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Managing a portfolio with different time horizons

Oskar October 6, 2020

Hi, I'm exploring how to use advanced roadmaps in a 150-person organization including tech development, various non development tasks etc. So we have agile teams today and basically the closer to programming the more we use jira.

The idea now is to get more business activities not related to development into jira and to use advanced roadmaps to have an overview of say 4 years of planning (more details will be managed in the short time horizon but we do know some critical todos in the future and want them on the radar). The overall goal is to be more digitized in the daily work using confluence/jira (releasing some of the preassure on e-mails, metings etc.).  

So generally I'm open to any advice on how to set this up! The idea is to work with epics down to sub-tasks. But then someone made a comment that the around 6 agile development teams are working with 12 week "initiatives". Obviously I cannot break down a 4 year planning into 12 week periods; but at the same time we do not want to interrupt how the existing teams use the system, rather align.

So will there be a challenge in having different time horizons for initiatives/epics etc. in the agile teams vs the long term planning? 

And again ay general advice is appreciated; directly here or articles etc that can guide in the transformation to become more digitized. 

So this was my first post, sorry for being a little general in the actual question statement :-)

Kind regards Oskar 





1 comment

Angus Russell
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
October 6, 2020

Hi Oskar,

I think you should look into setting up an issue-type hierarchy that includes initiatives and perhaps even a higher-level type than that for your longer-term planning.

You can read about setting up a hierarchy here -

Then each time you view your roadmap you could set the hierarchy filter according to what kind of planning you are doing. E.g. if you are planning your short term work - set it to "Epic -> Sub Task"; and if you're planning longer term work, set it to "Uber Initiative -> Initiative".

This is just one approach. After playing around for a while you may come up with something that suits you better, and that's fine :)

I hope that helps!


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Oskar October 7, 2020

Hi Angus! Thank you so much for your guidance - actually really helpful :-) 

So out approach right now is to use all the "standard" levels

A project will be set-up to manage a portfolio of items. Next, in the project we have:

  1. Themes: keeping track of the highest level of portfolio items, basically to enable drill down in the road-map view
  2. Initiatives: Areas under each main portfolio item
  3. Each initiative will be associated with a set of epic-task-subtasks.

I read somewhere that themes more should span across the organization like security, safety etc. but we will try according to above and see what happens. 

Now I will continue to struggle to make the set-up easy so that my colleagues will chose to work in Jira rather than sending an e-mail...  


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