Using Initiatives in JIRA

I'm working on getting our company setup with using Portfolio, and I noticed that initiatives will be a huge part of that. Within JIRA should I have a project where my initiatives live or do they just live in Portfolio? If they live in a JIRA project do you recommend they are in a separate project from Epics?

I was considering setting up our JIRA projects this way:

- Product Management will hold Initiatives

- Agile teams will hold Epics

- Platform teams (i.e. iOS, Android, Web) will hold stories, bugs, tasks


1 answer

1 vote
Roi Fine Atlassian Team Aug 14, 2017

Hi Angela,


You are right, to use cross project intiatives you will need to create a new project for intiatives. See instructions in the second paragraph of this page:

The good thing about having a dedicated project for intiatives is that different epics from different projects can be linked to these intiatiatives. allowing your initiatives to span multiple projects.

Epics can live in thier own respective projects.

One last thing, if you want to view the intiatives in your Portfolio plan as well, you will need to remeber to include your intiative project as one of the plan sources.


Thanks for getting back to me! I'll go ahead and plan to create separate projects for initiatives and epics :)

Another question: 

Any recommendations on how to manage feature (agile) teams against multiple platforms? We are struggling with deciding if we should have projects setup by platform or by feature teams. Also, which would work  best for implementing protfolio?

Roi Fine Atlassian Team Aug 15, 2017

Hi Angela,


It really depends on your orgnazation needs and way of work. A good tip I can share is to try and think which project structure will have the least cross project dependcies.

There are quiet a lot community conversations about the matter that worth a check:



Are Initiatives available only in Jira Portfolio?  Or is it available in Jira Core as well?  If available in Core, in what version was it made available?

Hello James,

Jira allows you to create different issue types out of the box - it's not something that comes with Portfolio or any other products. You can also start connecting Initiatives to Epics, for example, using standard Jira links mechanism - using Parent link from Portfolio has a number of advantages - for example, when you use Parent link you can only connect the issue to specific set of issues, which are defined as its possible parents/children - with ordinarily links you have more freedom. But you can use standard Jira links too.

The question is how to work with this setup. It will be difficult to get visibility with Jira out of the box and you may want to consider using one of the available apps to help you with that. Some of the most popular ones are

They all have their benefits and approach a similar problem from different angles. I'd definitely try them out before making the decision or perhaps work with some Solution Partner, who'll be able to analyze your requirements and recommend the best tool for the job.

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