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Nov 16

Accelerate Time-Consuming Actions in Jira

The life of a Project Manager consists of many activities. Time is of the essence, which is why PPM tools are so valuable. However, if you track projects in Jira, some areas might take up too much of your time. In other words, there are ways to speed them up. This article will show you three key areas where BigPicture can improve your Jira productivity. As a result, you will perform everyday actions faster, giving you more time to focus on other burning issues.

Overseeing Classic projects

Every project is a living thing, where a change in one area might impact others. That’s why a top-down view of the project benefits managers. It lets you see the whole picture instead of a small portion.

There is a massive difference in how Jira and BigPicture approach the visualization of projects, especially the Classic ones.

Jira

While Atlassian’s software supports the management of Classic projects, they are difficult to visualize. The only aspect that focuses on the whole initiative is a list of tasks. Sadly, you can only look at the details of one issue at a time. Even though the issue’s Detail View contains the necessary information, it’s not the same as looking at the project as a whole.

A screenshot of the issue page in Jira showing details of a task.

Think about checking every status or ensuring the start and end dates are in order. Each of these actions would involve going into every task and verifying the values separately. More components in the project means more time spent in the software. But what if you wanted to see all the values in a given category in a clear, structured manner? That’s where BigPicture comes in.

BigPicture

For visualizing Waterfall projects, the Gantt chart is the go-to tool. It’s been used by Classic project managers for over a century. Our PPM software uses it to its full potential and vastly increases your Jira productivity in this regard.

Crucially, you get to see the entire structure of the project on a timeline. Phases, tasks, milestones, and dependencies are visualized on the chart. It makes it easier to see the relationships between tasks, which is pivotal when making changes.

The Gantt module in BigPicture containing the timeline and details of the entire project, which increases your Jira productivity

Speaking of changes, you can go to any issue page straight from the Gantt chart. But there is another option, too. Most values can be modified using in-line editing. That way, you know how the changes impact the project without leaving the chart. The fact that in-line editing is faster is a bonus, albeit a big one.

 

Decision-making

Managers need to make decisions every day. Things can change in a blink of an eye, so it’s crucial to have enough information to react quickly and appropriately. Let’s consider one of the most popular decisions – assigning and reassigning tasks.

Jira

Whether it’s the beginning of a project or a sudden development in an existing one, managers often assign people to tasks. In Jira, it requires the following:

  • Finding the task,
  • Going into the task,
  • Adding or changing the assignee.

It seems simple enough, but what about the whole landscape of the project? When you’re in a particular task, it’s difficult to see how a change impacts other work. That’s why it’s better to look at the project holistically.

BigPicture

It’s precisely what you get in BigPicture. For Agile projects, you see the entire initiative on an interactive board with iterations, dependencies, and a structured backlog. The aggregated capacity stats tell you which team has enough workload on their plate for each Sprint. Therefore, you can balance the workload much more effectively while considering the availability of each team based on actual data.

The view of the Board module in BigPicture.

The Board module supports drag-and-drop as well as in-line editing. Because of that, assigning a task to a specific team member is much faster than Jira’s process. Here is an example of how fast you can reassign a task in BigPicture:

 

For Classic initiatives, there is the Scope module to quickly add new initiatives or assign people to existing tasks using in-line editing. Just like in its Agile counterpart, you have a top-down view of the entire project: phases, tasks, sub-tasks, and aggregations, to name a few. In fact, you can add custom fields to display any project data you want.

The Scope module in BigPicture with an overview of a Classic project.

All in all, BigPicture is the superior choice both for making decisions and executing them. You have the full scope of the project right in front of you, and you can make necessary changes directly on the board or timeline. Faster adjustments are supported by seeing the whole picture.

Time Tracking

Keeping tabs on time spent on tasks and initiatives is crucial in project management. The more options you have in this regard and the easier it is to check the values, the better. Let’s look at how Jira deals with this area and compare it with BigPicture.

Jira productivity tool

Can you track time in Jira? Certainly. Atlassian’s software gathers some data in this regard. For example, users are able to log and estimate time spent on issues. You can even compare actual values with estimates. However, the usability factor leaves much to be desired.

In Jira, you can only see the tracking statistics for a single task. Gathering time values for an entire project requires creating a report. To do that, you must click through menus, options, and metrics before a report is ready. And it’s not a one-time action, either. You need to go through that process every time you want to see detailed time-related statistics.

An example of a time tracking report in Jira

Therefore, your two choices are:

  • Single-task level information,
  • Generating a new report anytime you want to see full-project time tracking data.

It’s like being between a rock and a hard place. One doesn’t cover enough scope, and the other requires a multi-step process. There has to be a better way. And there is, as long as you use…

BigPicture PPM software

In our tool, the process is a bit different. Firstly, there is a dedicated Resources board with a complete set of information regarding your tasks, teams, and individual members. It means you can track time on multiple levels. For instance, you see who is assigned to a given task, how long it is supposed to take, and how it affects the overall availability of a given person. The same applies to entire teams.

The Resources module in BigPicture

There is no need to generate any reports – all the information is available as soon as it’s entered. As for the reliability of data, it’s all drawn from Jira issues. So anytime a member estimates a task duration in Jira, the information updates into the BigPicture’s Resources module automatically. Furthermore, you can use different metrics to estimate the workload: hours, days, or Jira story points.

But seeing the data is just the beginning. The Resources module helps you in other ways, too.

Firstly, it lets you know when a team member is overloaded with tasks. And if you want to remedy that, simply drag and drop a task to someone else. How easy is it? See it for yourself:

 

As you can see, the change only took a few seconds. There was an availability issue supported by data and it’s resolved. Both team members have a more balanced workload, and no one is left with too much on their plate. Alternatively, you can use in-line editing here, too. It’s the perfect complement to your Jira productivity experience.

Replicating the same action in Jira would take so much longer.

When it comes to time tracking in BigPicture, all the data is cataloged, categorized, and aggregated. As a result, you have up-to-date information at all times, and you can make decisions quicker than using Jira.

Final thoughts

These are just a few areas where BigPicture improves your Jira productivity. Indeed, Atlassian’s tool gathers a lot of useful data. But if you want quick access to a wide range of information in one place, BigPicture will make that happen much easier. Most importantly, it will allow you to perform everyday actions faster.

Interestingly, the more issues you track, the more time you save with BigPicture compared to Jira. Our tool is fully synchronized with Jira, so any developments in tasks get updated in the all-encompassing modules instantly.

About The Author

Content Specialist at BigPicture. Passionate about new technologies, both in hardware and software form, as well as creating educational content that makes complex ideas more understandable.