Resource Planning in Jira - A Master Planner's Guide [TIPS]

Jira has dozens of interesting features you may have missed - but is resource planning one of them? Find all the information you need about JIRA resource planning in this article!

Arkadiusz Terpiłowski

Co-Founder

Resource Planning

25/7/2022

Table of contents

Can I do resource planning in a standard Jira?

Let’s get this straight - Jira has been developed as a project management tool. One of the most important features out there is task management.

And that's why its structure allows only for a short-term resource planning process, which, based on our experience, is in numerous instances not enough. For example, that was the problem of Capco, one of our customers who was struggling with allocations before it found our tool.

And that's why short answer is: no, long-term resource planning is not possible in Jira due to its structure and task management focus.

So, how can you plan your resources using Jira? You will find two specific approaches further down this article.

What's possible in Jira alone?

Presently, project managers can use Jira to create projects, tasks, and assign people that have to complete them.

They can also set the deadlines and see whether the milestones are completed. Such simple resource planning provides you with the information on the project and its progress only in short-term and based on tasks that you created.

Still, with numerous projects and team members at hand, many people find this feature lacking in Jira.

Comparision of comprehensive resource planning with resource planning in JIRA
Comparision of comprehensive resource planning with resource planning in JIRA

Pros and cons of planning resources only in Jira

The approach of Jira resource planning is very project centered, and it does not allow project managers to see a bigger picture of all the operations. It does not provide you with any information on the capacity of team members and utilization.

In other words, when planning your resources, you need to blind pick the employees for a new assignment and wait for their reactions without any in-depth project management or capacity planning

Additionally, Jira, also can’t handle any finances related to the resources. Therefore, it cannot be used to create accurate budget forecasts or calculating wages - it has to be done separately in all Jira projects.

As a result, Jira, may not be the best choice for resource planning, especially for high-level managers and executives who look for a more general overview of their operations. But how do you know whether it is really not a choice for you?

What should a resource plan include? 

First, let’s answer this question with a definition of a proper resource plan. 

Resource plan is an outline of all the resources and operations on a particular timeline. To combine all of these features, solutions offering comprehensive resource planning need to offer a wide variety of options. 

In general, a typical resource plan should include elements such as: 

  • people, 
  • budget and costs,
  • skills, experience, certifications, 
  • capacity and utilization, 
  • calendars with flexible allocations and editable features, 
  • forecasting for future projects and resources they require. 

Primetric has all of these features - and many more.

Can a resource plan be different from the list above?  

In case of some companies and responsibilities, resource plans should also include costs and profits with all of their elements (incl. wages, overheads, etc.).

These elements are particularly important in industries that profit from the creations of their employees and need to optimize their workload - the IT industry is a perfect example of such businesses. 

Long-term and short-term planning - what’s the difference? 

Long-term and short-term planning should be considered separately despite having a very similar goal. That’s because they are, in fact, very different processes. 

Short-term planning - definition

Short-term planning in digital tools such as Jira generally involves extensive task management. It works very well for separate projects, and they are capable of providing in-depth insights to the operations in question.

However, it only provides managers with a limited and short-term overview of the company's operations. 

Long-term planning - definition

That’s where the real magic happens. When we talk with different managers, they strive to be able to quickly identify risks and opportunities without going into unnecessary operational details. From their perspective, long-term planning is much more helpful.

That’s because it helps forecast what will happen in the upcoming month, quarter or even year - especially, if you have long-term projects. Thanks to that you gain a big picture and can make strategic decisions to avoid unnecessary risks - all while creating 100% accurate estimates for even the most demanding customers.

Apart from that, long-term planning tools can offer numerous additional options you may find useful, including capacity forecast, project portfolio management, flexible allocations, and more. 

Additionally, long-term planning is beneficial not only for the project managers, but also for the sales team, financial directors or even the CEO himself - all thanks to its comprehensive nature. 

The difference between long-term and short-term planning in JIRA resource planning
The difference between long-term and short-term planning

How to manage resources in Jira?

A comprehensive resource management is not possible in Jira - as we already mentioned, the tool only has basic features facilitating such processes. Using this tool, you can only create a new project (or enter the existing one), add tasks and subtasks to it, and add people responsible for them. 

Fortunately, there are other tools you can use - including Primetric. 

How do I know whether a limited Jira resource planning is enough for me? 

Before you start looking any further, first you should make sure that it surely won’t live up to your expectations. To do so, answer the following questions: 

  1. Do you ever struggle to assign a specific person to the project? How do you make the decision? Based on people skills / experience, wages and availability?
  2. Do you want to see people’s workload and availability for more than a few weeks?
  3. Do you need a general overview of the roles necessary to deliver the project?
  4. Do you need to see utilization level with division to billable and non-billable? 
  5. Do you need to know the employee’s wages, skills, and experience to allocate them successfully? 
  6. Does your company use different planning models, i.e., utilization, fixed hours, etc.? 
  7. Do you have to take time offs and public holidays into account manually? Are you interested in spotting all the public holidays and absences? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I have bad news for you. 

