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Portfolio - projects, products and staff tracking - best practices?

It's a long read, but I'm hoping others are trying to leverage their investment in Portfolio, and are willing to engage in this topic.

Modeling plans and resources in Portfolio


  Active Projects

  • We release many Products (>10)
  • We run many Projects concurrently
  • Active Projects may result in one or more Products being updated
  • We coordinate the release of Products amongst the active Projects
  • When we release a Project, there is final release activity that is done for the Product. 


  Planned Projects

  • We groom the backlog of Proposed Projects with stakeholders to determine the relative priority 
  • We assign people to proposed projects to build a staffing plan to let the business know what our Capacity is (vs Demand.)


  • A person may work on one or more active Project
  • We look across our and planned projects to see our staffing utilization.


Current Understanding / Attempts 

Projects When many Projects affect many Products, we would like to know when a specific Project is jeopardizing the release of a given Product. “Release” dependencies in Portfolio are limited to a Project/Board – it does not seem possible to make Projects depend on one another. 

Option 1 – Create a cross-functional release across for the Product

  • This mechanism creates a “release” in each dependent project.  
  • This model does not work well as a Project may contribute to many Products

Option 2 – Put fixed dates on all projects, if any of them show “Red” - the Product releases they contribute to are in Jeopardy

  • Issue – given the number of projects and products we support it’s difficult to understand the implications.  

Option 3 – Task level dependency between Projects ( this is a more generalized implementation of 

  • Stories/Tasks can be defined between Projects to “block,” providing the ability to create dependencies between projects
  • Unless its possible to force a task to be the last task in a project, one must define a separate  release and sequence it at the end of the Project within the Project releases
  • Such tasks are always scheduled for a full sprint, forcing a 1 sprint gap in the dependency chain.
  • This is complicated. 

Other Options?


Staff Loading

Staff loading across projects seems to be a missing feature – we’d like know who is over/under-utilized based the hours we enter per project. There appears to be no way to set the global availability of a person, and then determine if the assumed allocation across projects is within the global availability. 

Options 1 - create a custom report from the underlying database – what are the options?  How do we get insight into the schema?


Other Options?







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