Planning a roadmap for agile development can involve a lot of winding, bumpy roads. That’s why it’s so important to find a system that supports estimates, forecasts, real-time progress reports, and team-based visibility. At 6kites, we’re excited to share the tools that work for our teams, and one of those tools is Portfolio for JIRA.
What’s Special About Portfolio?
Portfolio can be a powerful resource to supercharge team-based projects. A project manager can plan estimates for work volume and project delivery and publish these estimates so the whole team can be onboard with who needs to do what (and by when).
With Portfolio for JIRA, it’s easy to visualize dependencies that would push back a launch date or hinder delivery and then respond to those issues by re-adjusting workloads by a team or individual. In other words, Portfolio provides you with data that’s as actionable as it is valuable. It’s also particularly helpful for non-technical teams because it helps you see the relationship between your department’s work and the work of others. 6kites has seen sales, marketing, customer service, and even HR teams use Portfolio for planning and tracking purposes.
Another useful feature of Portfolio is its contingency scenario tools. You can create and compare multiple scenarios to help you prepare for best and worst case scenarios. This kind of planning helps you not only streamline planning for your current project but also serves as a useful reference for future project planning. You can make real-time changes based on target and actual delivery dates, which means every project turns into a learning opportunity.
How Does 6kites Use Portfolio?
We have been using Portfolio to help us build our internal roadmaps as well as those for our customer projects. Because of our constant curiosity, we also encourage new and creative applications for this tool.
For example, one unique way we use Portfolio is pulling together our estimates for sales purposes. Portfolio’s built-in features allows us to plan sales resources, run different scenarios, and align our plans with our SOW (Statement of Work). Thanks to the seamless integration, we can then instantly create the project in JIRA after we are awarded a contract.
New Features in Portfolio for JIRA 2.2
Just this past January, Atlassian released Portfolio 2.2, which includes some great new features to improve functionality.
- Enabling the creation of static “Target Start” and “Target End” dates so that you can monitor your goals vs. your actual project throughout its duration.
- Comparing as many scenarios as you want, color coding and labeling your scenarios, and referencing as many combinations as you want against one another.
- Back by popular demand, Atlassian has reintroduced original estimates or Actual Delivery Dates, as “Original Story Points,” and taken this a step further with the addition of “Story Points.” Now you can compare story points and how much work there is left to do, as well as get a bird’s eye view of any major discrepancies of teams that are under or over-performing based on your estimates.
Obviously, we have a lot of great things to say about Portfolio, but mastery of this tool isn’t going to happen overnight. Atlassian has done a great job, but Portfolio is a bit more complex than it looks, and it will take time to truly harness everything Portfolio has to offer.
For us over at 6kites, the time we’ve put into mastering Portfolio has certainly paid off. Want to find out how you can make the most out of Portfolio for JIRA? Contact 6kites today!
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