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Is there a way to encourage/force Portfolio's automatic planning to fully allocate earlier releases before allocating later ones?

I am using Portfolio 2.
I have 4 Release, they all have fixed release dates and "as early as possible" start date.
All Jira stories have story-points assessments, none is manually assigned to a Resource and all are assigned to one of the 4 Releases.
I have one Board and one Team with 5 resources.
I have setup Skills (and assigned to resources) but not Stages and all Stories in the Portfolio are allocated to Resources appropriately.
I have not manually defined and sprints yet and no Blocking Dependencies between issues.
I have some placeholder stories which are 30 - 60 story points long and exceed sprint (3 weeks) boundaries.

When Portfolio auto-plans the schedule and capacity, my first and second releases are slightly overdue although each release is only at 50% capacity and there is ample free capacity from ALL resource. What seems to be happening is that portfolio allocates resources to consecutive releases during previous releases and before fully allocating the the previous releases.
Its true I defined the releases to start as early as possible but it is totally non sensible to allocate resources to later releases before fully allocating the previous ones. The resulting schedule is far from optimal schedule and resources utilization. If on the other hand I define the releases to start only at the end of their predecessors, the first 2 release fit into schedule but I get great gaps of non utilized resources which is far from optimal as well. There are no obvious constrains that would prevent optimal planning.

Is there a way to encourage/force Portfolio's automatic planning to fully allocate earlier releases before allocating later ones?

2 answers

You probably have to do 2 things: 1. Adjusting the "minimum work package" size in the plan's configuration options under "scheduling" (set it really small, like to 2)  2. you probably have to break up those 30-60 point stories

also, check your working hours/days in the plan configuration AND in the shared teams settings.

I had no luck getting the skills stuff to work properly and ended up backing out those settings.

I hope this helps! 

Hi Erica and thank you

My minimum work package is 2 days, breaking the large tasks did not help, my working hours/days look fine (8 hours 5 days a week) and I don't have shared teams.

So I am afraid non of it helped but thanks nevertheless.

Thanks Gary / Ericka.  I'd like to understand what the portfolio manager algorithm is for prioritizing the scope within the schedules.  What are the issue-level properties that can be set by the user to manage schedule priority?


Ultimately I found the problem thanks to the link you posted.
It says that the order (priority) in the scope always takes precedence over the item's Release. Only after ordering all my stories by release the algorithm schedule made sense.
Two problems with that. First Atlassian need to give the user to choose between Priority over Release vs. Release over Priority.
Second problem is in scope you cannot move a group of items, only one by one. It was painstakingly long to reorganize the scope.



Although I wanted very much to love Portfolio, and I wanted it to do all of the heavy lifting I have to do in Excel, it just doesn't make things easier for me at all.

I think we're going to have to cancel our use of it until it has a few more features.  The biggest problem I have with it is that it will not allow you to choose to see how much over capacity your teams will be given a set scope and set timeline.  The only way to do that is to statically assign the sprints to each story, if I wanted to do that I'd just do it in JIRA.

Also, it's very difficult to determine the reasons why it has assigned things the way it has.  I would look at all of the reports and not understand what it was telling me to do.

And, I had the same problem, teams would be underallocated for apparently no reason.

It's such a great idea, and some of the features are really wonderful, but it is not yet to the point where we can truly use it.


good luck!!


Thanks for the Ericka. This was really helpful.

If I understand the paragraph "Calculated and static assignments" correctly, you can choose between manually or automatically assigning team members. Where can this be done?


on the Scope view, in the bottom pane, where all of the Stories are listed.  make sure your column headers are set to include the Team and Sprint.  Then you can choose them from the drop-down menus.  You have to have the Teams and Team Members set up in Portfolio, and assigned to the Project.  And you have to have the Sprints created in JIRA.






Calculated and static assignments

The following fields can either be assigned statically, or suggested automatically by the scheduling algorithm: 

  • Release - manual: "item should be shipped with release X"; automatic: "into which release does the item fit?".
  • Team - manual: "this story should be implemented by team A"; automatic: "based on skills and capacities, which team can deliver this best?"
  • Members - manual: "Peter and/or Sarah should work on this"; automatic: "based on their skills and availability, it would be best if X, Y and Z work on this story".

If you set a field to 'Calculate' in the drop-down menu, a value is assigned automatically upon the next recalculation, and the field gets a blue background.

Thanks Ericka, I got it now! smile

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