From the various conversations we had with Rally Portfolio Manager early adopters, we know many of you have been longing for a Kanban view of your portfolio. You even told us on Rally Ideas (D1622).

We have been actively working at making that a reality and we did not want you to wait any longer, so a day before April Fool’s, we delivered the first increment of a Portfolio Kanban Board.


Rally Portfolio Kanban

Rally Portfolio Kanban

Rally Portfolio Manager users, you may now:

  • Define specific Kanban States for each portfolio item type
  • View your portfolio items on a Kanban Board
  • Prioritize portfolio items from the Kanban Board change portfolio item state by a simple drag-and-drop action on the Board

You can define your portfolio Kanban WIP limits when you define the Kanban state values, but you’ll have to wait just a wee bit longer to view these limits and respective infractions on the actual board. We decided to not delay the delivery of the board any longer so you can start organizing your portfolio items by their state in your idea-to-delivery value stream. It should just be a week or two before you can visualize your WIP limits on the board.

Also, the percent information displays the percentage of stories that have been accepted for that portfolio item. In the near-term, you should have other options on the portfolio item fields to show on the board.

As Johanna Rothman states in her “Manage Your Project Portfolio” book (a great quick read on agile portfolio management), “customers don’t buy or use projects – they buy sets of running, tested features.” Portfolio Kanban is a great technique to help you focus on finishing projects before starting new ones.

Portfolio Kanbans are also incredibly valuable at increasing your development capacity. Why? because the fewer initiatives development works on at the same time, the faster they can deliver those they are working on. If your organization suffers from too much context switching in engineering, you’ll find published data on the cost of multitasking here.

Not familiar with portfolio Kanbans or want to know more about the beast? Read design a portfolio Kanban board, our latest Coaching Corner topic, from our coaching experts.

Questions about the Portfolio Kanban? Read our instructions on how to use the portfolio Kanban Board.

We have a handful of enhancements in mind for this portfolio Kanban board, including listing exit policies above each board column, but we also want to hear from you about this first increment. Please chime in the Rally Ideas Portfolio Management category with your great ideas!

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