BY ALAN REYNOLDS, RIGHTSTAR
With version 2.17 in September 2018, Atlassian’s Portfolio for Jira became an approved Data Center Atlassian Marketplace app. Since then Atlassian has been hard at work improving their offering in this market. With the release of Portfolio for Jira 2.18 in November 2018, Atlassian announced that they would be iteratively releasing new features and improvements quickly, as they began to build a new planning experience in Portfolio for Jira, which debuted with the eventual release of v3.0.
And they weren’t kidding! Version 3.0 was released in April 2019 and we’ve already seen more point releases in the 3.x series in less than 10 months than we saw in the 2.x series in well over two years. In fact, there have been 31 separate releases between version 2.18 and the current version 3.20.
Of course, over almost three dozen releases, Atlassian has introduced some great features, but I’d like to point out a few of my favorites.
For starters, they’ve provided an overall better experience. The improved planning interface allows you to set a plan that reflects your reality with more visuals and updated organization. There is now a unified planning environment showing the relationships between projects and teams on an easy-to-read, visual timeline, allowing you to plan work for your teams just the way you want to with roadmaps and timelines.
Also, while you can still manually schedule issues or have Portfolio handle the scheduling just like in the old planning experience, the new experience offers an updated auto-schedule feature with additional control of how work gets auto-scheduled. For example, now in addition to target start and end dates, you can use custom Jira date fields to schedule work against. You can now also configure how dependent issues are scheduled: whether dependent issues can or cannot be worked on at the same time. And you can now configure the lead time that appears in the dependency details as an auto-scheduled value.
Additionally, Atlassian has vastly improved the amount of information you can see at a time. You’re now able to use colors to quickly draw your eye to what you’re looking for, by customizing the view of your plan using colors by group, by status, by team, or by label (i.e., Portfolio’s new construct which replaced the old Themes), or even by the values of single- and multiple-choice select custom Jira fields. You can now use a new configuration for completed issues which prevents completed issues from displaying in a plan. Some enhanced column resizing capability has been added to prevent inadvertently resizing all columns when adjusting one and to allow columns to automatically collapse if resized under their minimum width. Reordering columns in your plan is even possible now, just by dragging and dropping the columns of your plan, so you can organize the plan data in a way that makes sense for your work. And visible roll-ups now let you see the values of child issues rolling up to their parent issues.
Atlassian has also vastly improved the number of ways to filter and sort work in your view. You can visualize how all your issues spread out across your timeline, and then use filters to see only the issues you need to see. There are options now to filter by label, by component, by status, by issue type, by team, by release, by assignee, by issue source, and even by Jira custom field type of single select, multiple-choice select, checkbox and radio button. You can also filter for the dependencies of an issue by choosing to include not just its direct dependencies, but also any indirect dependencies. And there are tons of options now for sorting issues in a plan: by target start dates, by target end dates, by due date, by status, by estimate, by assignee, by team, and by priority, as well as by the values of any custom number fields you’re using in Jira.
New bulk actions make using Portfolio for Jira easier too. You can now update more than one plan issue at the same time. Bulk actions now support moving issues to a new parent, updating the assignee, updating target dates, editing the sprint for multiple issues, and changing the rank of multiple issues at once.
Atlassian has added enhanced plan permissions to Portfolio for Jira as well. Even with only viewer permissions, you can now update parent links, teams, and target dates of issues. Even if restricted users are permitted to edit issue details in the plans that they have access to, they cannot save any of these changes from Portfolio to Jira.
Cross-project releases also got an update. You can now create a cross-project release without having any project releases, where you previously could not do that without adding at least one project release. You can now assign issues from various projects to a cross-project release directly from the plan.
And finally, there are a few places outside Portfolio which got updates too! You can now use Portfolio teams in your Jira dashboard gadgets to help illustrate how work is distributed among your teams. And you can also use teams in other Jira dashboard gadgets which support issue grouping by the team field, such as the issue statistics gadget. And you can now share a Portfolio for Jira plan on a Confluence page with the new Portfolio for Jira plan Confluence macro!
You may still be using an older version of Portfolio for Jira and haven’t had a chance to check out these great new features. If so, do yourself a favor and check out the new Portfolio for Jira today!
We hope this was useful!