Jira is not enough to plan resources in your company and team. 

Still, you shouldn’t worry about Jira issues - you can still use add-ons or dedicated tools to make your process smooth and adjusted to your needs. Primetric is one of such tools! 

Can I plan resources in Jira Advanced Roadmaps? 

JIRA Advanced Roadmaps is one of the JIRA add-ons. According to its providers, it is capable of managing complex tasks and projects and working strategically across numerous projects.

JIRA resource planning with Advanced Roadmaps - what features does it include? 

The tool is capable of: 

  • planning the work of teams and monitoring the relationship between different teams, as well as their contribution to the projects,
  • analyzing issue sources (boards, projects, and filters) that determine what data will be used in Jira Software to create a plan,  
  • creating projects and tasks, 
  • defining exclusions and priorities.

As demonstrated by the features above, Jira Advanced Roadmaps has some additional features for resource allocations. Still, it involves tasks, and not a more general overview, and it is definitely not a good option for those wishing to take a closer look at particular specialists and their capacity. In other words - it simply may not. However, Primetic can easily fill these gaps. 

Jira resource management with add-ons and extensions

JIRA takes pride in its ability to integrate with a variety of other tools - and this is the solution the provider recommends for this use case. In fact, you can find dozens of such tools in Atlassian Marketplace. However, there are just a few tools that are really capable of both in-depth and more general resource management.

JIRA resource planning with Primetric

Primetric, which is also offered on Atlassian Marketplace, is one of the tools that offer comprehensive resource planning that can be integrated with JIRA.

This solution was created to import all the necessary information from Jira in real-time and use them to create accurate and up-to-date plans for any operations. 

Resource planning based on JIRA in Primetric
Resource planning in Primetric

Primetric’s resource management offers: 

  • flexible, editable, drag and drop Gantt charts calendars for both team members and projects, with information on leaves, absences and public holidays, 
  • comprehensive budgeting based on information on wages and tracked hours, as well as project finances (incomes, overheads, etc.), 
  • smart allocations (system suggests best team members to get job done), 
  • intuitive allocation search bar in your projects, 
  • billable and non-billable allocations,
  • automatically calculated capacity for all the users,,
  • advanced and customizable reports on key indicators, including benches, overtimes and overbooking, 
  • skill database with information on experience, skills, and certifications of employees, 
  • a comprehensive overlook of all the projects and people involved in them, 
  • alerts and notifications for key issues, incl. overbooking,
  • constant support from Primetric’s advisors. 

As a result, Primetric’s resource planning can provide project managers with both a detailed and general overview of all the operations in your organization, as well as their finances. If you would like to test it by yourself - You can try it for free here.

Of course, this is just one of the available options - you can browse others in our ranking of resource planning tools.

What are the benefits of resource planning integrated with Jira?

Resource planning integrated with Jira - just like the one offered by Primetric - has several benefits for project managers. These include: 

  • comfortable work, 
  • no mistakes, 
  • seamless communication, 
  • up-to-date information, 
  • compatibility with time tracking,
  • different access levels, 
  • accurate estimates and plans, 
  • advanced reports,
  • flexibility in allocations, 
  • comprehensive management for both employees and all the projects at once. 

FAQ

Can I add functional skill sets to a teammate’s profile in Jira? 

No - you can only do this with some add-ons present. Primetric is one of them - the skill management, as well as project management in general, is already included in the tool, and it can be used to search for and choose the right person for the job. 

Is it possible to have generic resources in the teams and assign them in the Advanced Roadmaps?

No, this feature is no longer available. Still, some add-ons, including Primetric, offer you this option. 

Are part-time allocations possible in Jira? 

Yes, you can assign a person to the project for just a few hours a week. However, you cannot compare the capacity and availability of that person with the new allocation. As a result, you risk overbooking. In Primetric, you can both add a part-time allocation to a person and verify whether he has a utilization for it. 

Primetric provides users with the information on scheduled utilization for resource planning purposes
Scheduled utilization in Primetric

Jira resource planning - summary

While Jira undoubtedly can handle some simple resource planning, it is only a reasonable choice for those wishing to break down particular projects into tasks. Additionally, even doing that may be tricky, as JIRA does not store numerous key information and, as a result, may lead to incorrect conclusions. 

However, while Jira itself does not have what it takes for resource planning, it is definitely a perfect tool for integrations. In the case of Primetric, they can be completed in a blink of an eye. How? Book a demo and find out.

Arkadiusz Terpiłowski

Co-Founder

Arkadiusz is Head of Growth and Co-founder at Primetric. Prior to that, Arkadiusz was at the helm of his own software development company where he oversaw operations. A great enthusiast of process improvements, his personal mission is to make software companies more profitable and efficient on their path to growth.

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