The Jira Project Reporting Academy is a series of articles that will show how to build a dashboard of project reports in Jira using the integration between eazyBI and Projectrak (formerly Profields); in this post we'll explain how to generate charts and diagrams combining data from Jira projects.
Remember how in the previous step I had created a grid with the essential data that I as Project Manager need in order to keep the budget of my Jira project under control:
With this grid, it’s really simple to see:
What budget is remaining.
How many hours have been spent in the project.
However, a grid is a cold-not-cool way to show the information, and it only takes some additional work to create a visualization that’s much more interesting to see. Particularly if you’re interested in keeping your client informed!
A chart is better
A grid allows us to read and interpret the actual data, but a chart is much more effective: it allows us to understand the situation without any doubt and without any effort of interpretation. It’s also much easier to remember!
The use of colors and the automatic comparison of values in a chart that our brain does when processing the image allows us to have a glance and understand if things are working out as they should.
The objective then is transform the grid in a Gauge chart, a specific chart that allows to combine actual measures with a projected total and visualize the result at a glance.
I love this diagram because it gives both the value and the reference: I can immediately read the hours spent vs the remaining hours, the budget used compared with the estimated budget, and a last comparison with the estimated hours versus the hours already used. All these comparisons allow me to determine if the situation is OK or whether I have to start taking actions to drive the project back on the right track.
Building the project Gauge chart
Starting from the previous grid, select the Gauge Tabto transform the grid in your first chart.
After this step, I still have to combine pairs of values in order to visualize the relationship between the current and the maximum.
Hovering over the Hours spent Gauge chart, doing right click displays a drop down where can be setted the Gauge Limit:
For the hours spent, I’m just setting an abstract benchmark of 5,000 hours that I’m just used to see in all of my projects. 5,000 hours are about three resources full-time for a year, so this gauge is pretty much about having a bird’s eye view of how much commitment this project is taking. What I certainly don’t want is to have a lower limit exceeded before the project is over, but you can set any limit that works better for you.
Once the upper limit is there, I’ll be able to see how hours spent increase.
Right afterwards I’ll move to the next gauge, right click select again its Gauge Limit. Only this time the limit is the budget stored in Projectrak.
The ability to decide exactly which two data points I want to compare is a very important feature of eazyBI. In this case, we’re comparing two Projectrak fields: the cumulative cost that adds the cost of every issue in the project with the budget we have manually set at the outset.
But I can also set it in the opposite direction to show the remaining budget. Note that the configuration options are identical to the gauge above, but my original data point is the difference between the budget and the current cost.
Here is the result! Impressive, right?
Point of attention: In this chart you can see both situations:
Obviously, I have created this double representation of the same information to show how versatile the tool is and how it meets anybody’s needs. You get to choose whether the bottle is half full or half empty!
In the next article of the Jira Projects Reporting Academy I will show other types of charts keep building vital reporting pieces towards the Project Manager dashboard. Stay Tuned!
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