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Separate project to manage initiatives in Portfolio

In the Getting Started page on how to orgainize issues sources, it mentioned

"If you plan to use a custom hierarchy such as initiatives we recommend you create a separate project and store those issues independently. In that project configure the issue types and, if you do not already have one, create an issue type for your custom hierarchy issue type. If you’re not using a custom hierarchy, you can skip to step 3."

Are there any solid reasons to use a separate project to track Initiatives independently? Are there any drawbacks to have one single project to manage all issue types including Initiatives? What are the pros and cons? 

Thanks in advance.



1 answer

Very often you will want your initiative (or program or portfolio) level issues to be visible to a separate and maybe limited set of people.

There might be an ideation or approval lifecycle process behind the issues and you might only want to release them to be actually worked on after approval. Keeping them in a separate project saves you a lot of hassle in managing visibility and/or access to them.

You also avoid that people by accident start creating issues of the wrong type in your operational project, which clutters your overview of a strategically important piece of information.

So it's really just a best practices thing, making things easier to manage.

Thank you Walter!

Hi Walter,

When you say "separate project" am I correct that you mean creating all Portfolio custom issue types/initiatives in a SINGLE project in JIRA?

Thank you for the clarification!



Hi Walter,

How to relate these independent Initiatives to lower Epics in (other) projects?

The whole idea of having Initiatives separately configured in a separate project is to hide them in a way for users which do not know anything about it.. I agree...

But in case you want to use this Initiative issue type for e.g. Portfolio, the relationship with Epics and indirect also Story's is very important to get a release calculation.

Hi @Nico Paffen,

Definitely. In your Portfolio plan, make sure you import both your initiatives (use the project as issue source) and the rest of your backlog (preferably use a board as your issue source).

Filter your scope view to Epic level and make the Initiative column visible. Then simply map your Epics to the Initiatives they belong to.

Hi Walter,

And what kind of project would you use to host those initiatives; scrum, kanban, project management,...?

Hi Marc,

That does not really matter. To get you started, a Kanban project might be a good one to get you started, as the kanban board that comes with it is a good representation of your ongoing initiatives.

Once you have created the project, I would advise you to at least do the following configuration changes:

  • Make sure you only have an initiative issue type available in your project
  • Design the workflow to match your initiatives' lifecycle, so you can track the lifecycle stages
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