1. What is an Initiative?
An Initiative is a bigger task or a Project which you need to break down into smaller work items or components in order to complete. An Initiative could be a Project/Feature/Epic story, etc. and the work items/components, which represent the deliverables are linked to the Initiative as child cards.
The Initiative can be created in the "Requested" column of the Portfolio Lane only.
The Portfolio lane is an additional swimlane on your board that you need to activate in order to create/ visualize your Initiatives and track their progress at a strategic/management level.
2. Working with Initiatives - the general concept
Breakdown the Initiative into smaller work items-> create them on the Team Board level and leave it to the team to process and complete the tasks. As they progress, all the important changes will be reflected in the Initiatives on your Kanban Portfolio lane.
Each child card is represented by a colored rectangle on the Initiative card and every rectangle holds details for the child card (on hover). The color stands for the current card position in the Team board workflow:
- if the rectangle is Blue, the child card is "In Requested" column
- if the rectangle is Orange, the child card is "In progress" column
- if the rectangle is green, the child card is in "Done" column
Example: In the image below, you can see that the Initiative named "Project 1 - tool development" holds six child cards. One of them is "In Requested" column (this is the blue one); three of them are "In Progress" column (the orange ones) and two of them are completed (the green ones). One of the cards, which is currently "In Progress" is blocked and the responsible person should take actions to unblock it.
Click on each of the rectangles to directly open the child card and check its details or leave your comment via the "@" symbol.
3. How do we track the progress of the Initiatives?
The built-in automation updates the status of the Initiatives, so their progress can be easily tracked.
When you move a Child card, which has been linked to an Initiative to the "In Progress" column on the Team Board level, the Initiative card will automatically move to "In Progress" in the Portfolio Lane.
When all child cards, linked to the Initiative are moved to "Done" on the Team Board level, the Initiative card will automatically move to "Done" in the Portfolio Lane.
This helps Managers to see at a glance the completion status of all Initiatives that they have in the organization.
4. How to Create an Initiative?
There are two ways to create an Initiative in the Portfolio Lane:
4.1 Use the + New Initiative button at the top right of your board. The Initiative will be created as a Kanban card with its belonging properties -> fill in the information related to the Initiative.
Click on Update card to create the Initiative in the "Requested" column of the Portfolio Lane.
4.2 Drag & drop an existing card from your Team Board lane to the Portfolio lane. This will trigger the creation of an Initiative -> modify the card properties if needed -> click on Add card to create the Initiative.
The existing card you have used to create the initiative will be automatically linked to it as a child card and will be positioned back in its previous board location.
4.3 You can create an Initiative of multiple cards, using the drag & drop option.
Select multiple cards that belong to one project -> drag & drop them to your desired position in the Portfolio Lane. The first card in the row will be duplicated as an Initiative and all project related cards (including the first card )will be automatically linked to it as child cards. Once the Initiative is created, they will be placed back in their old position on the Team board in order to be processed.
Read the following article to find out how to make a breakdown of an Initiative into smaller work items.