The Portfolio Lane is a special type of a Smart Lane that you can use to visualize and manage card. The two key features that the Portfolio Lane provides are:

  1. Use of the horizontal axis to depict progress completion of cards.  So, a card which is further down the right side of the portfolio lane further along in terms of % completion than cards to its left.
  2. Portfolio Lane will automatically move forward, from 0% to 100% completion.

So, the Portfolio Lane is a special type of a lane on the board, where the horizontal position of cards in the lane visually communicate the % progress of those cards, making it easy for stakeholders to track the progress of crucial initiatives, programs, or projects.

As you see above, the Portfolio smart lane has 3 columns – Ready, In-Progress, and Done. (For obvious reasons, it can only have these 3 columns). The In-Progress column has 4 stages – 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% depicting the % progress of cards. The parent card is placed in the In-Progress column based on the absolute value of its % progress completion. The % progress value of a card is shown on the card itself.There are three options for setting up a portfolio lane. Following are the three types

  1. Tracking parent card using the status of its children
  2. Tracking cards with To-Do’s
  3. Tracking cards manually

Tracking Parent Card using Portfolio Lane

The Parent card % progress is based on the child cards’ completion status. Child cards can be on the same board or on different multiple boards, in any type of a  Lane with their own specific workflow/ value stream.  Accordingly :

  • If all child cards of parent are in their respective Ready columns, the parent card in the portfolio is also in the Ready column of the Portfolio Lane.
  • When even one child card moves from its Ready column to any next stage, the Parent Card will move to the 0% progress stage of the In-Progress column of the Portfolio Lane.
  • When a Child card reaches the “Completed” column of its lane, the % completion of the parent is computed based on the formula –
    (# of child cards in “Completed” state)/ (total # of child cards for the parent)
    Accordingly, the parent card moves to the appropriate % level in the In-Progress column of the Portfolio Lane.

Since parent cards in portfolio lanes move forward automatically based on their children cards completion, they cannot be manually dragged forward or backward like cards in ordinary lanes.

Tracking Cards with To-Do’s

  • Go to the To-Do Portfolio smart lane and add a card on the Ready column.
  • Go to the To -Do section, click the Add icon.
  • In the new Action item, enter details including the Current State.

  • As you keep updating the current state of the To-Do’s in the card, the position of the card in the To-Do Portfolio smart lane automatically progresses from 0 – 100%

To learn more about how to work with To – Do’s, refer to  Working with To-Dos.

Tracking Cards Manually

  • Go to the Manual Portfolio smart lane and add a card on the Ready column.
  • Go to the Manual Portfolio smart lane on the board, and add a card on the Ready column.
  • Open the card in the Card Edit mode, and enter the progress percentage (in whole number) in the Progress field.
  • Based on the number in the Progress field, the position of the card in the Manual Portfolio smart lane automatically progresses from 0 – 100%

Using the Portfolio Lane


  1. The Portfolio Lane is only available for subscribers of the SwiftKanban Enterprise License. Please make sure you have the Enterprise license.  If you are a Team or Group License subscriber and would like to use the Portfolio Lane, you will need to upgrade to the Enterprise License.
  2. You need either existing hierarchies of cards or you will need to create new ones after you have set up the Portfolio Lane. This is covered in more detail below.

Adding a Portfolio Lane to your Board

To add a Portfolio lane on your Kanban board, do the following:

  1. Go to the Board Editor by clicking on Board Editor on the left menu.
  2. Click Add Smart Lane.
  3. In the Smart Lane Settings, select Portfolio as Lane Type. Enter other details and click Submit.
  4. Return to the Kanban Board. The Portfolio smart lane is displayed on the Kanban board.

 Tracking Cards in the Portfolio Lane

  1. Before putting cards on the Portfolio lane, you should ideally plan for the kind of hierarchies you want to track on the Portfolio lane – and make sure you have the appropriate card-types created and their hierarchy structures defined (that is, what card types are allowed to be parent or children cards of each card type. To learn more about setting up hierarchies, see this Help page. Once you have defined your desired card types and hierarchies, you are ready to use the Portfolio lane effectively and meaningfully.
  2. To track a parent card in the Portfolio smart lane, you must first add it in the backlog or the Ready column of the Portfolio Lane. To learn how to add a card, see this topic.
  3. If the newly added Parent card does not have existing children cards, you will need to add the appropriate child cards to the parent. To add child cards, go to the Linked Cards section of the card that you have added as a parent in the Portfolio lane, and click the Add Child Card icon to create a new child card. Alternatively, you can also add an existing card (on the same or another board) as a child by clicking the Search and Link as Child Card icon on the parent card in the Linked Cards section.
  4. Once the parent-child hierarchy is set, you can view the following Portfolio Lane progression scenarios:
Child Card Operation/ Condition  Parent Card Progression
All the child cards are moved in the Ready lane from backlogAny one child card moves from ‘Ready’ to ‘In-Progress’All child Cards enter or exit the Done column Type
All child cards get Archived from any lane
Parent card is moved to the Ready lane in case it was earlier in the Backlog
Parent card moves to the In-progress column with 0% completion
Parent card moves to the Done column
Parent card moves to the Done column

Some Important Points to Remember

  • Cards can be added only in the Backlog or Ready column of the Portfolio lane.
  • If a card is added on the Portfolio lane in Backlog or Ready column, the card will not move to In-Progress till it becomes parent card – that is children cards are added to it and they make progress in their respective lanes.
  • No manual maneuvering of the parent card is allowed in the Portfolio lane.
  • WIP cannot be set for any lane for Portfolio Board.
  • If a child card is blocked, the parent card will also show the Blocked icon in orange color.  If all child cards for a parent are blocked, or if parent card itself is blocked, then the blocked icon on the parent card will be in red.


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