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Best Practice setup for a mixed team using kanban for multiple projects Edited

Hi, I have read the new guide to setup, plus the answers in community, but I am in need of some help assessing Portfolio during my 30 day trial.

In particular I am looking for some help with best practice setup in Portfolio for the following scenario:

  • Mixed team of Dev and Analysts  (but only small, total numbers less than 20)
  • Working from one combined board in Jira
  • Working on multiple Jira projects 

The projects are Jobs for different clients ranging from simple customer support of 4-6h with one person, to projects that take hundreds of hours. 

To manage the team tasks we use backlog in Kanban and priorities there using Priority and estimates,  but also prioritise with due dates. (ie projects with client facing due dates, and once a task is going to be done within a week or so).
We use epics to define work that requires multiple tasks across teams. We use projects to define new work over 50h with Releases (or in our case, mainly client due dates). Plus we use generic projects (per client) to represent all small work with a client (customer support, plus single team or simple change requests). 

Larger jobs has epics, but smaller work is just created as a task type (improvement, client support, change request).  

To manage the overall work and projects, we are using Structure, plus Harvest and Forecast, but what I lack is a realtime view of the current capacity and the ability to see all projects affecting all teams.  Within the one board we roughly have 3 teams: Front End Dev, Back End Dev, Analysts. We are growing, but dont yet need 3 different boards.

I followed the new guide, which is great. But when I tried to import the current shared board as a plan, because it refers to multiple projects (it excludes a few projects, but is open ended in the filter) I can't import it as a plan ("Too many projects").  So I cant see all work unless I replicate the board in multiple boards.

What I need to be able to demonstrate is that we can see all our work with all our teams and accurately so I would love a quick best practice system that will enable me to see what I need.

My concern is that the way we are currently using Jira (using due dates to, in effect, get a 3-4 week sprint happening in kanban) is not conducive to viewing the schedule in Porfolio. There are a lot of tickets in backlog (that we wont get to for months), without epics, that will cloud the ability to assess Portfolio.

I am looking for some options to test Portfolio For example:
Prioritising finding a way to set one plan based on all the work we have, multiple projects, mixed team. 

Or setting up multiple plans for every project/client and putting them under one Programme. ie creating an Initiative per client (we have 12).

Suggestions or examples of companies using it in a particular way gratefully received!!

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