Question on Board Configuration Changes and Impacts to Portfolio

I have a Portfolio question but first I have to explain a situation with the boards in Jira that is critical for my portfolio question so please bear with me as I explain.


We have multiple teams and they each have their own board. Each board has several projects. Because we don't want to lose the ability to go back in time to run  reports on the board that represent a true snapshot of what happened, we keep our boards very stable, not adding or removing projects often or changing column configs. For those who are not aware of why this would be an issue, here is the background. We observed that when  board's filter or column config  changes, sprint reports could be impacted such that the same reports yield different results when run before and after the config changes to the board. This is because these reports are based of the the board's view (dictated by the filter and column configuration at the time the report is run, not the window that you are running the report on). So I know that this also affects velocity calculations that are part of the board reports as well.

Example: An example would be if you have Project A, which includes a ticket called ProjectA-123. Imagine this ticket is part of a Scrum board because it is included in the filter for that board and has been added to a Sprint called Sprint X. That sprint has been started.  The ticket is completed and then Sprint X is completed and you run the report and sure enough you see ProjectA-123 ticket in the report and it is counted in the velocity. Now imagine you modify the filter in the board to exclude project A, then projectA-123 is not longer in the scope of the board's view, so it will no longer appear as part of the sprint report for Sprint X. It will also no longer be included in the velocity calculation. However ProjectA-123 will still show that Sprint X was a completed sprint, the ticket understands it was part of the sprint, but the board reports can't see this ticket anymore. So the data isn't lost it is just out of the board's scope.

So I was wondering if anyone knew if Portfolio, which uses velocity calculations from boards to do capacity planning for teams, would be subject to this same thing? I am assumed it would. The only way it would be immune to these board changes is if it used different logic to calculate velocity that ignored the board's current view and just looked for tickets that were part of sprints belonging to that board regardless the current filter. I am pretty certain it would not do this. I think the takeaway is going to be that board stability matters for Portfolio. If that is the case then this one more reason I must tightly lock my boards down and discourage any changes. Any thoughts or insights would be helpful!

1 answer

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Bree Davies Atlassian Team Oct 25, 2017

Hi Nancy, 

You're right - the board filter is extremely important for Portfolio. If this changes regularly, Portfolio will always reflect the source of truth in Jira - which comes back to the issues which match the board filter query. If the board filter does change, Portfolio will simply reflect these changes.

So for predictability, the more stable you can keep your board filters, the better. Therefore if you have issues in an active sprint, but they don't match the filter being used in your Portfolio plan, they won't appear. 

In terms of predicting velocity, this will always be derived from whatever figure you have set for each of your teams, inside the teams section. It won't change dynamically, this is always in your control. 

I hope this helps, please don't hesitate if you would like to chat on this further. 


Thanks for the response!

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