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Jira portfolio hierarchy A&G

Athar Agha June 24, 2019


Looking for a bit of A&G regarding Jira Portfolio hierarchy levels & best practises in a few areas, we're looking at adopting portfolio for managing larger streams of work across our organisation in a few areas (not just software delivery), as well as product management for our internal software deliverables:

  1. Hierarchy - I was originally looking at:

    Initiatives->Program->Epic->user stories et

    but portfolio has a "programs" option when creating portfolio plans.. what's the difference/benefits between a 'jira portfolio program' in portfolio vs a 'jira hierarchy' configuration to represent a program as above - i'm concerned that having a simplier initiative->epic hierarchy may confuse people..
  2. Some of our teams are looking at different hierarchies based on their particular needs.. is there a way of configuring a completely separate hierarchy for say "client projects" using structures and naming customised to that particular template vs internal? .. I think this can be achieved but I want to be sure we're not breaking anything by doing so

  3. Are there any benefits of using a portfolio kanban for portfolio management, vs pulling in epics from boards and merging results into an overall portfolio plan there

  4. is the old adage of 1 product = 1 project for product management still true?

Any other best practises or tricks that come to mind would also be appreciated!


1 comment

Rayssa Leoncio June 25, 2019

My understanding is that Programs are a combined overview of your plans so you can choose which plan you want to bring to your Program a displaying high level information.

A plan can have as many initiatives as you want and the hierarchy defines the level of information displayed.

Please see links below - it should help:

Athar Agha July 1, 2019

Hey Rayssa - thanks for the reply.. pretty much what i suspected.  A "Jira program" (from portfolio) as supplied out the box can do a rollup across multiple proejcts regardless of initiative, whereas defining a program in a hierarchy tree (initiative->program->epic) will - by its very nature - be available in that hierarchy only.

Any thoughts on 3 & 4 above? 


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