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1 plan or multiple plans?

Dimitri Honlet December 30, 2018

I'm implementing Portfolio in our department and I've already asked myself a few times the question: "should we have 1 portfolio plan or multiple plans?". The question can also be: "from what point does it become relevant/interesting to create a second/third/... plan?". This question is not really answered in the existing documentation/use cases.

Are there somewhere guidelines that can be used in my situation?

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Earl McCutcheon
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
January 7, 2019

Hi Dimitri,

The main things to consider for one or multiple plans would be on your intended use cases and amount of data you have.  First if if you want to use Programs, which are collections of multiple plans for a cross plan overview, and then the limitations on the amount of data that can be displayed at the plan levels described in Creating and deleting plans

But ultimately I would suggest multiple plans, making each Plan capture a more granular data set, and using the programs to collect the more broad level of the collection of plans.  Check out this Blog post on the functionality:

As well as some additional Portfolio related blogs on various use cases as well that can be found HERE


Dimitri Honlet January 10, 2019

Thanks for your input!

Phil January 14, 2019

Hi Earl,

thanks for answering, I have two more questions:

Does each plan correspond to one backlog?

And what corresponds to a program in JIRA?

Thanks and regards,


Earl McCutcheon
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
January 14, 2019

Hi Phil,

The Plans can be tied to one or multiple boards, projects or custom filters, And programs are a high level overview of multiple plans,  The only real concrete idea to keep in mind is how the data and resources are categorized and separated and this is touched on in the Portfolio FAQ:

A plan can be used at different levels. There is no general rule to using plans – how you use plans would typically depend on how you work. You might make different plans for different programs, create a separate plan for the next quarter, or make plans for a particular set of projects. The only rule is that plans are logically separated, and should not share any data, such as resource availability. This means whenever you need to balance resources between projects and teams, put the data into one plan.

It's kind of a loose definition because it really comes down to personal preference and how you use Jira and what grouping is best suited to help define a long term road map around with the only rule being the logical seperation of data described in the FAQ.  For some it may be Project based, others team based, and some it could be other factors. I would recommend checking out the Blog post we have on how we use Portfolio internally for some guidance on this:


Phil January 15, 2019

Dear Earl,

thanks for the information and helpful link.



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