Many users have difficulty in the initial phase of using Portfolio for Jira. They try to start quickly, in connection with which arise many questions and difficulties and as a result they refuse Portfolio for Jira. How to understand the principle of the Portfolio? A slight immersion in the theoretical aspects of project management will help solve this problem.
About six months ago, I tried with all my might to figure out: "what is Portfolio?" and "what are its strengths"?
Having studied the product, I got the impression that the main difficulty at the “start” of use is not at all the complexity of the product, namely, the understanding of users of the theoretical foundations of project management (user goals achieved using Portfolio for Jira), which Portfolio definetely solves. Therefore, within the framework of this article, I want to dive a little into the theoretical foundations and to illustrate the methods of using them with the help of Portfolio for Jira.
Due to the large amount of theoretical information, as well as the complexity of the product itself, I plan to write several articles that will help new users to understand «How to start using Portfolio for Jira?».
The agile roadmapping tool, built for Jira Software. (here you can get the high-level description of the tool, watch the video and determine the pricing policy of the product).
Portfolio helps you create plans, observe the big picture, track processes and easily share information with interested parties.
Portfolio works on the basis of the iron planning triangle, which defines scope, time and resources as the main constraints and planning parameters.
Portfolio not only provides visibility on your existing project data; it lets you plan different scenarios in a sandbox environment, view the outcome, and choose to keep or discard those changes. This scenario-based planning allows you to plan and (most importantly) re-plan, based on your team’s activity.
It is assumed that the theme of Project Management is widely discovered on the Internet, so I would mention only the definition of “Project Management” and its main concept (Iron Triangle).
Project management is the area of activity in which clear project objectives are determined and achieved while balancing between workload, resources (such as money, labor, materials, energy, space, and others), time, quality, and risk (PMBOK).
As we already know, most of the projects have a target date, budget, and scope of work. This trio of time, money, and scope of work are often called the project triangle (“iron triangle”).
For a project to be successful, these three factors must be balanced. There are other variants of the “iron triangle”, based on the type of project, where restrictions may vary depending on the type of industry, but the concept remains the same. If you break the Iron Triangle by making changes to one constraint, the other two must be adjusted accordingly, otherwise the quality will suffer.
Although all three elements are equally important for a project, as a rule, only one of them, depending on priorities, has the greatest impact on the others.
I highly recommend you to read the Atlassian article The Iron Triangle of Planning, this article is very detailed and interestingly described how the iron triangle is used in the waterfall development system (waterfall) and flexible development systems (Agile).
If you are a beginner or you do not mind to additionally study these methodologies, to know the main advantages and disadvantages of methodologies, then I would recommend the following article for reading.
According to the general opinion, the main asset and resource for almost every IT company is “the Company Team”. It is your team that makes projects, moves your company forward and earns money, and it is for salaries, bonuses, taxes, equipment, jobs and other payments to your team that account for the bulk of the company's expenses.
If at the right time you have an insufficient amount of your key resource, you will not be able to make an important project and miss the benefits. And if you have an excess of resources, you will incur losses by paying for the idle part of your team.
That is why in Portfolio "costs" are replaced by "resources".
As I said at the beginning, I plan to write several articles that will allow us to cover the topic of project management using Portfolio for Jira.
In this article, let's talk a little about resource planning.
According to PMBOK, it’s “determining what resources (people, equipment, materials, etc.) and what quantities of each should be used to perform project activities.”
For most creative and service-based companies the resources are people, so resource planning is a process you can use to identify team members you need to allocate for your project, and when you’re going to need them.
What’s important, resource plans may change and should be adjusted regularly to reflect changes in the scope, employees’ availability, etc, so that your schedule is always up-to-date.
According to the Planning with Portfolio for Jira course, there are two approaches to managing a team using Portfolio for Jira:
Before proceeding to planning, we first need to create teams and fill them with people (employees) with certain skills (by filling in the appropriate tabs).
Portfolio provides the ability to create "shared teams" that can be used in various plans and programs.
At the plan level, we should:
As a result, we get at the level of our plan: what teams we have, its possible weekly capacity and the specialization of its employees.
Let's further delve into the theory and try to understand “what depends on the resource plan?” and “What does the resource plan depend on?”
Let's think about what we need to have in order for us to make the first version of the resource plan. Of course it is the work assessment (I plan to see it in detail in my next article), the timing, complexity and coherence of the work (I also want to consider how task relationships(links) affect the work of Portfolio for Jira), budget and delivery methodology. So let's look at how each of these points affects the resource plan.
Well, having understood the theory of resource planning, supported by examples of the use of Portfolio, you can deal with many issues that arise for new users. Successes!
Alexander BondarevCommunity Leader
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