Case Study: Project Budgeting in Atlassian JIRA
StiltSoft company has created Budgeting add-on for Atlassian JIRA. This tool allows us to manage product items, make orders and generate reports on the basis of entered data. We are glad of work with StiltSoft and say thanks to them for the flexible approaches in coping with challenges occurred during planning and development.
Aleksey Kuznetsov, Forte Print
Our customer is Forte Print, a company from the Russian Federation. It is an advertising agency with its own production capacities. Forte Print use the leading technologies for production and printing of the promotional materials. Availability of their own printing office allows for quick and high-quality production of all kinds of printing and marketing materials.
While creating the printing order, the customer encountered a problem with the slow collection of information from regional offices throughout the country. It was quite a serious problem to summarize and aggregate orders and find out the number of product items that their customers want to print. Each regional office usually received an Excel file which was further populated with the number of items for printing. On the next step, all printing orders from all regional offices were transformed into a single order that was further moved to the heading office.
This process took a lot of time. Our solution has brought the tools of automation that accelerated the overall process of order creation. Budgeting add-on has also resolved the issue with multiple mistakes that were made during manual order creation and selection of necessary product items.
The developed tool allowed the customer to create the list of printing product items that were further used for creation of orders in Atlassian JIRA. The add-on provided a flexible way to manage the periods of order completion and lists of locations which a specific order was created for.
Quick Order Creation
The add-on allows the customer to place printing orders for a specific location or for multiple locations at once. Order creation is a quite simple and quick process that requires selection of the period which the order is created for.
Then the user who places an order needs to enter the number of items for printing for specific positions available in the product list. For each product item, the user can see the preview image so he knows for sure which product item he orders.
The add-on automatically calculates the order total for all ordered product items within it.
Users can edit or cancel the created order by deleting it.
All the changes in orders are automatically reflected in the issue comments showing what was added, what was deleted, which value was updated and so on.
The add-on is equipped with a series of reports that allows users to monitor the expenses within the project, view the list of ordered product items in the breakdown by project, and see the aggregated report on product items.
So, the following reports are available:
- Summary report
- Detailed report
- Aggregated report
All the generated reports can be further exported to Excel for further evaluation and processing there.
Summary report is a simple report that is generated for all JIRA projects that the add-on is activated for. It allows the user to define the reporting period which he or she is interested in. The report shows the project name, its budget, total of expenses within the specified period of time and the remainder of funds available for product item ordering.
When generating this report for a specific project, it will show the list of all orders that were created within it with the total cost per each order.
Detailed report is generated for specific projects or for project groups and sub-groups. Additionally, the user can configure the report settings such as types of JIRA issues with orders to include, statuses of issues to process, select the period of orders and date period of issue creation which he or she is interested in. It is also possible to select product items (specific categories, product items or their parameters) for including into the report.
The report generates a list of JIRA issues with product items ordered within them. The user can quickly and easily view the count of ordered product items within each JIRA issue and the total sum of the order.
Aggregated report allows the user to view the total number of ordered product items aggregated against one or multiple JIRA projects. The set of reporting options almost coincide with the detailed report. Here you can also select the appropriate issue type, its actual status, periods of ordering and issue creation, and define the product items you are interested in.
The set of available reports allows the customer to quickly and easily get the number of ordered product items for printing. The flexibility in report configuration allows the customer to get the required series of data he or she wants to have for correct order submission.
Management of Product Items
The add-on operates on the basis of product item schemes which represent a three-level hierarchical structure containing categories, product items and their individual parameters.
The administrator can perform all the basic operations such adding, editing and deleting elements of the structure. For individual parameters of product items the administrator can upload image, so the end users will be able to view the preview of the product item parameter before adding it to the order. Additionally, for each parameter of the product item the administrator can enter the price.
The add-on provides a set of options to configure the project budgeting and create the required mappings for issue types. So, let’s quickly see what it has.
The administrator can configure lists of ordering periods and lists of locations where orders will be delivered to. The lists of periods are further mapped to particular issue types, and lists of locations to individual projects.
Configuration of issue types and reports is almost identical and allows the administrator to map specific product item lists and lists of periods to the appropriate issue types. The same principle is also applied to report configuration. This was done intentionally due to the specifics of the company operation. This imposes the necessity to have the same list of printing materials for all regional offices.
For each JIRA project used for budgeting, the administrator sets the required project budget and select the list of locations (regional offices) which orders will be created for. Optionally, the administrator can manually enter the group and sub-group which the project relates to This is used for project categorization across areas and federative divisions.
After enablement of the add-on, the company no longer needs to create the printing orders manually. Now each regional office can quickly create the order and populate the ordering table with the required count of printing materials. The existing reporting capabilities allows the manager to generate reports over the appropriate time period and then export them to Excel. The report configuration provides a high level of flexibility in configuring the output of reporting data.
The add-on has proved itself as a stable and efficient tool for project budgeting and order creation in Atlassian JIRA. Sometimes the company needs to tweak its functionality by adding some improvements and updates due to the changes in the company policy. The results of the add-on usage include the minimized time for order submission and quick creation of the summary order across multiple regional offices.