Importing, syncing and updating
This page refers to Portfolio classic plans. If you're using Portfolio 2.0 and later, please check this section for frequently asked questions about Portfolio live plans.
We have collected together some of the frequently asked questions about importing, syncing and updating in JIRA Portfolio.
Are there notifications if a story gets assigned to a user in JIRA Portfolio?
No, JIRA Portfolio is currently not directly connected to the notification system. Notifications are only triggered when updating the linked JIRA issues. The reason for this is that planning is seen as a safe place/sandbox environment, where not necessarily every change is pushed out while planning and evaluating different scenarios.
Issue, Epic and Initiative Syncing
Is "initiative" a new issue type in JIRA?
No, there is no issue type added automatically in JIRA. By default, initiatives exist only within JIRA Portfolio. However, it is possible (and recommended) to create a new custom issue type named "Initiative" in JIRA. Initiatives should be represented like regular issues, or additional custom fields will be required.
Can we choose what issue types JIRA Portfolio maps to in Jira?
Yes, when creating and linking issues, you can choose the issue types. One limitation is that when you are working in an agile project, epics are always created as the issue type "epic" since an epic has distinct capabilities in JIRA in the way it shows up on agile boards, and in epic links.
What fields at the Epic/Story level are linked once you create the link between a JIRA epic vs an epic listed in JIRA Portfolio?
Currently only the issue summary and description are synced once the link is established. Syncing can be turned on or off in the plan settings. Other fields can be synced on demand by triggering an explicit update of linked issues. These fields include the due date, original estimate and assignee.
How do initiatives, themes, & skills show up in JIRA, JIRA views or sprint planning?
Except for initiatives, the new metadata only exists within JIRA Portfolio. For initiatives, it is possible to define a custom issue type called Initiative, and create initiatives as regular issues. For instance, if the initiatives by themselves undergo a certain workflow.
Can we have epics and stories automatically sync with JIRA Portfolio instead of having to import these?
No, there is currently no option for automatic import/sync other than the explicit import dialog.
If you start with the plan view and create your initiative, epics and stories (without importing existing issues from JIRA), what's the next step to allow tracking of progress on the stories?
The next step would be to perform the "Create and link new issues" operation to create actual JIRA issues which the teams work on and log time to. This operation is available in the dropdown menu on initiatives, epics or individual stories, and also in the graphical stories view when selecting a sprint name (e.g. "sprint 1") in order to create all stories for a particular sprint in bulk.
Does changing the start date in JIRA Portfolio update the JIRA Epic/Story?
No, the start date is not represented in the JIRA issues. There is an option to update the due date based on the scheduled end date in JIRA Portfolio. It is available via Plan >Update linked issues.
Once a task is done, it drops out of JIRA Portfolio. Is it possible to have it back when re-opened, automatically?
No, this is currently not supported by JIRA Portfolio. Please raise a feature request for it at https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JPOSERVER.
Are initiatives and themes etc. available to the JIRA search or as fields that can be reported on?
No, this data is stored separately for JIRA Portfolio, and not accessible via the global search or JQL queries.
Can you create and populate subtasks matching each capability type from within Portfolio?
It is possible to create separate issues per stage of work (e.g. an issue for design, another one for implementation - whichever stages you have configured) - this is possible in the "Create and link new issues" dialog, when opening the advanced settings at the bottom of the dialog. The functionality is limited to stages, there is currently no option to create and maintain separate links for each skill within a stage.
Are you able to generate stories with child subtasks rather than epics and child stories?
No, this is currently not possible.
Syncing with JIRA
Do changes in JIRA Portfolio directly impact my JIRA project?
JIRA Portfolio is designed to allow flexible planning, working in a protected sandbox environment until you are finished planning. When importing existing issues, a link is established, so progress and status information updates in real time from the linked issue. Planning changes (such as assignee, release version etc.) are not automatically pushed back, but can explicitly be synced by updating the links (Plan > Update linked Issues). In this way, you can create a copy of a plan, compare different scenarios and then selectively publish back to JIRA.
