Rally Portfolio Manager Quick Start Guide
To quickly get started with Rally Portfolio Manager, you should understand the following concepts:
- Plan for portfolio management
- Set up Rally with your administrator
- Build your portfolio
- Where to work with portfolio items
If you need assistance in setting up Rally Portfolio Manager, consider investing in Rally onsite services.
Plan for portfolio management
Before you do any portfolio management in Rally, there are some important concepts to discuss with your organization. Understanding how your organization models your portfolio and identifying the terms you use to talk about it are essential for producing your portfolio in Rally.
Cultural and organization changes
What agile portfolio management needs from upper levels of the organization is leadership. The first change necessary to transition the organization culturally is to move away from command-and-control management and allow teams to self-organize. See this blog for more information.
For example, internally at Rally, large mother strategies are presented to the organization each year. Desired outcomes for the business are planned and shared company-wide. The departments and teams analyze what portfolios of initiatives and projects can be proposed to achieve our goals. Teams trust that leadership around strategy will be provided, while the upper levels of the organization trust that teams will provide execution.
See the recording and resources from the Agile Portfolio Management: A Cultural Shakeup? webinar for more detail.
Design your portfolio process
Acting on new information enables your business to exploit opportunities, mitigate risks, and maximize value delivered. Portfolio steering helps your organization to easily shift capacity, adjust focus, and even stop initiatives that are no longer the best investments.
Modeling your portfolio in Rally may involve redesigning all or part of your portfolio management process to emphasize value delivery, strategic alignment, and smart steering. Rally coaches can help you implement these process changes and can help you facilitate your portfolio planning and steering events. Rally's coaches can guide you in this process and helps you reflect it in Rally Portfolio Manager. Contact your sales representative for details.
Contact your Rally account representative at email@example.com to schedule an Agile Portfolio Steering workshop.
More learning resources are available to help your organization shift to agile portfolio management:
The Agile Portfolio Management Toolkit is a collection of datasheets, talks by Agile leaders, past webinars, and other information. Check regularly for new content.
Rally Blogs contain articles on events, methods, and new features related to portfolio management.
Set up Rally with your administrator
Your organization has its own terms for categorizations and levels of strategic work and sizing. In Rally, we represent a specific initiative or feature using a portfolio item. When you are ready to begin using Rally Portfolio Manager, you will need to name and configure some aspects of portfolio items and projects with your administrator.
Watch the video below for an overview of the steps your administrator will need to take to set up Rally for portfolio management.
Set up your project hierarchy
There are two types of projects:
- For product companies or Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), use a strategy project to represent a product or an area of a product.
- For Information Technology (IT) organizations, use a strategy project to represent a system, subsystem, or a multi-year program.
- Create portfolio items in strategy projects.
- Use an execution project to represent a scrum team, a Kanban team, or a group of such teams.
- Create user stories in execution projects.
See Set Up Your Project Hierarchy for detailed examples and options for creating your hierarchy.
Portfolio item type
The portfolio item hierarchy models your portfolio where each level represents a different type of strategic goal. The higher types of the hierarchy represent goals to bring to market over a longer period of time. The lower types of the hierarchy represent more discrete items of market value.
The two default portfolio items types are Initiative and Feature. You can create additional types but we recommend no more than three types.
The lowest level always represents what fits in a delivery timebox (release). If you follow the Scaled Agile Framework, that level is Feature. If you follow other scaled agile processes, you can rename this level to fit your taxonomy.
If delivering a marketable value typically takes less than a development release in your organization, then we recommend keeping the default two levels of portfolio items.
If delivering a marketable value typically takes longer than a development release in your organization, or if you want the option of accelerating marketable value by having multiple teams work on delivering the market value within a delivery timebox, then you want to add a third portfolio item type, and your portfolio item hierarchy would look something like:
- Marketable Feature (or Minimal Viable Feature, or Minimal Marketable Feature)
In that case, the level above the Feature level tracks marketable features may take several releases to deliver market value, each release implementing pieces of marketable features.
The investment category is a budget or investment area that a portfolio item supports. Define a list of investment categories possible for a portfolio item. Each portfolio item can be associated with one investment category.
See Manage Roadmaps for details on setting up this field.
The Preliminary Estimate field represents the size that you think your portfolio item may be. You may identify as many sizes as you like, and for each you must provide a name and numeric value. Rally coaches advise using relative point sizes. These values will be used in future planning features to help you schedule portfolio items into a timeframe.
See Manage roadmaps for details on setting up this field.
Value and risk score
You can specify a value or risk score for each portfolio item. The value score is a number that indicates the worth of the portfolio item. The risk score is a number that indicates the chances you will take in bringing the portfolio item to market.
The numbers you use for value and risk scores should have meaning for your organization. Consider using numbers that may be multiplied or graphed in a Rally app to provide more insight in prioritizing portfolio items. You can use a custom field to track textual risk assessment.
As with other Rally work item types, you may add custom fields to portfolio items. These fields display in the editor for each portfolio item regardless of its type. Consider the information that is essential to track for your portfolio that isn't already part of the portfolio item structure.
Ensure that users in your projects have the correct permissions, so they may view and edit work items as needed.
For PMO, program managers, and product managers:
- Set editor permission on strategy projects (where portfolio items are created)
- Set view permission on execution projects
- Set editor permission on execution projects
- Set view permission on strategy projects you want engineering to see
Note that once a Level 1 portfolio item is accepted to flow through a team, you want to relocate that Level 1 portfolio item to be in the execution project. The execution team can then add user stories to the portfolio item. This applies to any project tree structure.
Build your portfolio
Create new portfolio items
If you want to start from nothing, you can create new portfolio items from the Portfolio Items summary page.
If you need to transfer requirements from another system or document, you can import a portfolio to Rally.
|Convert user stories||Assign multiple children|
Adopt portfolio Kanbans
Portfolio Kanbans visualize the value creation workflow at the Feature level, and track your governance and investment planning at higher levels. The Kanban displays the rank and progress of portfolio items, each column mapping to one of the portfolio item State values. You can also add the Portfolio Kanban app on your dashboard or create a custom page that contains multiple boards and other information. You can rank and compare new portfolio work with the app.
See Design a Portfolio Kanban Board in our Coaching Corner.
Where to work with portfolio items
Portfolio Items page
Portfolio Kanban Board
Portfolio Hierarchy app
Custom Grid app