Portfolio for Jira – super epic for cross teams

23 Sep, 2019 | 5 minutes read

Portfolio for Jira is an agile roadmapping tool. Its continuous integration with Jira Software gives you visibility through the planned work for your teams. The internal planning process is not simple, it needs a real-time planning solution to restructure and modernize manual processes and provide insight into planning impediments. Portfolio for Jira helps you build a visual plan and track the progress of your team.

- Creating a portfolio plan –

(Creating a portfolio plan)

Portfolio is a tool that empowers teams to plan and track their progress in Jira Software. Being an additional part for Jira, it helps the continuous integration with all data within the Jira system. It also offers several estimation methods, scenario planning, visible roadmap and reporting for every team. It is considered to be a tool for you to see how closely your efforts and achievements line up with your business goals.

Main usage of Portfolio for Jira:

  • Create a visual plan with a timeline of your team and project
  • Manage the capacity and scope of your team
  • Manage cross-project and cross-team dependencies
  • Check the progress and see whether your plan is on track
  • Keep everyone on the same page

The fundamentals

In Portfolio work items are organized in for levels (https://www.atlassian.com/agile/project-management/epics-stories-themes):

  • Themes – Themes are an organizational tool that labels backlog items, epics, and initiatives to understand the work that contributes to some organizational goals;
  • Initiative – super epic that groups all the epics that belong together;
  • Epic – great deal of work that is too big to fit in a single sprint. So, in order to plan epics in sprints you have to divide them down in smaller parts; small parts form the epics;
  • Story – the amount of work that can fit in a single sprint; part of an epic;

Under stories, you can have sub-tasks directly in JIRA, because they are not explicitly represented in Portfolio. The structure to JIRA Projects is rectangular, and you can pull data from several JIRA Projects into one portfolio plan.

With Portfolio for Jira, you can estimate your team’s velocity, mark start and end dates for long-term plans. While work is in progress, you can perceive the accuracy of your first estimates and compare it to your current estimates and understand how your team is performing.

(Story points)

(Story points)

If some of your teams use points for estimation and others use hours or days, you can create a simple conversion from one to the other to include both in your plan.

Often, the biggest challenge here is that a lot of the teams’ backlogs are not estimated, meaning Portfolio can’t predict how long it will take to be completed. Effective estimation is a challenge in all areas of planning, but Portfolio can help by creating default estimates.

 (Hierarchy level in Portfolio)

 (Hierarchy level in Portfolio)

Roadmap visualization

With Portfolio, users have an open hierarchy function which means they can create unlimited hierarchies for their project. They can map Jira stories, bugs, and tasks into a distinct Portfolio hierarchy level.

The team’s favorite feature is the roadmap. The roadmap gives clear, visual picture of timelines and what is behind them. Project managers and product managers are often asked why things couldn’t be done sooner, they now can share the roadmap and even demonstrate what-if scenarios, such as adding new people or removing the scope and adjust the roadmap based on the changes.



For business stakeholders and development teams, transparency and framework are the most important thing, and Portfolio for Jira has all that. In this way, it is easier to give answers to business stakeholders. Answers are always there with complete context whenever they need it.

 Portfolio plan   

A plan in Portfolio for Jira represents the view of issues, teams, and releases for your Jira projects. Once you start to create a plan, there are three main factors you need to take a look at: the work you’re planning, the people who will execute that work, and the time it will take for the work to be completed. When forming the agile roadmap, portfolio uses these three elements, represented as “scope” (the work), “teams” (the people involved), and “releases” (the time). Find more info here:


(Portfolio plan)

(Portfolio plan)

  • Scope – the scope table is where you manage your Jira Software issues and where you can try (and retry) most of your planning adjustments. This can happen at each level of hierarchy;
  • Teams – people that are part of your plan. Portfolio needs to understand how fast your teams will do their work in order to forecast the completion dates for your backlog. It is done by defining your teams and using their velocity (for teams estimating in story points) or capacity (for teams estimating in time);
  • Releases – “a time element of your plan”- those which mark the date you ship your product, a milestone, or any date that you have made a commitment to your stakeholders. You can ‘pull’ releases from Jira Software or create them directly in Portfolio (and then commit them back to Jira Software when you’re ready);

Portfolio for Jira is closely integrated with Jira Software project data and boards. Every time you calculate your Portfolio plan, Portfolio pulls the latest data from the work done in Jira Software and makes sure you are always planning with the most up-to-date information. You can have one or multiple portfolio plans. Every plan can be either cross-team /cross-project or assigned on one particular project.

The benefits of Portfolio

The first benefit you unlock when you create a Portfolio plan is pulling all your issues into Portfolio’s scope table (a spreadsheet-like view). This gives you a unique vantage point on your Jira Software issues where you can easily see how all your work fits into the big picture.

(Making a pull request)

(Making a pull request)

It is designed to support your way of working. Both, Scrum and Kanban teams can be included in your plan.

Analyzing different aspects of a portfolio plan whether it is by scope, capacity, releases, schedules, sprints, or themes, portfolio for Jira provides roll-up reporting, and cross-team and cross-project visibility so that everyone is on the same page. Plus, you can embed and share your report with your stakeholders.


With Jira and Portfolio for Jira, cross-teams are managed successfully. It forecasts realistic delivery dates and creates what-if scenario plans. This way the stakeholders can have an insight into the accurate capacity planning, the priority, and status.

If you want to explore the tool and the various possibilities it offers you can try it for free on the following link, or contact us for best practices and demo.