Many companies are moving toward Agile work practices. There are many benefits of adopting this work management style.Teams can organize work into small, achievable objectives making it easy to evaluate, test, and approve tasks much faster than protracted waterfall (sequential) projects.
One of the biggest challenges in Agile methodology is measuring progress and billing. In Agile, all tasks are placed on a "board" (also known as the Backlog) with the intent that all ideas and tasks are easily visualized in front of everyone. Once the team determines what work needs to get done, those selected tasks get "moved" from the Backlog queue to a Sprint. This is the central queue that governs what everyone works on to accomplish the pre-determined outcome. Sprints are usually 10 business days (two weeks), but can take any duration.
Once Sprint tasks are completed, they are closed, and the Sprint queue increases its state of completeness--attempting to complete all the designated tasks within the timeframe. When the Sprint is officially closed, a new Sprint is created, and more Backlog items fill the new Sprint. Tasks that didn't get finished from the previous Sprint can "move forward" although that practice is antithetical to the Agile process. It is considered best practice to formulate accomplishable chunks for each Sprint.
Often, it's not clear how long certain tasks will take. Therefore, taking guesses at things in terms of durations (anticipated) vs. hours (actual) makes a ton of work for a manager. There are a variety of variables to take into consideration: abilities, interruptions, and reprioritizations. These variables commonly affect work in start-ups, technology, and product/service hybrid businesses.
Thus, taking a more generalized approach like estimating is often a better way to manage "the unknown". Think of "New Math"... they teach estimating as a very functional way to determine undetermined values, without requiring a lot of effort to perform that function. Think of Agile as "The New Math... for work"!
Here's the challenge everyone has: reconciling the estimations with the actuals. While estimations initially help in planning, they ultimately become the company's kryptonite for knowing exactly what each resource is doing, how long are they doing it, how much is it costing them, are they profitable, and are the right skills being used by the team. Agile methodology definitely has troubles answering those eventual questions, and causes many managers to buy cases of Tums.
Enter Project Insight for Jira.
Jira is arguably one of the most popular Agile tools in the market. But as discussed above, Jira has a hard time making sense of the true business measurements for its projects. Luckily, PI® understands this nuance and let's people Work Where They're At™ with it's new Agile conversion add-on:
- Work Efficiency - Developers use their software development tools to accomplish their work while project managers automatically see their progress, converting estimations to real dollars and sense
- Development-to-Portfolio - Ingest & sync software development progress into your project portfolio to accurately measure progress & profitability
- Record Time & Duration - Efficiently capture & record developer time, by project/task, right into your portfolio
- Resource Allocation - Know who's busy, who's not, and what resources can be moved around based on availability or capability
- Agile Conversion - Convert developer estimations (Story Points, T-shirt sizes, etc) into meaningful project dollars and sense
- Budget & Profitability - Report project finances against linked client proposals, task estimations & work performed
- Integrated Rates & Roles - Leverage standardized rate cards & resource typing
- Progress Billing - Easily bill long-term projects against partial work completed
- Finance Integration - Export aggregate or line-item invoice records to NetSuite, QuickBooks, CSV, or API
So bottom line: developers can keep doing what they do, developing using Story Points/estimations. And, managers can dynamically ingest their work performance directly into their portfolio, converting fuzzy math into real dollars and sense. Everybody wins!
For more information, go to https://projectinsight.com/jira. Let us help you get out of spreadsheets and start focusing on what makes you profitable!
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