What is the resource management process?
In general, the resource management process includes planning, scheduling and allocating people, technology, and money to a project. In other words, it is all about assigning resources to a project that requires them to succeed.
Why is resource management in Jira important?
Today, resource planning is no longer completed on paper. Instead, many companies seek tools that can help them do that online, based on the information already available in the system - and that system is often Jira. Therefore, many people want to stick with it for resource management, too.
However, Jira was created for task and project management. As such, doing resource allocation in Jira proved to be a very challenging task.
Can Jira be used for resource management?
The answer to this question is yes, but only on a very basic level.
What features for resource management are included in Jira?
As we mentioned before, Jira was initially meant to handle tasks, team members and project management. As a result, it’s suited to handle low-level project management consisting of:
- separate tasks,
- short-term resource allocation,
- Jira time tracking,
- day-to-day responsibilities,
and other short-term obligations.
In short, resource planning in Jira allows project managers to create a project, divide it into subsequent tasks and assign people to it (but without knowing what their capacity or experience is, as Jira does not store such information). However, these features are not enough for those interested in resource planning for project management, as they do not provide project managers with any information on resource availability or human resources in general. Additionally, Jira also can't help you analyze the time tracked by your employees - Jira timesheets are very limited.
What features for resource management Jira does not have?
When it comes to long-term resource planning in Jira, the tool turns out to be quite lacking. That’s because it does not have features such as:
- capacity planner with information on specialist’s absences and work in other projects,
- project portfolio management with an overview of all the projects at once,
- flexible, drag and drop charts (i.e., Gantt charts),
- skill management with information on employee’s skills, experience, certifications, etc.,
- calendar with information on public holidays and other events that may interfere with project schedule,
- project finances, i.e. estimates, wages, overheads, and more.
As a result, while Jira resource management is possible, it is based on a very limited amount of data. Consequently, it may turn out to be inaccurate to say the least, or even completely misleading.
Resource management in Jira - plugins
As Jira is not suitable for resource and project management, the vendors have decided to offer numerous plugins and additional tools that can be integrated with it and serve as a seamless and valuable addition to the system. You can find them on the Atlassian Marketplace.
The most popular resource management tools in Jira include:
Primetric is the most comprehensive resource planning app that can be easily integrated with Jira. This solution was created to import all the necessary information from Jira and use them to create accurate and up-to-date plans for any operations and team members.
Primetric - basic features
Primetric’s resource management offers:
- flexible, editable Gantt charts calendars for both people and projects,
- information on leaves, absences and public holidays that need to be included in the project schedule,
- comprehensive budgeting based on information on wages and tracked hours, as well as project finances (incomes, overheads, etc.),
- smart drag and drop allocation with a search bar that can help project managers to look for the right person for the job and manage resource allocation,
- automatically calculated capacity for team members (absences and holidays included),
- advanced and customizable reports on key indicators, including benches, overtimes and overbooking,
- skill management feature 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. You can book a demo to learn more about it.
Is Primetric an add-on?
No - Primetric is a separate solution that can be integrated with Jira to import data in real-time. Still, that’s just another of its advantages.
Thanks to being a separate system, Primetric is not limited by Jira’s structure, all while benefiting from all the data gathered in the program. It’s a more flexible approach that makes it much easier for the project managers to:
- monitor and accept leave requests from team members,
- track time and profitability in billable projects,
- check for public holidays before they interfere with the project,
- create innovative projects with brand new, flexible structure that is not available in Jira resource management,
- browse employee’s skills, experience and certifications,
- plan and monitor long-term projects,
- allocate resources.
You don’t have to take our word for it - you can test Primetric now and see it for yourself.
Tempo Planner is definitely one of the most popular add-ons for Jira resource management. But does its reputation matter when it comes to basic features?
Tempo Planner - basic features
Tempo Planner adds to Jira resource management features such as:
- calendar with absences,
- capacity management,
- employee management with roles,
- team management,
- advanced reports.
Tempo Planner - pros and cons
As demonstrated in the list above, Tempo Planner definitely expands Jira resource planning and it can help you allocate resources. They are definitely enough for general mid-term planning, but, when analyzed in detail, it turns out to be somewhat lacking.
The customers who claim to have used the tool reported that the majority of its features were limited. For example:
- reports are described as “too general” and “not customizable”,
- planning can only be done for a full period of time (i.e., day, month), and creating part-time allocations is difficult,
- time tracking is, reportedly, not user friendly,
- work cannot be planned for the sprints,
- long-term planning is not possible, because the tool is only based on issues created in Jira,
- The integration with Jira resource management is faulty and often doesn’t work as intended,
- it cannot reflect any other project structure than the one already present in Jira,
- no demand planning or role planning.
Additionally, the tool is not complete on its own. The provider of the solution separated another set of features into an additional tool, Tempo Timesheets, which you can add to the basic solution - of course, for a price.
Therefore, your project manager may find the tool incomplete if your business does not have some extra money in its account.
As clearly shown by its name, BigGantt is a Jira resource management tool that is based on popular Gantt charts. However, is such a chart really everything we need to succeed in the project?
BigGantt - basic features
All of the BigGantts’s features are based on, unsurprisingly, the Gantt chart. These features include:
- visualizing the Jira tasks on a Gantt chart,
- showing employees’ capacity,
- time tracking,
- progress monitoring.
However, as demonstrated by the list above, BigGantts lacks some more analytical approach; therefore, reports and detailed calendars are missing in the tool.
BigGantt - pros and cons
As far as the Gantt chart itself is concerned, BigGantt does a very good job. According to the opinions, creation of tasks and allocation is simple - provided you do that from scratch. However, when a Jira integration is in question, the problems with this resource planning tool begin.
According to the users, BigGantt’s performance suffers because of:
- limited reports,
- the inability to reflect different project structures,
- troubles with long-term allocations,
- no demand or role planning.
Many users on Atlassian Marketplace have reported problems with the integration that should be the backbone of the tool. In many cases either the imported data creates strange allocations, or they are not visible altogether.
Additionally, according to the user’s opinions on Atlassian Marketplace, BigGantt reportedly requires third-party cookies to work properly. This raised user’s concern about their privacy and security - and many have admitted they find this policy burdensome.
Activity Timeline is a perfect tool for arranging all the tasks and people involved in the project. Still, is such a timeline really enough to capture the complexity of Jira resource planning?
Activity Timeline - basic features
As indicated in the name, Activity Timeline is based on a user-friendly schedule that shows all the activities arranged in a calendar. As such, the tool allows users to:
- display work and availability,
- manage capacity and workload,
- planning reports, timesheets, and tracking reports.
Therefore, it definitely has what it takes to manage resources in a stable and unchanging environment. But what about a more dynamic one?
Activity Timeline - pros and cons
First of all, there’s no denying that Activity Timeline has a very transparent interface. It’s definitely capable of converting the data from Jira resource management into more user-friendly forms. However, it is missing a few key features that could expand its potential even further.
Right now, Activity Timeline does not have any financial features, making it difficult for service companies to estimate their profits before the project starts. Additionally, it also has just a few basic reports (capacity and progress), which makes it difficult to analyze the project on a more specific level. However, there’s no denying that the features that are already there, provide the users with a reasonable level of resource management services.
Still having questions?
We can show you even more useful tricks - of course, if you give us a chance to share them with you.
You can take a look at other articles on Jira and its plugins, such as Jira time tracking plugins.