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What About Portfolio for Jira?

Atlassian, Jira

With the announcement of Jira Align, many clients are asking us if there is still a place for Portfolio for Jira.  Our response is a resounding Yes!  Don't get me wrong, we are very excited about Jira Align and looking forward to getting some of our largest customers started on the Jira Align journey. But for those organizations and teams that are not ready for a complete digital/Agile transformation, Portfolio for Jira is the perfect compliment to any Jira instance.  Here are a couple of my favorite features that any team could make use of immediately.

Flexible Hierarchy

Go from the static, boring hierarchy to a hierarchy that really represents how you work!


Portfolio lets you use standard Jira issue types and create new and exciting hierarchies.  We use this feature all over the place, even in projects where we are not using the planning tools in Portfolio.  Think of this as a standalone feature.  A couple things to make note of:

  • If you have a hierarchy that is more than 5 levels deep, you might be doing it wrong!
  • Subtasks should never be used for planning purposes... or really anything significant.  My guidance to any team is that Subtasks can be used by the person assigned the issue, if they want.  Subtasks exist only for them and nobody else!


I find it funny that the Atlassian ticker symbol is TEAM, their mission is to unleash the potential in every team and yet there is no concept of a team in Jira...until Portfolio for Jira.  This, again, is a feature that can be used without using any of the planning features.  Think of this as a custom field on steroids.  The great thing about teams is you can model:

  • Team membership when people join, leave and commitment to the team
  • Assign teams to issues
  • The Team field is completely JQL-able, so you can run reports and build boards around teams.

Wrapping it up

I know I mentioned two features that have nothing to do with planning, the planning topics will be a whole different blog series as they are numerous and feature packed!

TAGS: Atlassian, Jira

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