How do i assign certain stories to a stage in portfolio

Hi Everyone, 

I am trying to use stages. I have a less cross functional team and want to assign certain percentage of stories to CONFIG and some to DEV. As we are a platform that requires both. The CONFIG members are much more junior so having a DEV do there work is not the best use of time. We generally estimate work using both. 

But it looks like Portfolio is randomly assigning a story to a stage. What actual mechanism does it use to decide this? How does it know what skills a particular story/epic needs. Since each stage requires very different work. 

I am a bit confused about how this functionality works. 


3 answers

2 votes


I can't say off the bat what might be going on as I don't have enough detail. But here's a run-down of everything, as it sometimes causes confusion:

  • stages split an issue sequentially and work items can be assigned to all team members
  • skills split an issue in parallel and work items can only be assigned to team members with that specific skill
  • the two can be combined by assigning skills to a stage

To check that it's all set up correctly, run through the following:

  • In config > stages and skills 
    Set up the stages and skills you want, including the percentages for the default estimate allocation.
  • In teams
    Add the required skills to your team members of choice. Don't forget you can expand the stage column to select specific skills by clicking on the '+' next to the column header.
  • In scope 
    If you want to, you can adjust any default estimate distribution on an issue by changing the numbers in the estimate (story points) columns. Here also, don't forget you can expand the column multiple times by clicking on the '+' icon in the column header.

If all those things work for you but you're still not seeing what you expect, please file a support ticket so that we can get more details of your situation.

Hope all that helps.


Hi Allard,

Just read your last comment and it's been the clearest explaination i've read so far. I'm wondering you could help clear up one last thing?

- i've got a set up with a frontend team and backend team. 

- estimates contain a default % split for all issues. 

- Not all issues need all skills.

- Since we can't have 2 teams contributing to 1 issue, i get a skill gap error. 

- Would i have to therefore manually edit every single issue to define exactly what skills are required?

thanks in advance!

Hi Julian, 

It would seem your problem is slightly different than the initial question. By definition a story is a piece of user value that a single team can finish a single sprint. Also by definition an agile team should be autonomous and contain all the skills within it to complete its work. The way you have modeled things deviates from both those things.

I believe you have two (and a half) options:

  1. Rejiggle or merge your teams and mix the back end and frontend people together. That way skills are available. Perhaps see if it works for you to just do this in portfolio, regardless of what you do in real life.
  2. Create seperate tickets for frontend and backend work with the appropriate skills assigned. This way each team gets their own ticket and can move independently from the other. 
  3. Potentially, extending from point 2, you connect the separate items with issue links to keep track of them. Alternatively you can collect them all in epics as well, but the latter would be yet another deviation from best agile practices. 

Hope that helps. 


apologies (i realised later i should have started a new thread!)

Thanks for the clarification.. you hit the nail on the head in helping me understand how teams should be set up from an agile perspective.

In fact, i started experimenting with mixing the teams in portfolio which seems to work - i'll extend this thinking further and see if we can improve our agile practice.

thanks again!

1 vote

Hi Ryan,

Did you have a read through our docs on stages and skills yet?

Portfolio matches up the necessary skills set on a stage to your team members that have those skills set in your team. Is there anything in particular that you've tried that isn't working? 


I'm also trying to figure out adjusting the stages estimates per story/epic etc.

I think Ryan is suggesting a use case where a story is all Design and never moves into implementation. How would one tell that to Portfolio?

I've figured out how to increase the estimate for a stage, but not how to decrease it or zero it out. 

Hi @Allard van Helbergen Yes i have. But it appears to be randomly assigning stories to a particular phase. Some stories require different skills, but there doesn't appear to be away to assign a skill required to complete a story. I guess thats the gap for me . 

Ryan S. 


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