Thumbnail Image

Project Portfolio Management with BigPicture for Jira

We previously posted about portfolio management in our blog and highlighted how as companies grow and increase their project volume, it’s necessary to extend JIRA’s potential.

Some problems that companies face are:

  • Lack of visibility on status of initiatives and projects.
  • Approve more projects that they can deliver.
  • Different methodologies adopted by their teams.
  • Stakeholders don’t have management long-term view of multiple projects that are being developed.
  • Implementation of SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework)
  • PPM tools isn’t integrated with other process.

We’ll explain how the JIRA add-on, BigPicture, can help you manage your project portfolio in JIRA Software and meet your demands.

BigPicture has a robust structure, but at the same time, it is very easy to use. The tool had a redesign in its interface on 6.0 version that made it more faster and intuitive. It’s a good option for managing teams that work with waterfall or hybrid methodologies.

You can set filters and much more, always focusing on a detailed vision of what you need. This add-on for JIRA focuses on a traditional approach of project management, not necessarily in agile teams and their releases. It’s possible to determine the permission levels of the tool, defining who can access different steps and planning resources.

BigPicture: A gantt focused management tool

To begin the planning it’s necessary to create a new program or import existing filters and projects from JIRA.

Do you like to work with Gantt charts? Software Plant uses the same charts as their BigGantt tool, one of the most popular Atlassian marketplace add-ons that has this feature.

One of its highlights is the flexibility that comes with the use of BigPicture, what becomes possible to customize hierarchic issues view and column exhibition to better provide for your needs. Managers can use quick filters to select the data they want to analyze or show to their stakeholders.

The solution also brings customized markers to highlight important dates on the chart. The numeric fields can be shown in different ways and can add the values of child issues to parent issues. It’s also possible to add predecessor tasks and identify dependencies, what is directly reflected on JIRA issues links.

When you want to execute any change on the planning, you can drag the tasks period, extending the deadlines, and it’s automatically updated on JIRA issue fields and Gantt charts. Another benefit is to provide analysis on the projects’ progress.

When you define your baseline dates, you can compare the estimated deadline with the real date when the task was finished. The previous timeline is presented on the Gannt chart, making it possible to compare the difference between what was planned and what was achieved.

Risk Matrix: Prevention and transparency in your planning

Many managers complain that they can’t quickly access the facts that may have more risks to the planning. Besides facing difficulties to present information to the stakeholders, the process of creating workflows that helps mitigate their occurrences is harder.

With the risk matrix, managers are aware of their challenges, they can forecast how to avoid them and lead their efforts aligning strategic decisions with business goals. One of the benefits is that you create issues directly on matrix cells, allowing you to add new activities or modifying their status.

The risk matrix has two standard fields: Probability and Consequences. You can customize them with other parameters. As you change their values inside the matrix, they are automatically updated.

One example, a critical project has a change in their scope and has to be deployed in other environment. You can drag and drop your activities into different spaces and now you have a updated view of how these new variables can impact your results. As you have visibility of what is in risk, it’s easier to reorganize your resources and to manage the situation.

Optimizing your capacity with resources management

Imagine that your service delivery manager needs to organize the available resources to deliver the projects and schedule some consultant hours to implement the new solution. Have you ever seen this scenario? This is how e-Core uses BigPicture.

The resources are organized with the same tasks that are visible in other graphics, in other words, when you change project dates on resource management, they are directly updated on other solution modules.

With resources module, it´s possible to view each individual workload and, if it’s possible, reallocate in other projects. Therefore, the critical activities prioritization processes and necessary resources to execute the plan gains visibility and velocity.

The solution provides customizable calendars with holidays and vacation periods that will not be worked. In the Enterprise version, it’s possible to set individual calendars for each resource.

The tool presents in a simple manner when the members are close to hit their capacity, if there is workload available or if he has broken the limit. Everything through quick filters that allow to define time frames and customize the information needed for the resources distribution.


If your company is on SAFe methodology implementation process, the BigPicture is a SAFe complaint tool. This module provides distributed resources on teams and sprint, not necessarily on members and days. Its cadence system helps to group every steps of the project.

Another benefit is that it is possible to customize hierarchies between tasks and steps, being possible to adapt the view to what the company needs. There is a sidebar that makes it possible to drag and drop open issues and distribute on different releases.

Besides that, you can manage your dependencies in a fast way, setting on the Roadmap what activities are linked and recalculating the planning so as, even if you have dependencies, it can be accomplished. With a global view of different cross-projects that are in progress, your deliveries will be optimized.


e-Core is a platinum and enterprise Atlassian Solution Partner driving business growth through ITSM. We helped a global investment organization connect teams across four different locations into a single platform for better time-to-market and improved communication process and reporting.