Is a plan updated automatically every time something changes in JIRA?
Status and roll-up progress is always up-to-date . Other changes such as resolving an issue or remaining estimates being changed don't automatically reflect in the plan. These require you to do an explicit update. The reason for this is to make it very transparent which changes are happening to your plan. By going to Plan > Update from date you will get a list of suggested changes (issues being completed, or remaining estimates being changed), which you then can confirm in bulk. When teams work in iterations, the recommendation is to do this update after each sprint to have an up-to-date view based on the work the teams have accomplished.
How does planning integrate with JIRA projects and boards? When you add an epic, story, dependency in JIRA Portfolio how does it show up in the relevant team project board? Are sprint backlogs synchronized with plans in JIRA Portfolio?
When adding an epic or story directly in JIRA Portfolio, at first it only exists within the plan. It might help to think of a plan as a sandbox where you can plan different scenarios and see the impact of adding data and making changes. You can use the "Create and link new issues" available in the dropdown menu on each backlog item, to create the epics and stories in a selected project. After that, they will show up in your team's agile boards. Dependencies are currently not considered in this step and will not be reflected in the issues. Priority ranking is considered only when creating the issues from JIRA Portfolio, there is no reconciliation of priority ranking or sprint assignment to keep them in sync between Agile and Portfolio at this time.
Is the release based on the 'fixedinVersion' field in JIRA?
No, releases in JIRA Portfolio are currently independent from versions in JIRA, since JIRA Portfolio is looking at cross-project releases, versus JIRA versions being project-specific. However, we are looking into improving this in the future. For the moment, version assignments cannot be imported into JIRA Portfolio. If you have a lot of existing version assignments, one way to do it is to modify the filter to pick up the issues for a particular version. In that case, at the bottom of the import dialog you can select the appropriate release and have it assigned for all the issues selected by the filter.
If I enter epic on a project (as part of Agile tab), will I see it in Portfolio view? And vise versa, if I enter epic in Portfolio, will I see it on my backlog in my project (looking within Agile tab)?
After creating an epic in JIRA Agile, it will not automatically show up in any of the portfolio plans. However, you will see it if you open the import dialog for importing existing issues. If you set the flag "Exclude already linked issues" you will only see those issues that are not part of the plan. You can then directly import them. The other way around, only after explicitly choosing "Create and link new issues", the epic will be created in your JIRA project and show up on your agile board.
Can we see how activity on an Agile sprint board affects this view?
The view in JIRA Portfolio is not automatically updated with every activity that happens in a sprint. Instead, there is an update operation in the plan menu ('Update from date') which allows you to re-baseline your plan based on what happened with your JIRA issues since the last update.
Once the team (eg. in a Scrum Meeting) changes the issue assignee, how does that reflect in the backlog, people, and release plans in JIRA Portfolio?
This is not reflected back into JIRA Portfolio. JIRA Portfolio is meant to be a tool for providing a high-level suggestion for what should fit into a sprint and to deliver a bigger picture. From there it is still up to the team to figure out the details, create and assign subtasks etc. From the planning perspective, after each spring, you should do a plan update and see what has actually been accomplished, and plan forward using the remaining estimates.
When showing the progress on initiatives, how do teams working in JIRA Agile contribute to the progress in JIRA Portfolio?
This progress is currently based on time spent logged on the issues. For example, if the team working in JIRA Agile logs time on either stories or sub-tasks of stories, this will contribute to the progress. Note: with the planned support for story points, there will be a different notion of progress when working with them.
Can you make categorized estimates in the JIRA issue and have it show up in JIRA Portfolio? And vice versa, do the categorized effort estimates show up in the JIRA issue?
