Jira is a 100% self-sufficient tool capable of satisfying the needs of any team. However, there is a cherry on the pie – integrations. Jira integrates with other apps to broaden the functionality and let users customize Jira according to their preferences, so it becomes totally impeccable and irreplaceable.
One of the most useful improvements for Jira is the ability to organize project portfolios. Every project manager knows that a well-organized project management process can make a big difference. Multiple instances and versions, ongoing updates, bug fixes and often contradicting or repeating ideas can make the project a huge mess and lead to bad performance. But when there are multiple projects running at a time, multiply it by two.
The project portfolio is the essential tool to keep a finger on the pulse when coordinating deadlines and have a clear overview of how projects are progressing relative to each other. It synchronizes allocations, collaboration, and delivery as well as allows you to align projects with the organization’s strategic vision and roadmap.
Project portfolio functionality can be added to Jira thanks to lots of different add-ons. If you are afraid to get lost in the ocean of plugins, you are welcome to check our list of project portfolio add-ons for Jira.
Planyway is one of the most well-known power-ups for another Atlassian product - Trello, which is now trying to conquer the Jira planet with its visualization approach.
Planyway imports your Jira projects and allows you to visualize your workflow the best way for you: calendar views (daily, weekly and monthly), Gantt-like timeline, resource planning, and finally project portfolio. The beauty of the app is that you can keep working with Jira’s kanban board and Planyway views on the same screen.
Add all projects you need to visualize them together in the left-side menu. After, you’ll see issues from all added projects on one calendar or timeline. Actually, you can track issues from multiple projects on any Planyway view but if you want to see them project by project, just click Group by project on the top of your timeline. Then, each project will get its own lane depicting all the workflow.
Your Planyway project portfolio can be easily filtered by member, label, status, and issue type, so you can narrow it down to more specific things. Also, it’s important to know that you can scale the timeline to track projects daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually.
The Planyway interface is another advantage. Thanks to it, it’s doubtful that anyone among your teammates will get difficulties with setting it.
Price: Cloud – starting from $2 user/month
Get more information: Planyway for Jira
Big Picture is supposed to be one of the best Jira plugins due to the good level of adjustment to the Agile frameworks. In general, the tool allows you to build timelines, Gantt-chart, SAFe roadmaps, and of course do cross-portfolio work.
Project portfolio in BigPicture lets you aggregate data from many different levels and manage it all together on one view. The project portfolio is built in the form of a table with columns representing a project name, status, start/end dates, leader, type, and description. The table can be transformed into a timeline split by projects each of which can be collapsed, so you can see a more detailed level.
Another view available for tracking multiple projects is the Kanban board that unites projects and issues on a single board. This option is particularly good for tracking and updating project statuses.
Big Picture is a great choice for projects of different levels, and easily applicable to the ones with sophisticated structure. Meanwhile, it might take time to get used to the tool, as the interface seems overloaded but it’s definitely overlapped by the range of functionality.
Hosting: Cloud & Server
Pricing: Cloud – starting from 2.5$ per user/month
Server – starting from 600$ per 25 users/year
Swanly is another add-on to help you illustrate plans and objectives across Jira projects. It can help you look at both macro and micro levels from a high-level roadmap to smaller work structures. There are two views available: issue and release view, so you may plan both on cross-project and cross-team timelines.
After you add required projects, all issues from them will be visible to you. Added projects can be viewed on the timeline in separate lanes grouped by either projects, status or template. At any moment, you can expand each project in order to drill down or filter issues to see only things you need.
Hosting options: Cloud & Server
Pricing: Cloud – starting from 1.5$ per user/month
Advanced Roadmaps (formerly Portfolio)
Advanced roadmaps provide intuitive timelines that let you see all ongoing tasks, check team availability, and, of course, track multiple projects at a time. The roadmaps consist of a hierarchy, so that you can stay high-level and see initiatives only. Then, if needed, you could dive in and see deeper level work. It will allow you to check how the things are going by seeing epics underneath them, how they are progressing, whether we’re on track or at risk.
The tool also lets you create custom fields and make them visible along with the portfolio or hide them when needed. This app is great for those who want to see all project information on one page and have a clear hierarchy to switch from one level to another.
Hosting: Cloud & Server
Pricing: Advanced Roadmaps are available on Cloud as part of the Jira Software Premium package which starts from 14$ per user/month
Server – starting from 1430$ per 25 users/year
PPM Express has everything Jira is missing from a project portfolio, prioritization, resource planning, to budgeting and executive reporting. The portfolio view has a lot in common with Advanced roadmaps.
They also visualize the combination of the list and timeline in a single dashboard, so you have absolute visibility, transparency, and clarity into your workflow from one place. It allows leaders to see how projects align together, monitor progress, releases and budgets with one click.
Hosting: Cloud & Server
Pricing: Advanced Roadmaps are available on Cloud as part of the Jira Software Premium package which starts from $20 per user/month (min 5 users)
Before testing out any add-on, you should think of these 3 important factors that will help you make a decision:
- What functionality are you looking for?
- What deployment will suit you: server, cloud, or data center?
- How much are you ready to pay?
Once you’ve restricted your list, start your trial period. A free testing period will demonstrate to you the full power of these tools and help you make a final decision.