6 Jira reports for multiple projects to make data-driven decisions

Leo D. Murillo
Mar 19, 2020 5:00:00 PM

The project information stored in Jira is valuable for your business intelligence. This post will show you six hands-on examples of reports for different projects, how to boost your Jira reports for multiple projects and your business, and how to start making data-driven decisions based on visual information.

What will you learn from this blog post?

  1. Common consequences of wrong project tracking.
  2. What is a project report overview report?
  3. How to make project report overviews?
  4. Examples of project overview reports in Jira.
  5. BONUS: Welcome to the project automation in Jira.

The main responsibility of a Project Manager is making decisions based on reliable data by keeping detailed track of projects. That's why relying on memory is the single most critical mistake they can make. Of course, they might cope with 8 projects, products, and/or teams, but imagine when there are 35 to 130 different initiatives—that sounds like trouble.

There’s a limit to human memory. Given that the Working Memory span relies on only 15 seconds to process relevant information (without rehearsals) to make it to the Long-Term Memory, imagine how much information needs to be processed.

Counting with a strong visual component when overseeing dozens of projects is crucial to not quickly lose track of the differences between them and reinforce our memory span. After all, we are just humans.

What are the most common consequences of inadequate tracking of projects?

  •    Sending emails to the wrong team.
  •    Mixing up close deadlines for different projects.
  •    Wrong calculation of each project budget.
  •    Start presentations for the board without a clear picture of what will be discussed.

To avoid the low-value research, the last-minute digging for data that should be available at first sight, and similar time-consuming activities, relying on some kind of reporting simple enough to be used as a map would be, at least, essential.

What's a project report overview?

Project report overviews are a solution for mapping the performance of multiple projects. They are simple reports in table format displaying information about different projects. Each row of this table belongs to a project, and one column is for each piece of project information, including team members, KPIs, assets, deadlines, or any other type of key data.

Project overviews should change with the context, and leaders must define what data points should be captured, always aiming to find the balance between complete and simple information.

Check for another option: Display project-specific information about multiple projects in a Jira dashboard.

Why should you make an overview of the project report in Jira?

VPs of Engineering, Product Managers, and Program Managers whose teams work with Jira tend to create project summaries on Confluence pages despite the difficulty in structuring the information there to make it complete yet digestible.

That's why we recommend creating these project summaries on Jira, directly where the information is stored, and everything happens, despite it also has several blockers:

  •    Since Jira doesn’t support project information, data must be manually entered.
  •    Manually-entered data is immediately outdated.
  •    Data from external sources requires the use of third-party gadgets.

An important alternative is to create project summaries in Jira, using Projectrak (formerly Profields), which immediately allows to:

  •    Watch the development of the project/product status at a glance.
  •    Share the e-mail format with anyone, either inside or outside your organization.
  •    You can benefit from the overviews even if you’re not a Confluence customer.
  •    Having a project overview based on real-time data about your projects.
  •    Including external databases or third-party tools.
  •    Creating dynamic overviews with email subscriptions.

Create reports in Jira for multiple projects with Projectrak's macros for Confluence >>

Start making data-driven decisions based on reports for multiple projects in Jira

For a better explanation, we have compiled six examples of project report overviews for multiple projects that can be used in different circumstances and organizational settings to track adequate project reporting and make data-driven decisions: from IT, innovation, and financial departments to customer-facing projects, product development, and even C-level executives.

On the other hand, if you are looking for other project reporting options in Jira, you can read more about them in this Apwide article: options to be displayed in Jira dashboards. 

6 Jira project report for multiple projects to make data-driven decisions in Jira

For each of the following examples, we’ll indicate what types of project custom fields have been used. Whenever script fields are used, we’ll link to Projectrak's Documentation Center so you can recreate the field in your instance without coding a single line.

1. Budget monitoring and control in Jira projects

All project data in Projectrak can be easily accessed from the link provided at the top of the subscription email

All project data in Projectrak (formerly Profields) can be easily accessed from the link provided at the top of the subscription email

When to use it: Tracking how much your team has spent within your projects is critical in any project based on an initial budget with an internal or external customer. The beauty of this report for budget tracking is how simple it is! You can also create a fourth column with the remaining budget using a simple calculation.

