The requests to get Portfolio for Jira for Cloud users have been loud and finally Atlassian released a Cloud version. They also made a very odd choice to rename Portfolio for Jira to Advanced Roadmaps and place it behind the Cloud Premium barrier.
Portfolio for Jira has long been the better choice for Jira Server and Jira DC users. The features have been perfectly suited for managers to keep an overview over large programs and initiatives with relative ease. As such it has been the envy of Cloud users for years and it comes as no surprise that Atlassian would port this to Cloud given their focus on the cloud platform lately.
Renaming Portfolio for Jira is also no surprise as it confuse managers with two portfolio products where the high level Portfolio tool Jira Align is the product Atlassian seem to want to focus on. Renaming it to Advanced Roadmaps is however a very strange choice as it is not a simple roadmap tool. It also make the naming confusion shift from Portfolio to Roadmaps as Cloud users have been using the limited Roadmaps feature for quite some time.
The new Advanced Roadmaps is only available for Cloud Premium users. This makes sense as Atlassian want to push users into their new price model. Currently there is not much that would warrant double the price for Cloud Premium so Atlassian need something that is enticing enough for users to make the shift. Advanced Roadmaps could be one of those features, but they need more as Advanced Roadmaps cost $2.3/user and month at it's lowest level and Cloud Premium cost an additional $7/user and month.
Feature wise Advanced Roadmaps is still great with the two main selling points of great overview and the ability to scale the issues with more levels. Here are some of the selling points from Atlassian:
Multi-team & organization-level roadmapping: With Advanced Roadmaps you can build your roadmap based off of work from as many Jira boards, projects, and filters as you need. While Advanced Roadmaps will work for a single team, it is particularly well-suited to representing larger pieces of work because it enables you to create additional levels of hierarchy (as many as you need) above the Epic level. So for example, you could map epics from a dozen different teams or Jira projects to a single feature.
Multi-team & organization-level dependency tracking: You can track and visualise dependencies across all of the work in your roadmap, which can be really helpful in accounting for issues that can come up and blockers across your business. The Advanced Roadmap is specifically designed in a way to deal with the number of dependencies across a large body of work.
Multiple scenario planning: Plans change and there’s almost always more than one path to getting your project over the line. With Advanced Roadmaps you can build different versions of a plan, in order to account for things like the best and worst case scenarios or different strategic options that are available for your organization.
Capacity planning: Advanced Roadmaps helps you account for your team’s capacity in your plans so you know if you have to reduce the scope of your project, reallocate resources, or adjust your due dates. Based on how teams estimate their work, and how fast they work, every team gets visibility into whether they’re taking on too much work in a specific sprint or whether they can potentially take on more. Because dependencies are also accounted for in your plan, you can easily identify work that might be at risk (for example if another piece of work is dependent on a team that is over their capacity), which can help you fix potential problems before they arise.
Communications at all levels of your organization: Easily share a live version of your roadmap tailored to your specific audience. For example, if you’re sharing your roadmap with an executive team, you may want to show work and progress at the highest level (for example here’s what a dozen teams are working on and how they’re making progress). And with other stakeholders you may want to show how epics and stories are progressing. No matter who you’re sharing with, it’s easy to filter your roadmap to the right view. You can share via Confluence or with a link to your roadmap.
With the changes coming to Roadmaps where all projects will get them, and not just Next-Gen projects, combined with the promise that Advanced Roadmaps will somehow be connected to a more comprehensive whole this could be a pretty good thing for Cloud Premium users. Adding Advanced Roadmaps to Cloud Premium will now add the ability to scale issue types beyond the standard 3 levels, which is something people have asked for for a very long time.
Will it be enough to warrant the high price tag for Cloud Premium? I doubt that as Advanced Roadmaps is only really useful when you pass a certain number of teams. Doubling the price tag will probably discourage most low to mid-range clients. The fact that you can only have a 7 day test version and that you need to setup a new cloud instance to even test this if you are on a regular cloud plan is also a problem. With more features added into Cloud Premium however I think more and more will make the shift over to that.
Overall this is a good new addition and package it with the Cloud Premium offer will make it more accessible and therefore used, which is a good thing. It's a bit sad to see Atlassian being so aggressive in their way of forcing cloud users into their Premium tier that is making some old customers a bit annoyed, but I think it will be good in the long run.