Answered Q&A - 8/16 Webcast: Portfolio Manager 101 & Best Practices

Document created by Caitlin Lam Employee on Aug 18, 2017Last modified by Caitlin Lam Employee on Aug 18, 2017
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Answered Q&A from Community Webcast - Portfolio Manager 101 & Best Practices

Original Webcast Date: Tuesday, August 16, 2017

This document addresses the unanswered questions from our community webcast on 8/16.


  • Can you have dependencies between tasks or is it restricted to User Stories only?
    • Stories only as tasks should be set in priority order. If there is a task in a different story that is the dependency, you should build the dependency on the story.
  • If I am running a program which comprises of three four projects, how do I see the portfolio status for all the three projects at one shot? Do you just any filter mechanism where I can see the status of all the features on one page or view.
    • If you are at a higher level of the hierarchy and scoped to see all child objects, then the data will show all teams contributing to the Portfolio items.
  • I believe the lines are only red if there is a potential timing issue. Otherwise they are gray.
    • Correct: There is a risk if the lines are red. Grey indicates that it is OK.
  • How do we customize the workflow in the Portfolio Kanban?
    • Setup > Workspaces and Projects > Select Workspace > select Fields from the navigation pane to the left > Select Portfolio from the Work item dropdown > edit State.
  • The % complete measures are only looking at the estimated stories under a Theme, correct? For long term themes, how do executives get a sense of progress toward true completion if the full scope of estimated stories don't exist yet?
    • They really can't and should be looking at delivery times of features in the given timeboxes to get a sense of lead time to deliver initiatives and themes. This allows the organization to continually refine the Theme to ensure that the right values are being delivered to the market rather than persevering on a Theme that may not have value.
  • Why are Releases called Releases when it has nothing to do with a release to production? Can this be changed the nomenclature is confusing and as and sub-admin I have to explain to everyone that they should be using Milestone but they still get confused.
    • The Release timebox should be used for planning purposes as the Iteration is; deploy/deliver code whenever in the cycle but complete and accept all work by the end of the release timebox. Using milestones are for a specific point in time, if you choose to use that to denote when code goes "live" within the timebox, that works.
  • In the demo, you showed the Dashboard view, and there was a Retrospectives Notes item. I don't see that in the App Catalog, what is that, and how do you put it in place?
    • The retrospective notes were captured in the Notes field of the Release and exposed via a Custom list app using a Query on the backend of (Notes != "")
  • If I have parent/child stories nested and the parent stories are linked to a feature, will the Feature % show accurately as children stories are completed?
    • Yes – though we strongly encourage the use of Features rather than parent stories. if you have both, then you may be sizing the features at too great a timeframe. Features should fit in a release as a story should in an iteration.
  • Can you please update this page on your help documents as you have defined Epics at several levels inconsistently. Epics as large stories as Cohn defines them and Epics a Leffingwell defines them?
    • Epic Stories are for those customers who do not use Portfolio management and implies that there are many children and grandchildren on it. Epic at the Portfolio Level indicates SAFe adoption at the Portfolio level above the Program.


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