Setting up the planning environment

Before you begin

Depending on how your organization is structured, the content on this page is meant for Portfolio for Jiraadministrators or plan owners, and the project administrators of the Jira projects you want to include in your plans.

To help you set your teams up for success, we've prepared this getting started guide that discusses how to set up Portfolio for Jira with your existing Jira instance.

The guide discusses the typical end-to-end path that users and administrators may find themselves taking part in when using Portfolio for Jira. You'll also find high-level content on concepts, as well as some recommendations and optional steps you can consider, as you flesh out your plan.

Preparing the planning environment

Now that Portfolio for Jira is running on your Jira instance, you can start thinking about how best to set up your plans. You need to do this to ensure that you're efficiently planning work for your teams.

Here are some concepts that will come in handy, when preparing your planning environment:

Using issue sources

A plan provides an aggregated view of all the issues that your teams are handling in Jira. With your plan consuming Jira issues, you can then proceed to create a schedule for your teams to work with.

For plans to capture the latest data from Jira, you'll need to organize your work in Jira, into what we call issue sources:

  • Boards: A board displays issues from one or more projects, giving you a flexible way of viewing, managing, and reporting on work in progress. There are two types of boards in Jira:
    • Scrum board — for teams that plan their work in sprints
    • Kanban board — for teams that focus on managing and constraining their work-in-progress
  • Projects: A project in Jira is a collection of issues that is defined according to your organization's requirements. For example, it can be a software development project, a marketing campaign, or a website enhancement request system.
  • Filters: Your board's filter is a Jira issue filter (a JQL query) that specifies which issues are included on your board. For example, your board may include issues from multiple projects, or from only one project, or from a particular component of a project.

    Note that only the administrator of a board or a user with the Portfolio for Jira administrator global permission can configure a board's filter.

Out of the three (3) issue sources, we recommend that you use Scrum boards. This gives you the ability to manage sprints from those boards, plan the capacity of future sprints, and assign issues to sprints — all directly from your plan.

Creating issue types and hierarchy levels

By default, the issue types that are available in a newly created plan will be the issue types that have been defined for the Jira projects included in the plan. Over time, you can create more issue types in those Jira projects, and these new issue types will also be available for use in your plan.

A plan comes with this default hierarchy level setup:

  • Epic, which maps to the epic issue type.
  • Story, which maps to all other standard issue types. With the default Jira issue types, this means that stories, bugs, and tasks map to the story hierarchy level.
  • Sub-task, which maps to all sub-task issue types — essentially sub-tasks of the default Jira issue types.

When planning work across multiple projects and teams, you may need to create levels that are higher than the epic hierarchy level. A common example that's largely used in the industry is the initiative hierarchy level.

To get the initiative hierarchy level in your plan, you need to:

  1. In Jira, create the initiative issue type, if it's not created yet.
    To complete this step, you must be logged in as a user with the Jira administrators global permission. 


    Creating the initiative issue type in Jira

  2. When the initiative issue type is already created, add the issue type to one of the projects that you're including in your plan. 
    To complete this step, you must be logged in as a user with the Jira administrators global permission.


    Adding the initiative issue type to a Jira  project
    (info) Alternatively, you can consider creating a dedicated Jira project, and then create all the initiatives you need in that project. You can then link the epics across all your projects to the initiatives in that dedicated project for initiatives.

  3. In Portfolio for Jira administration, add the initiative hierarchy level in Portfolio. Make sure to map the initiative issue type to the hierarchy level.
     Adding the initiative hierarchy level, and mapping the initiative issue type to the hierarchy level


See Creating an issue type (Administering Jira Server applications) and Configuring initiatives and other hierarchy levels to learn more.

Defining dependencies

You can configure your plans to use the issue links that are set up in Jira, so that you can define scheduling dependencies. When adding issue links, you need to define the relationship between the issues to suit how your team works.

Note that any changes you make to issue dependencies will apply to all existing plans.

Check out Configuring issue dependencies to know how to define dependencies in your plan.

Migrating date fields to plans

After enabling the improved interface in your plan, you may not see any issues scheduled in the timeline section immediately. This can be due to several factors:

#1 The issues may have been calculated using the scheduler in Portfolio for Jira

If this is the case, the issues will still have scheduled dates, but no target dates. Since target dates are used in the improved interface by default, the issues will appear to not have dates in the timeline section.

However, you can choose to copy over the scheduled dates into the improved interface. To do this, you'll need to:

  1. Disable the interface for the plan. From the plan configuration page, click Planning interface > Disable improved interface.
  2. In the scope section of the previous plan layout, select the topmost checkbox at the upper left, to select all issues in the plan.
  3. From the 'Set targets' menu, select Set target dates from calculated.
  4. Enable the improved interface for the plan. From the plan configuration page, click Planning interface > Enable improved interface.

#2 The issues may not have been calculated or scheduled before the improved interface was enabled

If this is the case, see Scheduling work to start scheduling the issues in your plan.

#3 The issues may be scheduled, but are just hidden in the 'Issues without parent' section

If this is so, you'll need to expand this section to see the scheduled issues.

Surfacing important details across Portfolio for Jira and Jira

Some Jira issue details are not displayed in plans by default. Likewise, there are also issue details from plans that are not readily displayed in Jira. Make sure to do the following, so that all the important issue details are readily available across both.

Making the teams field appear in Jira issues

The teams field is actually a custom field in Jira. To make this field appear in Jira issues, you'll first need to add this custom field to the screen that's being used in the corresponding Jira project.
  1. In Jira, click  or  > Issues.
  2. Click Custom fields.
  3. Find the Team field in the list of fields.
  4. Click  for the team field > Screens.
  5. Select the screens you want to add the team field to.
  6. Click Update.
Each time a team is assigned to an issue in your plan, and you save this change toJira, the team field will appear in the corresponding Jira issue.

Making fix versions appear in Jira issues

What are known as releases in Portfolio for Jira are known and treated as fix versions in Jira.

If the fix version field is hidden in your Jira issues, then the releases you set in your plan will not display in the corresponding Jira issues.

To display the fix version field in Jira:

  1. In Jira, click  or  > Issues.
  2. Click Field Configurations to view the field configurations in Jira.
  3. Find the field configuration of interest and click the Configure link for it.
  4. Find the Fix Version/s field.
  5. In the Actions column, click Show.
Each time a release is set for an issue in your plan, and you save this change to Jira, the release will appear as the fix version for the corresponding Jira issue.

Enabling the planning interface

As long as you're running Portfolio for Jira (version 3.0 and later), any newly created plans will have the interface enabled by default. However, for plans that have already existed before upgrading to version 3.0 or later, you'll need to enable the interface in your individual plans. Your plan will not get the interface until this is enabled in the plan itself.

Other things to note:

  • We recommend that you use the latest version of Portfolio for Jira so you get the latest and greatest features.
  • We highly recommend you use Chrome or Firefox as your browser.
  • By default, target start and target end dates are used when scheduling and auto-scheduling issues in a plan. You can choose to use due dates and other custom dates (date picker type) to schedule issues.
To enable the improved interface:

  1. In your plan, click more () > Try the improved interface. The planning interface page will be displayed.
  2. Click Enable improved interface to switch on the new interface for your plan.
  • To stop using the new interface in a plan, from the plan configuration page, click Planning interface > Disable improved interface.

Last modified on Mar 26, 2020

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