Jira Portfolio's workflow doesn't make any sense - literally

Hey everyone,

Going through the documentation for the portfolio plugin, and I'm 100% confused. Let me give some context on what my program manager and I are trying to do and see if I'm just missing a configuration somewhere or what.

What we're trying to do

We have a program with three separate workstreams (WS1, WS2, and WS3), each of which is considered it's own project; and therefore each has it's own backlog. 

So what we've done is create three separate projects in Jira, so we could create individual scrum boards for each workstream. Each board's backlog is then being managed, planned, estimated, etc... via the Agile plugin.

Now, what we're trying to do is the following.

We want to be able to associate those three projects to a single plan in the portfolio plugin, so that we can track and report the roadmap from a single view. This is proving difficult to do, when I feel that is what this plugin's core functionality really should be, i.e. tracking multiple projects within a program / portfolio in a single place.

Why we can't do it 

There is currently no feature to import the three projects as iniatives into the plan we have created. This is extremely frustrating. 

It seems that I have to choose a way to track, either via epics, or by initiatives. Again, for my scenario the preference would be to have an initiative / project's existing structure we built already, and simply import it into the tool which visualizes our timeline for us / adjusts as things change. 

However, it appears that I have to create an iniative, a separate object from existing projects. I then have to import select issues (could be from multiple existing projects) and plug them underneath an iniative. 

This workflow seems entirely wonky from my perspective. Add to that the seemingly out of place ability to build / stories from the portfolio screen, and you have another layer of unnecessary complexity. It just seems out of place here. 

Am I missing something? Is there a way we can simply pull in our three projects so we have the below structure within the portfolio module?

  • Portfolio 
    • Project 1
      • Backlog items
    • Project 2
      • Backlog items
    • Project 3
      • Backlog items
  • Roadmaps for all three projects tracked here


2 answers

1 accepted

1 vote
Answer accepted

Hey Jordan, 

Thanks for posting the question and the detailed context information. You are not missing anything obvious - the best you can do right now is to create an initiative within Portfolio for each of your projects, and import the epics/stories. If you prepare a JQL filter for the open epics/stories for each project, you could at least import project-by-project, sort the list by issue type and select the initiative on each epic. Clearly, this is not convenient and an area for us to improve over the next releases. 

The reason for not focusing initially on full project import is that we observed lots of different uses of projects. Sometimes, JIRA projects indeed represent complete initiatives, but in lots of other instances, initiatives are made up from epics originating from multiple JIRA projects. Often times, projects are rather team focused (each team having its own project, working on multiple initiatives within that project). This is why we focused on selective issue import in a first step. 

It would be great if you could raise a feature request at https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JPO to improve this process, so other users can vote and comment on it as well. 


Martin Suntinger, PM for JIRA Portfolio

Thanks Martin!

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