab likes this
Pete Morris Atlassian Team Feb 27, 2020

Hi everyone, we are exploring bringing some of the key Portfolio 3 features into Cloud. We’ve just started recruitment for a private beta to get feedback on some of these new features. If you’re an existing Portfolio Cloud customer and you’re interested in exploring this, we’d love for you to apply for the beta by sending an email to portfolio-cloud-beta@atlassian.com.

Please include your site name (e.g. xxxx.atlassian.net), your role, and whether you have either Portfolio/Jira admin permissions or the approval of someone in your site with those permissions.

Like # people like this

Hi,

I am not able to see task items with status "Closed", "Resolved"  in the portfolio. I can see "Completed" issues though. I have ensured that my board/filter is not filtering those out and completed issues are configured to last 60 days. Is this a bug?

Thanks,

Aneesh

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