PROJECT BUDGETING AND COST FORECASTING FOR JIRA USERS: HOW-TO GUIDE
Sooner or later, the moment comes when the team is in need of tools for project management that suit specific needs, like budget management, schedule keeping, and intertwining all the processes into one concise report. Keeping records in Excel might seem enough, but it’s not when you’ve grown beyond a three-person operation: first of all, because it is convenient, and, to a much greater extent, because project management solutions allow even large teams and projects to be agile. Attention to technical perfection and design quality increases the flexibility of the projects. Drawing an analogy with a living organism, each stable growth of the project can be compared to a pulse. If the pulse is stable, it’s a good indicator. If it’s uneven, it’s an indicator of internal problems. The task of identifying the cause of the trouble may be easy for a small project, a small team, etc. Unfortunately, this cannot be said about a business involving several teams, projects involving several teams, and so on.
The effectiveness and quality of the results of the work depend on some factors:
- the individual productivity of employees;
- the stability of the market or the demand for the product;
- the speed of adaptation to changing conditions and the flexibility of the project;
- the use of remote resources;
- the level and methods of interaction between the client and the teams.
Undoubtedly, an integral part of a successful project is the competent organization of the workflow. The tools for project management are designed to help in solving the problems of identifying the issues when they arise. A good management tool allows management to get a clear picture of how the team is coping with the tasks set, to assess the degree of project completion by the end of some preset period, and to assess the amounts of resources required to finish the task. Now, there are more than one hundred project management solutions on the market; each has its own strengths and weaknesses. One of the most popular management tools to date that provides Agile edge projects to be one of the most popular is Atlassian Jira. However, when it comes to cost and budget management, you would have to get the additional app or a plugin. The good news is that with today’s level of technology, you can stay with your beloved tool by choosing a solution that integrates with JIRA seamlessly. Here is the short list of top picks of the apps available in 2018 to close this gap.
Top 3 easy-bake cost management plugins
Tempo Budgets is a financial project and portfolio management system for small and medium enterprises who chose traditional or agile methodologies. It helps users manage a project’s scope, schedule, and costs efficiently in real-time. The system is infused with:
- Real-time visualization of project and portfolio cost and revenue overviews;
- Earned value management or traditional reporting;
- Budget baseline labeling and versioning;
- Planned versus actual financials and forecasts;
- Management feature for staff capacity and workload, wages, cost rates, and overtime pay;
- Integrates with tempo timesheets and tempo planner.
Forecast for Jira is a tool that targets the planning angle of project management. It is infused with “The Forecast view,” “The Team view,” and “The User change history.” It is created to plan your Jira issues in time, by claiming weeks or sprints and assigning the issues to teams. Forecast allows for easy search of unplanned work or unclaimed time in your project. With this tool, you can track the flow of each claim in the change history and all other user changes, like remarks. Mostly fitted for IT projects and teams. Key features include:
- Planning Jira issues in time, by claiming weeks or sprints;
- PMs, analysts, delivery managers, and scrum masters can update the special workflow on their part;
- Track the flow of each claim in the change history;
- Track the scope changes in the synchronization history;
- Extended authorization model to restrict the changes to each claim;
- Search tool for unplanned work or unclaimed time.
CURVC Project Budget for Jira is a full-grown budget management tool with issue work logs. It allows for forming and monitoring a project’s budget summary and dashboard, adds extra expense management, and gains insight into your project budget by the visualized expenses and labor cost. CURVC Project Budget is basically an add-on that calculates work log-based costs and additional expense costs for the project. Main features include:
- Project-based budget management;
- Project-based budget summary;
- Planned budget vs. enforcement budget;
- Overall planned budget vs. executed budget;
- All project dashboard, expense, and work log lists;
- Expense and salary account configuration;
- Dashboard with accumulation graph, monthly budget trend, budget by issue type, budget by expense type, and sets currency, number, and format.
As you may have noticed, each plugin covers a vital part of the project cost management process. These applications are useful to every entrepreneur who grew out of the three-person team and the “one project at a time” routine. However, if you are at the point when you need to track finances at all levels: financial categorization, scenarios, financial roll-ups, analytics, estimating, and reporting, you might need a toolkit that is more complex and complete.
The more complex and complete toolbox in one ergonomic solution
The issue might seem like a “white collar problem” until your PMO has to spend 10 to 20 hours a week collecting reports on separate tasks from a diverse spread of reporting tools. For example, Jira users report on every task’s progress and issues separately. Once a month, you must report it to executives, clients, or stakeholders. It adds up to 20 hours of non-stop manual data “recovery.” If your teams use both – Jira and some other project management tool, your 20 hours become 40 hours every month on budget and costs alone. Don’t give in to outdated, old-school ways just because “you’re used to it.” There are more efficient, easier ways to complete the task with less time and effort. Stop the masochism!
PPM Express will grant you full control over your project finances. Improve profitability with a seamlessly integrated program with both a JIRA and Project Online portfolio management solution. It helps managers and executives have a complete overview of the costs and budget, as well as schedules, scope, and day-to-day changes in every project within the portfolio. While there’s a number of factors that contribute to cost overruns and schedule delays, proper planning and project transparency are elements that can make the difference. PPM Express is designed for small and medium businesses to keep an eye on each of those factors simultaneously. By seamlessly integrating with Jira and some other agile systems, it gives PMOs greater control over portfolios. Increase ROI at every stage of project development by tracking the value at all project stages. Moreover, it allows you to draft more accurate initial estimates and perform more detailed and flexible planning with precise project categorization.
Unlike the multiple analogue solutions, PPM Express has the unique benefit of providing the user with true customization options for every single detail in your portfolio. The best thing about the Jira and PPM Express combination is once the guidelines are set up, controlling the flow of the project becomes easy as pie. You can break down the project, go for a detailed analysis, optimize visibility across multiple portfolios, and make the reporting easier and faster by comparing the actual curve to the planned baseline. A nice bonus to the whole thing is the ability to synchronize the workflow with different tools and systems like Planner, Project Online, Asana, Trello, etc. Moreover, we back our products with exceptional support services and absolute attention to your needs.