How can I model an external delay in JIRA Portfolio?

We are using Portfolio to plan a combined software and hardware project, where there will be substantial ordering and prototype manufacturing delays as part of some of the workstreams. While these workstreams are delayed, the teams that were busy specifying components and preparing design documents can work on other things and then return to work on the higher-priority project once the parts come in.

I can 'hack' Portfolio to model this behaviour by making a 40hr/week resource called 'Ship' or 'Manufacturing Contractor' and then setup dependencies appropriately, but this doesn't easily scale (for example, one would need two 'Ship' resources to model the shipment of two independent major components that were ordered at about the same time but had different lead times).

Is there a way we can make a work item that takes a fixed period of time but requires no resources?

1 answer

1 vote

Hi Michael, there's not a direct way, but probably the most common workaround would be using an earliest start date constraint on an item (without an estimate), so you put in a work item for the external work, and set a dependency, but instead of having to put an estimate and capacity, you just keep it at an estimate of 0, and give it an earliest start date (as the time it gets actually delivered) - you can do this by displaying the according column in the table (this is avaible currently only in standard plans, not yet in live plans). Technically, the external work then starts, but with 0 estimate also finishes at the configured date, and subsequent/dependent work gets scheduled after that. 

Thanks for this workaround but it's not a great solution. It's a bit of a faff for starters, and if the previous task is delayed (e.g. 'place order'), the subsequent event (e.g. 'delivery) won't move by the same amount, it would have to be manually updated.

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