Planning, reporting and time sheeting in Jira cloud
This is part two of a three-part series on increasing efficiency with Atlassian Jira. This series explains features and steps you can take to increase efficiency, gather data for metrics and reporting, and automate mundane, repetitive tasks.
“We realised we needed a time sheeting tool integrated to Jira, and through the Jira Cloud Marketplace we were able to trial a number of 3rd party tools to identify a better solution.”
Meaningful reporting helps teams make better business decisions, improves resource management, and raises the overall efficiency.
At Mobile Mentor, we leverage both built in Jira reporting as well as 3rd party plugins to help us generate accurate reporting for our business needs.
Time sheeting with 3rd party plug-ins in Jira
Logging time against work is always a challenge for technical teams. Initially the apps team used a stand-alone time sheeting solution. This led to issues with jobs created in the external solution not matching a Jira development project and staff having to switch between real tasks and job items in two systems. This led to team frustration but also a lack of detailed job and utilisation reporting. It was challenging to predict relative project time and internal task requirements to help with future planning.
We realised we needed a time sheeting tool integrated to Jira, and through the Jira Cloud Marketplace were able to trial a number of 3rd party tools to identify a better solution.
The Jira Marketplace provides a huge range of 3rd party solutions to augment your processes and workflow. Some of those plugins provide a free trial, allowing you to try out a few options to find the fit for your team.
To find and add plugin, go to Apps in the main menu and then Find new apps. Here you will find a broad range of 3rd party plugin solutions.
Solving time sheeting in Jira
At Mobile Mentor, we use a plugin called “Tempo”, which integrates seamlessly with Jira cloud.
With this plugin, we can
Log time directly against the issues or tasks in our Jira projects
See a high-level overview of Estimate time vs Actual time
Track time for multiple tasks via browser plugin in a single view
Report in real time using filters to analyse our work effort by project, team, sprint, epic, task etc.).
Export reports to pdf, csv or excel spreadsheet
Leverage the Planning feature to help plan a sprint and resource in advance.
Tempo also allows you to setup automated alerts, so if anyone in the team forgets to complete their timesheet, they are prompted via email.
Another great feature, is the ability to integrate your O365 or Google calendar to Tempo. This will allow calendar entries to be pulled into Jira, so you no longer need to manually add planning tasks.
Resource planning based on past performance with time sheeting
The combination of Jira and Tempo improves the UX for our staff, resulting in higher quality time sheeting. This in turn provides accurate reporting of our past performance, which is then used to power our resource planning.
This is the winning formula for our development team as it allows us to estimate more accurately and plan much further ahead. This again improves the experience for the dev team and gives us much better data with which to plan resourcing decisions.
Without accurate historic time sheeting for projects this type of efficiency is not possible.
Reporting raises visibility of successes and issues
A final benefit of good time sheeting is the ability to generate meaningful reports. Mobile Mentor leverage the Tempo timesheet reports into our BI and financial platforms (such as Power BI) to provide management level analysis for the business. Some of this reporting is ad hoc, e.g. to analyse a specific project, and some are automated, such as our monthly utilisation analysis.
Some examples of how we utilise the timesheet and resource planning reporting are:
Organisation wide reporting, to analyse performance and to standardise learnings and improvements across security, development and support teams.
Actual vs Estimate analysis
Understanding areas where Learning and Development is required
Keeping a handle on meeting and other administrative time.
Managing overtime and fatigue, especially for senior resources juggling multiple projects.
Ken has worked across our managed services, security and app development business units for the past 6 years. He is currently a business analyst in charge of managing daily operations for the app development team.
Ken loves delivering new mobile apps for customers and seeing the difference it makes to their business.