Jira Project Reporting Academy 3: Create a Gantt chart for projects

Fabio Genovese
May 30, 2019 4:30:00 PM

The Jira Project Reporting Academy is back! If you have been following this course, you're closer to learning how to effectively creating reports in Jira and building an organic ways to centralize project data and visualize it with Projectrak (formerly Profields) and eazyBI, especially in this chapter, where you'll learn how to create a Gantt chart for projects.

In this third fascicle of The Jira Project Reporting Academy, we're diving deeper into how to create powerful and useful reports with the integration of Projectrak and eazyBI, if this is too advanced, we'll recommend step back and read first how to set the flow of data from these two useful apps, and after how to create the first project chart, where was explained how to set of three gauge charts from the data in a simple grid, with the following result:

Gauge chart on a jira project report with Profields and eazyBI

Using this kind of chart, we can quickly understand the project's financial status. Having this in sight, we will be able to act on solid ground and have enough knowledge to build reports that help you track your project portfolio. For example, we can know whether we can add new tasks to a project or whether we should renegotiate the budget with our client first.

Project Status

But project data is completely flexible: there’s no limit to what you can build! Let’s choose project status as the data baseline to create some interesting reports.

Taking this baseline, note that we’re moving from reports about one project to reports across projects. Depending on how many projects you include, this could be a comparison between disparate projects, a program-level report, or even a portfolio-level report if you have included all your projects.

For this purpose, I’m going to define my status taxonomy as follows: ACTIVE, SUSPENDED, CLOSED, BAD PAYER, PROSPECT, RENEWAL. Although I may add new statuses as I encounter new business situations, I will classify all my projects under one and only one of these situations.

First of all, we define a new Projectrak field to store the project's status:

how to define a project status in jira

With these possible options, as shown in the following figure:

How to edit project field status in Jira with Profields

After this, we can add this new field in our project layout, making it available for all projects.

How to add a new field on a project layout in Jira Projects

Of course, you’ll then need to implement the field, entering the value needed in each project. Note that you can edit any number of projects with Bulk Operations at the same time!

Next, we switch to eazyBI to modify the import configuration so that it can read the new field as a dimension and property.

How to switch to eazyBI project custom fields from Profields

After changing the configuration, I did a new import to load the most recent data. Now, I have values for the new field, which I’ll use to segment the new measures.

On the Analyze TAB, click New Report and follow these steps:

  • Select new measures and dimensions as shown in the following figure. Project status will be the page, with the project dimension as rows. This will allow us to switch back and forth using project status as a filter.

Use the project status as a filter to switch back and forth from Profields to eazyBI easier

Next, let's select the values for the columns as shown below. In this case, I want to see the Budget.

How to see charts of project budget in Jira

Once data is on a grid, I’m ready to start creating charts. Select the Chart tab and the Pie type to see this final result:

Create charts with Jira projects information.

With this chart, I can see projects and their budgets within a given status. For example, the image shows how the budget is distributed among all active projects. Navigating through different statuses is as easy as selecting different options in the dropdown on the upper left.

Using this view, management can easily analyze how the budget is distributed in project status and decide, for example, if it’s necessary to modify budgets for suspended/bad-payer projects.

Gantt-like chart

Now, let’s move to tracking time. It’s a famous limitation that Jira doesn’t have native Gantt charts. One possible solution is to create a Gantt chart with eazyBI to obtain a chronological view of ALL projects.

First, we define two new date fields in Projectrak: the start and End dates of Projects.

How to set start date project and end date project in Jira

Now, we can define the Start and End dates of the projects. As usual, we’ll add the new fields to our Project Layout.

Information about projects in Jira

Finally, we set the values in those new fields.

When the project metadata has been implemented, we switch once again to the import data configuration in eazyBI. Once dates are set as properties, we can import them and start reporting with the new measures.

On the Analyze TAB, select New Report, with the following measures and dimensions as shown below:

Dimensions to set jira projects charts

Select the new column values. First, we create a new measure, one for the Start date and one for the End Date:

Define formulas to create charts for jira projects in jira

Then, we select them to define the new columns

How to set up charts in jira at project level

This is the resulting grid:Grid in Jira at project level

The last step is to go to the GANTT TAB to automatically read the grid data as a Gantt:

Enable gantt tabs in Jira to have jira projects charts

This report gives managers an overview of the projects and can better manage new projects, identifying when they can be scheduled without interfering with other projects.

Extra! Automate budget tracking in the Gantt chart

As a bonus step, I want to show how we can embellish the multi-project Gantt chart above, adding important information that tells us how each project is going.

For this example, I have chosen budget as the dimension that will be tracked. Let’s see the trick!

Let’s jump right into eazyBI to create a new calculated measure that will give me the percentage of the budget spent:

How to automate project budget tracking in Jira

Next, let’s add it to the grid after both date fields. Let’s see the visual output. This is a big "a-hah" moment!

How to add gantt charts project end/final date

eazyBI interprets the percentage value and displays it using colors.

Next steps

In the final lesson of the Jira Project Reporting Academy, we will show how to combine all the reports we have built into a comprehensive dashboard with vital information for a Project Manager. Stay tuned!

Create reports for projects in Jira

Start creating reports for projects in Jira

Start building the project reports you need, get valuable insights using its gadgets, and unleash the power of data across your teams.

With Projectrak, you customize project properties, manage large instances, and gain visibility without leaving aside all the possibilities with the integrations with third-party apps such as eazyBI, Custom Charts, Dashboard Hub, Power BI connector, and many more. Check all the features Projectrak offers:

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