No, JIRA Portfolio currently only considers the "original estimate" field , which cannot be categorized by stages or skills. When importing existing issues, this is imported as a total estimate. When editing estimates in Portfolio, only the total value can be synced back to the issues.
What are the integrations with Jira Agile?
Currently, the integration with JIRA Agile is relatively limited, and a high-priority item on our own roadmap to improve in upcoming versions. Priority ranks and sprint assignments can currently not be synced back, so the workflow that currently works best and we use internally is to create some of the JIRA issues on demand, prior to each each sprint. With the "Create and link new issues" capability, stories are created, show up on the according agile board, and are created in the priority order they had within JIRA Portfolio. Currently, when importing existing issues, it will require manual work to keep things in sync on both ends.
Does JIRA Portfolio show anything on the JIRA issue screen?
How live is the scheduling? It appeared in the demo that some epics had JIRA Issues, some did not. Are you able to link JIRA issues dynamically to line items in the plan?
Scheduling is always "live" based on the data that is imported explicitly to JIRA Portfolio. You can link existing JIRA issues to line items in the plan, or import issues as new line items. However, in both cases this is an explicit operation and, for instance, would not automatically add child stories of an epic as these get created in JIRA.
There appears to be no concrete dependency between project stories and JIRA portfolio. How do you manage plans when daily modifications to project development stories are taking place?
The answer to this depends on which types of modifications happen to the JIRA issues. The high-level answer is that you regularly re-baseline your plan with what happened in JIRA, by (1) importing issues that were created and are not yet linked in your portfolio plan, and (2) use the "Update from date..." capability to tick off what has been resolved by the teams and update remaining efforts.
What underlying JIRA fields are being used for date scheduling?
Scheduling is based off of the priority order, estimates, release assignments, team/member assignments, dependencies and earliest start date constraints set directly in JIRA Portfolio. Due dates on the issues or any other fields are currently not considered.
Does a plan integrate down to sub-tasks (we use sub-tasks to attach hours to a features and to measure progress)?
Sub-tasks are considered for progress tracking, i.e., the time spent (work logs) are aggregated from sub-tasks to stories and up. When importing stories, any estimates on sub-tasks are not considered, estimates can only be entered/imported at the story level.
Are dependencies "only" visible in Jira Portfolio, or are they visible in JIRA as well. Does JIRA Portfolio support the "Depends on" link between JIRA issues?)
Currently dependencies are not synced back to the JIRA issues, and existing "depends on" links are not considered automatically. Please vote for this feature request here: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JPO-7
Is there a way to run a report to see all the issues that are not referenced in JIRA Portfolio at all? (for example, issues that aren't underneath an epic or story in JIRA Portfolio)?
Unfortunately, this is currently not possible.
Teams and People
Are the user/team assignments and backlogs synced to JIRA Agile boards? If not, how do you reconcile the plan with the team backlog?
The syncing from JIRA Portfolio back to a team's agile boards is currently limited, and is a high-priority area for us to work on. Currently, in version 1.6.x, using "Update linked issues" allows you to set the assignee, edit estimates and the calculate the date as the due date on JIRA issues. Priority ranks and sprint assignments can currently not be synced back to JIRA.
If a team changes their estimate on the length of a task, how would this be shown?
It currently would not show, since the estimate is only grabbed once from the issue at the time of import. The only place for such updates is the "Update plan from date" capability, which gives suggestions for the remaining effort based on time spent.
How are teams created in Portfolio mapped back to Jira Agile Teams?
Currently, they are not, the definition of teams in Portfolio is independent from JIRA Agile.
What happens when a person on the assigned team starts working on other things? (e.g. maintenance, bugs) Is that work then allocated to maintenance?
There are no automatic notifications or allocations for this case (for example when tasks are started that are not reflected on the roadmap). This will only show up in the time spent, as less time is allocated to an item in comparison to the original plan. If you import the bug for instance, under a maintenance placeholder epic into Portfolio, the time spent will show up under this epic.
