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Aug 09

Jira and Construction industry. How to supervise a single/multiple building projects in Jira?

Helmets of construction workersConstruction projects are very special, compared to ones in an ‘average industry’. Stages of construction need to be completed in a predefined order – you can’t pour ceiling before you’ve built the walls, right? Is Jira – a project management software used throughout various sectors – suitable for a construction company or a project owner? How would you use Jira to manage a single construction project or a portfolio of erections?

Let’s look at a four-step workflow, recommended for a project owner or a construction enterprise.

In the example below, we’ll construct an ecological building-tower for a Fashion Museum and launch the facility. All that in Jira.

(1) Define the scope of your construction project

Include not just the core process of building, but furnishing a new building or edifice, and promoting its services, too. Use the Scope component of Jira BigPicture to break the project into phases, then these phases into requirement areas, or systems, such as water supply, or sewage, or electrical system.

Scope of a construction project, Jira


(2) Plan your construction in time

Once you’ve broken the project into manageable pieces, use the proven Gantt chart (pictured below) to schedule in time the stages of the construction process. There are several Gantt chart apps for Jira available from Atlassian Marketplace, but few of these plugins offer both the Gantt chart and Scope, and Skills, Resources, and Risks modules under one roof, needed to manage a project in a classic, so-called waterfall way – the methodology used by the construction sector. BigPicture features all of the mentioned components.

Construction project Gantt chart, Jira

Note that there are in fact several sub-projects within the Fashion Museum project. We used colors to separate them.


(3) Skills management (optional)

If you invest in some complex structure, such as a museum edifice, business park, logistics center, a seaport, airport, etc., you may need to do skills management before you deliver or commission the building or structure. This step is optional and involves some overhead. Nevertheless, if you are in a tight labor market, Jira BigPicture has a dedicated module for managing skills; and beginning BigPicture 7.4 you’ve got a Quick assignee feature – within minutes, semi-automatically assign stages or tasks to the most qualified/least busy professional or subcontractor. More on managing skills in Jira.

Jira skills management construction project

Below is the bird’s eye view on the skills undersupply and oversupply in our construction project. We’re short on the Designer and Exhibition Supervisor skills, while we’ve got a surplus of the remaining skills. Why are there no masonry workers, electricians, roofers, or elevator installers listed in the below illustration? The manager of this sample Fashion Museum project has subcontracted the core construction operations, leaving furnishing and launching of the facility to his own team.

Managing resources in the construction industry

Of course, you can oversee and control the over-/underallocation of skills in shorter timeframes such as weeks or months – use the ‘Scale’ button evident in the top menu.


(4) Risk management in construction (optional)

$150 million was budgeted for the museum. It would be foolish not to identify and mitigate the risks. The Risks matrix of Jira BigPicture will attract PMs’ attention to those tasks which are likely to delay the project. Notice the deadline visible in the Gantt chart above in the form of a red diamond.

Managing risks in Jira for construction sector



Jira was built for projects having 10s and 100s thousand of tasks, and especially for undertakings managed in an agile manner. The construction industry, quite contrary, uses the classic, waterfall approach to project management, with things occurring sequentially and not simultaneously. BigPicture app enriches Jira with a tool used in the construction sector for decades – the classic bar chart – as well as more modern Scope, Skills, Resources and Risks modules.

Moreover, BigPicture makes it easy to control a collection of projects, say 20 simultaneously run constructions. The PPM acronym stands for the portfolio capabilities of Jira BigPicture.



About The Author

With his automotive background Marcin goes beyond the 'Jira + software development' standard. He likes simple, up-to-five-sentence answers to complex questions.