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April 27, 2022

Program and portfolio management in BigPicture 8.4

Portfolio-level Management
Reporting
Product(s): BigGantt BigPicture BigPicture Enterprise
Hosting: Cloud On-prem server

With BigPicture 8.4 we aim to improve daily use – make it simpler, faster, and more intuitive. This also refers to program and portfolio management – the bread and butter for most BigPicture users.

You wouldn’t be able to properly manage your team’s tasks without Jira. Jira tickets can be created with different templates, known as issue types. They have a different set of parameters (Jira fields), statuses (workflows), or screens. This feature is very useful when working with BigPicture. Since BigPicture 8.0 you can create a smart hierarchy of tasks that fit your needs.

READ MORE: Program and portfolio management in BigPicture

How BigPicture 8.4 enhances these abilities? There are a few key factors we need to focus on.

Task Structure

When you move tasks manually within the structure, task fields are updated to match structure builders. The sync mechanism allows updating the changes done by the user in both BigPicture and Jira issues. If the user drags & drops tasks within the task structure, changes are done automatically.

There are two types of structure builders – built-in and link-based. Activating one of the built-in structure builders will automatically add a task. It can represent a Sprint, Component, Version, or Project. This addition will be visible in the automated rules of the Scope definition page.

What does this change mean? When a user manually changes the position of a task in the hierarchy, this change is reflected back in the task source. This also refers to cases where the task stops belonging to a structure builder of a given type as a result of action taken in the App.

Examples:

  • When moving the Jira task under an epic, the epic link is changed.
  • When moving the Jira task under another task, with the parent-child link structure builder active, then the two tasks are connected with the parent-child link.
  • When moving the Jira task under sprint, it is reassigned to that sprint.

Quick Filters

Quick Filters allow you to narrow down the data displayed to any JQL (Jira Query Language) statement. This gives you an opportunity to decide, what is actually displayed in the window. Once you create the filters, you can combine them using the “AND” and “OR” operators instead of predefining long and complicated JQL filters.

New Report Types and children’s statuses

Financial columns in the Overview module such as Status, Budget, Actual Cost, and Estimated Cost can be aggregated by status category. These are status categories in percentage or status in percentage. This way you can get the big picture of work progress and the overall health of your initiatives at a glance.

Moreover, on the Overview module, you are now able to set the Status, Budget, Actual Cost, Estimated Cost column to be aggregated by Children statuses categories, Children statuses categories in %, and Statuses categories in %. This way, you can track progress by its level of completion and see, which initiatives are on track, and which may miss deadlines.

Capacity Planning

This view allows you to set the capacity for both the team and its members. Team capacity can be calculated automatically based on the members’ availability and work hours. Team capacity is mostly used to calculate, how many backlog items can the teamwork on, before the scope creep appears.

Capacity can be set upfront, or calculated on the basis of the individual capacity of every team member. At the iteration level, you can overwrite individual team members’ capacities or overwrite the entire team capacity directly. Usually, capacities are calculated automatically, based on workload, holiday, and absence plans. But you can also manually overwrite them with just a few simple clicks.

New Report Types for BigPicture Enterprise

There are two new BigPicture Enterprise reports. Milestones & markers present current and future information, milestones, markers, as well as past information and milestones that are not set as “Done”.

A project milestone is a useful feature. This checkpoint marks project progress and can be a date, task, time, or an event. Project milestones can also serve to pinpoint a moment when team members should make crucial decisions about the final product. With many milestones passed, we can also prepare a milestone trend analysis. This allows you and your teams to check, which milestones are easy to achieve, and which ones may need more time or manpower to meet their deadlines.

Velocity is a report based on story points. It is generated per team. The grey column represents team capacity in a given period, while the green column act for the story points of done tasks. Data breakdown is based on the program structure. The planned value, the grey column, is taken from the capacity planning tab in the Resources module. This value is always initially calculated based on the availability of team resources in a given period. It can be manually overridden in the capacity planning tab of the Board module. The green column shows only tasks set as “Done”. Velocity report presents information broken down to the lowest available level.

BigPicture 8.4 improves the whole project and portfolio management by giving you new tools and making the whole experience more intuitive. With new report types, improved data structure, and deeper integration with Jira, BigPicture becomes a true powerhouse. Don’t hesitate and upgrade your instance today.