Difficulty: Low.

How to build it:

  •     Project Name: Native.
  •     Budget: Numeric.
  •     Incurred Cost: Cumulative. In our instance, the "Incurred Cost" column shows, per each project, the sum of the numeric field named "Cost" of each issue within each project.

2. Overview of Projects for each Program Component

Projectrak's program components

When to use it: Companies with formal innovation programs may run them in Jira. In this case, it’s useful to have a simple oversight of the number of innovation projects for each program in the portfolio, together with their current phase (we borrowed the status from the Stage Gate model) and how much investment has been made until now. The total number of open stories is used here as a proxy for how large the project's current effort is.

Difficulty: Medium.

How to build it:

  •    Project Name: Native.
  •    Program Name: Project picker.
  •    Current phase: Status.
  •    Total Open Stories: Script field.
  •    Investment to date: Similar to the previous overview, in our instance, the "Investment to date" field shows the sum of each field "Investment" from each issue within each project.

3. Identifying the main information for each ITSM project

Handling ITSM projects with Projectrak

When to use it: Companies with large IT departments relying on ITIL or any other ITSM framework identify different processes for the services they provide to the entire company in their IT Service catalog. Having the catalog in Jira with the amount of ongoing work and a team responsible for supporting it can be very useful to keep things tight.

Difficulty: High

How to build it:

  •    Project Name: Native.
  •    Total unresolved Issues: Script field.
  •    Service manager: User picker (single selection.)
  •    Level 2 Team & Level 3 Team: User picker (multiple selection.)

4. Tracking Products as they were projects

Managing support packs with Projectrak

When to use it: In a company that manages several products or any other company with a microservices architecture, having an overview of every product team can be very beneficial for general oversight and key decisions regarding resourcing and velocity.

Another solution to having control over each version of your products (in the case you are using each project as a product) is taking advantage of the Release View.

Difficulty: Low

How to build it:

  •    Product: Project Name (Native.)
  •    Status: Status field.
  •    Open issues: Script field.
  •    Last released name: Script field.
  •    Last release date: Script field.
  •    Bitbucket repository: Text field.
  •    Blocking bugs in QA: Script field.

5. How to monitor on-demand support packs

On-demand support packs with ProjectrakWhat's a Support Pack? >>

When to use it: Consultancy companies who offer time from their experts to be consumed on demand by their customers can automate most of the administration with Projectrak, as we do in Deiser. That includes having a complete overview of all the existing support pools.

Difficulty: Medium

How to build it:

  •    Customer: Text.
  •    Lead: Native.
  •    Pack Size: Numeric.
  •    Total time spent: Cumulative field.
  •    Remaining time: Script field.
  •    Expiration date: Date picker.
  •    Expired: Script field.

6. Tracking projects in Jira

How to modify custom properties for generic projects in Jira

When to use it: This is the most generic example, It will usually be useful in any situation where the organization spans a large number of activities with different goals and priorities. In other words, if you have more than 100 Jira projects aligned with different types of activities, you can leverage a summary of this type to inventory what’s going on across the board.

Difficulty: Low.

How to build it:

  •    Project Name: Native.
  •    Type: Native.
  •    Category: Native.
  •    Status: Status.
  •    Priority: Priority.
  •    Lead: Native.

As can be seen, applying these simple practices on project tracking across multiple projects using Jira and Projectrak will make it easier to boost project management abilities and enhance your company's business intelligence. This will allow you to make more reliable decisions based on data provided directly from where the actual work happens: in Jira.

If you have more doubts about implementing these tricks, please contact us. Even better, if you are looking for ways to automate the updates of project data in Jira to make faster data-driven decisions, check the e-book we have prepared with seven use cases of Automation with Projectrak, which you can download by clicking the button below.

This blog post is the product of a collaboration between Jaime Capitel and Leo Díaz, with the support of the Product and Marketing teams.

Get automated project updates in Jira

Get automated project updates in Jira

If you already use Jira and Projectrak to track your projects, you should start saving time by automating this process.

Get a free copy of this e-book with seven use cases to learn how to save time and build automated project reporting for multiple projects to better visualize your work's progress.


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