Adding and configuring stages and skills

This page refers to Portfolio classic plans. If you are currently running Portfolio 2.0, please check this link to access the latest page version.

Stages

A Stage represents a type of activity that has to be done to deliver an item.

Example: Portfolio's team has to deliver a new front-end. In order to accomplish that goal, we will divide the following stages:

  • Design - 70% of the design of work that has to be done is dedicated to UI/UX design. and the other 30% to technical design.
  • Implementation - In order to implement the new front-end project the team has a stage (piece of work) called implementation, which is divided into smaller sets of activities such as backend and database.

How to add stages

When starting with a blank plan, you'll need to add at least one stage of work in order to create a schedule. Follow these steps to add and edit stages:

  1. Select the plan you are working on and go to Plan > Stages and Skills.
  2. Click + Create Stage, type in the new stage name, select a color and a percentage that represents the weight of this type of work within the main project. 
    Once you've configured the stages you can divide them in skills percentages that are needed in order to successfully accomplish the project .This is relevant in cases where only a total estimate is supplied. 
    Example: If total estimate of let's say 10 days is defined, it would be scheduled as 2,5 days design work, 7,5 days implementation work, with the design work being scheduled before the implementation work. 

Sorting stages

Stages are rank-ordered, and their sequence defines also the sequence in which the work is scheduled. You can change the order of stages by dragging and dropping the stages.

Check out Understanding Stages & Skills for more information about stages.

Skills

Skills allow you to categorize different types of work within a stage, they are also used to represent specializations within the teams and help to avoid bottlenecks and unrealistic plans resulting from the fact that not everyone can do every type of work.

Example: if you have specializations among your team members, the skills management feature will help you to make sure that the plan capacity is realistic in terms of who is schedule to do which type of work.

The simplest configuration would be a single stage of work where all members can do everything:

In cases where you have specialization and diverse capabilities in your team, you may want to get more granular with planning, in order to keep your capacity plan realistic and not run into bottlenecks caused by the fact that you need certain capacities/skills to complete an item, but while several members might be available, they can't take over a particular type of work. 

The skills are also used to point out issues such as backlog items being assigned to teams or members who actually don't have the necessary skills: 

How to add and edit skills

Follow these steps to add and edit skills:

  1. Select the plan you are working on and go to Plan > Stages and Skills.
  2. Create a stage or select an existing one and click details.
  3. Select Add Skill to create a new skill, and choose a percentage.

Check out Understanding Stages & Skills for more information about skills.

Tip

We recommend using one of the available plan templates which already define certain configurations of stages and skills. After creating a plan with a template, you can always change the settings afterwards.

Last modified on Jul 11, 2017

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