Is there a way to save the existing plan before starting to see if creating a new scenario would be better?
You can use the plan export function to save a copy of the plan, or re-import it as a duplicate for the new scenario. To export a plan go to Plan > Export in the top right corner. When creating a new plan, you can choose to import from an existing file instead of selecting one of the templates.
Is there a way to import from MS Project or Open Project?
No, there is no out-of-the-box import feature. The only option would be to transform an XML export into the format Portfolio uses for its XML plan export and import this. However, this will require to implement a custom transformation tool.
Does the backlog import limit to 1000 issues like other JIRA operations?
There is a limit to the number of issues that can be imported at once (it is currently 100, but will be configurable with the next release). There is no limit to the total number of issues that can be imported, so you can just run multiple sequential import steps. There is also a configurable limit as to how many items are loaded initially when opening a plan (the default is 500), this means 500 will be loaded, but you can click to load additional data, or use filtering to narrow down what to display.
When importing from filters, is that dynamic data or static at the moment of import?
The import is static, it's exactly the items that are available at the time of the import. However, you can easily re-import only those issues that have been created after you did the last import, if you open the import dialog again, and select "Exclude already linked issues" at the top of the dialog.
Working with Plans
What is the high level process to convert existing projects into plans?
The best way is to start out with defining/selecting a JQL filter selecting the open issues within a project that should be represented in the plan. Based on this filter, run an import of the issues into a JIRA Portfolio plan to obtain the data. Other aspects such as teams/members and releases need to be modeled directly within JIRA Portfolio afterwards.
Is it possible to create a plan without creating JIRA tickets for the tasks?
Yes, you can directly create the initiatives, epics and stories required for a project within JIRA Portfolio (more like in a spreadsheet) - the linking to actual issues is optional, but gives additional benefits such as tracking actuals.
Can you pull in projects rather than individual issues?
No, JIRA Portfolio is currently designed for issue import. However, you can build and use a filter that selects all issues within a project to import it.
Is the resourcing data synced across projects?
As long as the data from across multiple projects is imported into one portfolio plan, resources are balanced between all the projects. There is no sync or connection between the resources (teams, people) in distinct portfolio plans, so theoretically the same people could be booked multiple times in multiple plans.
Is JIRA Portfolio meant for planning several projects without a direct relation to one another (except the team)?
JIRA Portfolio is designed for both planning multiple projects that are related, share resources etc. as well as unrelated projects. There are no general rules or design assumptions we made for or against it. If projects are completely unrelated and don't even share some of the same resources, we advice you to create separate plans for each of them. If resources need to be balanced between projects, then put all data from multiple projects into one plan.
Is there a way to reflect / copy the estimate to the orignal time estimate in the issues?
Yes, when doing Plan > Update linked issues there is an option to update the original estimate based on the estimates in JIRA Portfolio. Creating estimates in JIRA from JIRA Portfolio is available only when doing the initial issue import.
Does JIRA Portfolio set the original estimate on issues when using the estimate in JIRA Portfolio?
Not automatically, but via Plan > Update linked issues it is possible to change the original estimates on the linked issues in bulk in one update step.
For JIRA Agile support, is there a plan to make this work with kanban rather than just scrum? In my experience, kanban doesn't easily allow issues to be assigned to epics.
It should work just fine with kanban, if issues are not assigned to epics prior to importing to JIRA Portfolio, this can be done as part of the import step (which requires a bit of manual effort). Also, at the team level there is an option to switch scheduling from Scrum to Kanban mode, which switches the scheduler from a sprint-level granularity to a day-to-day schedule for cases where teams don't work in iterations.
Are the themes only used in Portfolio or they will also be represented in JIRA and JIRA Agile?
Themes are currently defined and represented only in JIRA Portfolio, and are specific to each portfolio plan, i.e., there can be different themes defined for each plan, they are not shared or visible outside of a plan.