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Why does Portfolio appear to prioritise rank over release dates when calculating a schedule?

I am having a problem understanding scheduling decisions that Portfolio is making. It appears to take the issue's rank over any assigned release date and is therefore failing miserably to tell me whether we can make a particular release date or not. That could be my misconfiguration or a shortcoming in the tool. I'm looking for some pointers either way.

Here's my scenario:

  • I have a resonably populous backlog with an active sprint underway, culminating in a release at the end of August.
  • Most (if not all) of the issues in the current sprint are assigned to the August release.
  • I also have longer term issues in the backlog which are assigned to a December release.
  • Where appropriate, issues in both the August and December releases are assigned to certain individuals.
  • Some issues in the backlog are not yet assigned to a particular release - e.g. they may be roadmap items.
  • My August release is a cross project release which has a fixed end date of August.
  • My December release is a cross project release which starts ASAP and has a fixed end date of December.

If I calculate the schedule, Portfolio is scheduling some backlog issues which are assigned to the December release before items which are assigned to the August release, making the August release go late. The December assigned issues which are (wrongly in my view) being included in the August release appear to have a higher rank in the backlog.

Surely I don't have to re-order the whole backlog to get the scheduling to give me what I want to see? I.e. whether we can make the August and December dates in time, given the current scope? If I assign issues to the August release, surely I should expect Portfolio to try schedule them in before the defined end date of that release?

1 answer

Hi James.  I also find this to be a head-scratcher.  Did you ever figure out a way to just assign Issues to Releases, assign dates to Releases, and then have Portfolio re-rank the Issues dynamically based on Release Dates?    The scope of our releases/increments are very fluid right now, and I hate having to re-rank my Issues every time we decide to pull a feature in or defer another...

Hi Matt, no there's no breakthrough here I'm afraid. I had a support ticket open for a while and they acknowledged that this limitation was due to the way Portfolio performs its calculations. There's an open issue here you can vote for but I can't imagine a fix arriving any time soon.

Like you, I've been having to re-scrub my backlog so I can believe what Portfolio is telling me. 

Ok, thanks for the quick response and the link.  Guess we're in the same boat.  Good luck and take care!

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