Time is money. While this is a short and very familiar phrase to almost anyone in the world in who-knows-how-many languages, today it is more true than it ever was. When it comes to handling business matters, team management and task management, inadequate time management can cost you a lot.
By ‘a lot’ we mean something seriously big – from a good chunk of revenue to business as such. That’s right, you can lose business, if you don’t manage your time right. The negative effect of poor time management grows exponentially, when you manage a team of employees handling tasks for you. That is, the more time gets wasted, the more money goes down the drain.
Today, in the age of technological advancement and informational technologies, businesses have been offered a solution – team and task management platforms. There are rather many tools available, both free and paid, that provide users with a wide range of features to help them stay on track, while working towards the set goals.
As we’ve discussed in one of the previous articles, there is a system known as Jira. It’s one of the most comprehensive task management platforms today and the one on the cheaper side, which is its additional advantage. While you can use Jira’s workflows for a number of functions, from timeline monitoring to project progress check, one of its greatest features is time tracking.
You can have the most incredible projects in the world, the ones that might bring global change in case of success. But, if you don’t manage to complete them in time, they will not rise up to the prominence level you’d want them to.
Moreover, you will spend a lot more money, while time will simply be ticking away, right through your weekly, monthly and annual reports. You clearly want to avoid this. Therefore, buckle up, sit tight and hold onto your seat, because you just got aboard the “Jira Time-Tracking Rollercoaster” and, oh, what a ride this is going to be!
Jira, Time Tracking and Agile Teams
When it comes to agile teams, time tracking is particularly crucial. Even though not all users of Jira belong to agile teams, there are tons and tons of agile companies that love everything about this platform. The importance of time tracking in agile processes is comprised in one simple thing: it allows for triangulation.
Provision of realistic estimates is one of the hardest tasks project managers from all around the world face. But, if you take statistics and add time tracking to it, you can now compare current tasks with similar ones that were accomplished by your team previously. Therefore, you get a better idea of what time you might need to complete this or that.
Moreover, in Jira you can automate your time tracking using various power-ups. This way you can just set the platform up, so it starts tracking time, when you need it to and not bother about making any manual inputs. This means more time for your developers or other specialists, who can simply focus on their particular duties without interrupting on turning time tracker on and off.
You should note, however, that it may take some time before your team starts tracking time effectively. It may also be a good idea to make use of some gamification techniques to stir up their interest and passion in proper time tracking.
Using Jira Time Tracking Reports
While Jira is a very complex platform that provides managers with an incredible amount of features to help them build a more productive and effective team, we’re now talking time tracking only. There are a number of cases, when tracking time on this platform can be quite useful. Some of them include:
- Provision of reports on time spent on each project and issue
- Generation of customer invoices and timesheets
- Connection to payment processes for contractors and clients alike
- Work assessment and allocation based on reporting in real time
- Triangulation encouragement, which will allow making more precise estimates by reviewing similar projects completed in the past
- Creation of visualizations of time spending across various projects
- Integration with third-party tools for future time tracking and planning
Enabling Time Tracking in Jira
First of all, you should know that time tracking in Jira is enabled by default. Therefore, unless you have disabled it, you don’t need to bother turning it on. However, if you need to turn time tracking of at the end of the day, you will need to have admin rights first, and then take all of the steps described below.
How Do You Disable Time Tracking in Jira?
It’s simple, but if you’ve never done it, you might want to save a few minutes and just do it according to an instruction:
1. Go to the Settings tab;
2. Proceed to Issues;
3. Then, go to Issue Features;
4. After that, go to Time Tracking;
5. Once you’re there, just click the Deactivate button to turn time tracking is off.
If you’re concerned that this is going to harm your existing data or affect it in any other negative way, don’t worry, because everything will remain as it is.
How Do You Enable Time Tracking in Jira?
Now, if at some point you have disable time tracking on the platform, but want to turn it back on, here’s what you will have to follow the same steps described above with only one difference: instead of hitting the Deactivate button, you need to click Activate. And that’s it, your time tracking is back on and you can track your team’s time, as you need.
Configuring Time Tracking in Jira
Time tracking settings configuration isn’t hard and you’ll see it once you get to it. So, once again, go to Settings->Issues->Issue Features->Time Tracking, then scroll all the way down, press the Edit Global Settings button, and proceed to selecting formats and values for the following indexes:
- Working hours per day
- Working days per week
- Time display format
- Default unit for time-traсking (minutes, hours, days or weeks)
- Copying of comments to work description
If you’re not the original creator of the Jira account you’re managing, you might need to configure Work On Issues permissions, as well. In order to do this, you will have to:
- Click the permission scheme link on the Time Tracking settings page
- Find the permission scheme related to your project and then click the Permissions link
- Once you’re on the Edit Permissions page, you are able to review your team’s users, groups and project roles with a permission to Work On Issues. If you want to add users to this permission, you should find the Add button in the Operations column and click it.
Speaking of permissions, there are five of them related to time tracking:
- Work on issues: the user can log work on an issue, such as creating a worklog
- Delete all worklogs: the user can delete worklog entries created by anybody on the team
- Delete own worklogs: the user can remove worklog entries created by them
- Edit all worklogs: the user can edit worklogs created by anybody on the team
- Edit own worklogs: the user can edit worklogs created by them
Now, all of the above is related to the embedded Jira time tracking feature. In case you want to integrate a time tracking power-up into your account, you will also need to go to the Time Tracking settings page to configure it.
Time Tracking, Jira and Vectorly – Getting the Most Out of Your HR
Jira has proved to be one of the most comprehensive project management systems today. But, even though it has its own set of very helpful features, the Atlassian Marketplace offers thousands of power-ups you can integrate into your account to emphasize on the most crucial processes in your team’s work.
Speaking of that, proper time tracking is a huge asset, as we’ve mentioned in the beginning of this piece. The better your team manages its time, the better ROI you get.
But it takes more than just tracking time spent on one task or another. In order to make the mechanism work properly, you must understand how your team functions.
This includes the knowing of your employees’ talents, performance, productivity, strengths and weaknesses among other things. Sounds like a lot for simple time tracking, right? Luckily, we have developed a tool that will help you do all of that within one framework.
Vectorly will help you to not only track your team’s performance, productivity, time and other important metrics, while managing its work in Jira, but it will actually help you get the big picture of your situation over the set period (day, week, month, quarter or year) and actually make a forecast for further work.
Moreover, this tool is meant to help your team members grow, while fulfilling their work duties. That is, after figuring out what skills and knowledge should be improved for an employee’s better productivity and performance in the future, you can set tasks that will help them fill in the gaps, while doing their job.
How does that link to time tracking? You can simply see how much time a worker has spent on a task, compare it to the data collected from other team members and see what needs improvement and why.
Vectorly essentially provides you with an insight into how well or poorly your team does its work and make decisions based on data, avoiding as much bias as possible. And the best thing is that you don’t need to download additional software, but rather integrate it with your Jira account as a power-up. It’s available for free on the Atlassian Marketplace and you can also sign up for a free trial at Vectorly.team.