Scheduling and timeline
The automatic scheduling mechanism is one of the core capabilities of Portfolio for Jira. It computes an optimized, realistic resource allocation and with that, forecasts release dates, resource utilization, and bottlenecks.
The scheduling algorithm will take into consideration without any additional plan configuration the following aspects:
- Backlog item' priority
- Release and sprint assignments
- Dependencies between backlog items
- Team schedules
You can also configure the schedule to take into consideration:
- Team and individual availability
- People's skills
- Availability and absences
- Work stages
- Configurable constraints
Automatic release assignment only works if there is at least one release defined with a fixed end date.
In this case, backlog items with release assignment set to "Calculate" will be put into the release(s) automatically based on their priority rank.
The scheduling algorithm currently optimizes the scheduling of highest priority items first. Even if there might be a scenario where the team could fit in a bit more capacity into a release if it started with a lower priority item, Portfolio for Jira will not suggest this in the schedule. Items that have the highest priority should also be started first. Also, you might want to prioritize items with the highest risk first to tackle uncertainty early in the process.
Calculated and static assignments
The following fields can either be assigned statically or suggested automatically by the scheduling algorithm:
- Release - manual: "item should be shipped with release X"; automatic: "into which release does the item fit?".
- Team - manual: "this story should be implemented by team A"; automatic: "based on skills and capacities, which team can deliver this best?"
- Members - manual: "Peter and/or Sarah should work on this"; automatic: "based on their skills and availability, it would be best if X, Y and Z work on this story".
If you set a field to 'Calculate' in the drop-down menu, a value is assigned automatically upon the next recalculation, and the field gets a blue background.
Scenarios that can affect the schedule
An issue is blocked by another
Dependencies will affect the schedule. If issue A is blocked by issue B, issue A will only be scheduled after issue B.
An issue is assigned to a release
If an issue is assigned to a release, the issue will be scheduled in that release.
An issue is assigned to a sprint
If an issue is assigned to a sprint, the issue will be scheduled in that release and will.
A certain member of the team only has that skill
If the issue has a required skill and none of the team members have the skill, the issue won't be scheduled at all.
If only one of the team members have the required skills, the issue will be assigned to this person.
Stages are set up
If you have configured stages, your issues will split up into as many stages as you have.
What defines a plan start date?
- If there is an active sprint in your plan, the earliest date of all your sprints will be picked up as the start date. You must have teams connected to agile boards for that.
- If you don’t have active sprints then, the earliest fixed release date of your plan releases will define the earliest start date of your plan. Portfolio looks at releases in order. We look at the first release of every project that has a fixed start date and we pick the earliest of them.
- If there are no sprints or releases matching the first two rules, Portfolio uses "today" as the plan start date.
- If you have 2 projects, we look at the first release that has a fixed start date for every project and take the earliest of these.
Portfolio for Jira has a planning horizon of 5 years by default. If you believe that your schedule isn't being displayed properly and your estimates are for less than 5 years, please check your team's capabilities and estimates. If you require a longer planning horizon, up to 30 years, please contact Atlassian Support.