Case Study: Project Estimation Add-on
About the Customer
Home Credit Bank is a financial institution with the headquarters in Czech Republic. The bank has a developed IT infrastructure for its own business objectives and development of software systems for internal usage.
The main objectives of this project were the following ones:
- get insight into performance of individual employees through comparison of planned and spent time efforts;
- get a reporting tool for better project management and evaluation of development phases of each project in particular.
This has become necessary due to the developed system of development departments and a plenty of projects and improvements for the existing systems.
Our add-on was intended to become a tool providing convenient capabilities for estimating the remained time required for completion of the development phase. The core functionality was based on the new reporting features that were added into JIRA.
The project required development of three features:
- report for comparison of planned and spent work efforts;
- report for estimating project on the basis of the initiative and all scope of tasks mapped to it through the parent-child connection;
- customization of the Log Work form with addition of two custom fields and the management interface for fields’ values.
The project had to be adapted to the existing mechanism of task offload from MS Project to JIRA. Initially, the manager creates the change request with set of sub-tasks required for its completion. Then this data is transferred to JIRA where the assigned users set estimates including dates and time amount they will be able to spend on performing the task. Each time when the user spent some time on the specific task, he/she logs work through standard JIRA’s Log Work form.
The project required generation of the report that will compare the planned time against the actually spent time on each task in the project scope. While logging time, users should also define work type and the document type (if applicable) in the work log. This information was required for comparison of time spent on work of each type and finding the ones for optimization.
The other report required inclusion of all the related tasks associated with the specific change request through the ‘parent-child’ connection. The add-on needs to sample such tasks and generate a list of them with the spent time amount. This report was requested for evaluating the time amount the company spends on the specific change request within the project scope.
Development of the above mentioned reports also required customizations in the Log Work form. They included embedding two custom fields for selecting work type and document type and a separate interface for configuring these fields and setting their optionality depending on the task type and project.
In the next sections, we will provide a more detailed description of each feature.
Report on the Initiative
This report shows how much time was spent on the initiative and all the connected tasks within it. The project manager can quickly find out how much time was spent on planning, development, testing and bug fixing. In this case, the project manager can be always aware what human resources are allocated to and what development phase requires further optimization.
The add-on fetches all tasks related to the selected initiative through parent-child relationship, then calculates the logged work for each task with division by work type and outputs amount of time spent on the initiative as of the present moment. Below the table with logged hours for all tasks within the initiative, goes the table with aggregated data by work type logged for the current tasks.
The manager can always find out how much time was spent on different development work types and think about the way how to decrease work amount.
Planned vs Factual Labor Efforts by Work Type
The second report allows managers to compare planned and factual labor efforts by work type for user, user group and project. The report also provides selection of the date range and usage of JQL filters for narrowing reporting results.
Once the report is generated, the manager can easily compare the planned and factual labor efforts for better project estimation and viewing the discrepancy between planned and factual labor efforts spent on the project development.
The add-on fetches data from the custom fields with planned hours and logged time amount entered through the customer Log Work form. Then the add-on calculates the time amount logged for each work type within the tasks meeting the reporting criteria and outputs the list of these tasks.
Below the table with detailed data goes the summary table with aggregated planned time amount by job type and factual time amount by work type. The manager can quickly find out whether there is any discrepancy between planned and factual labor efforts.
The Log Work form has received two new custom fields for selecting work type and document type for the logged time amount. Custom fields can be required or optional depending in the set configuration.
The logged entries besides standard information display the selected work type and document types specified during time logging.
Configuration of the add-on
The add-on creates a special section for creating configuration of the Work Type and Document Type fields for any issue type registered in JIRA.
The administrator has to select the issue type from the list and set the appropriate parameters. The user can define status of the two custom fields and select the list of values for these fields. The add-on retrieves values from the available directories and select the appropriate data source. Optional or required status of the field can depend on the project, or on the job type and project with usage of AND or OR operators. For a special issue type ‘Activity’, the administrator can configure direct retrieval of the value from the custom field if it is selected.
Management of Directories
The add-on also adds the simple management of several directories with a capability to add, edit and delete values from the directories. Additionally, the administrator can activate or deactivate the appropriate values in the directory.
Two directories are based on values retrieved directly from the custom fields, and the administrator can also select the appropriate context of the field.
The add-on has become a real helper for analysts who review the employees’ performance and work on optimization of the existing workflow processes. The solution allows them to better estimate the project’s timeline, see the phases that require more time and allocate more time and resources on activities that were underestimated in the past.