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BigPicture tutorial - Dates synchronization

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So, you’re planning a project… According to many project managers, the first phase of the project management life cycle -planning -determines whether a project is successful. Also, it is one of the most challenging phases, any mistake at this stage may significantly delay the achievement of your goals. 

Tandem, created by Jira and BigPicture, can significantly simplify the planning process. However, the synchronization between these tools must be well configured to run smoothly. You need to remember to create an information bridge to read data accurately.

In this article, I will shed some light on the logic behind Start & End Date synchronization. It's the essential configuration that impacts every single work item and generates project workflow. 

Two points in time

It is important to remember that the App requires a defined start and end date in order to display a task on the timeline. Those points in time are the task's 'Start date" and 'End date' and are stored as custom fields by default. 

It's worth remembering that applying the synchronization settings will affect the entire system, regardless of a module, any change in the value of the mapped field will be reflected in Jira.

Synchronization should be done straight after app installation, in the App Configuration panel Otherwise, tasks will automatically source the creation date, as a start date with a duration period of just one day, and the end date will be unidentified, the system will automatically select the following day as the end date.

Synchronization strategies

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Synchronizing Jira Tasks with BigPicture can be really easy, as long as you map all the data correctly. 

Taking into consideration various projects' specifics, the application gives the possibility of synchronizing Start & End Date aptly with your current needs. In general, there are three strategies for task synchronization:

Two dates picker fields

If you have already planned your project based on fixed dates in Jira, such as Due dates, simply map them and BigPicture will synchronize tasks accordingly. Any date changes made in BigPicture either by inline editing or by drag & drop a task will directly change the mapped date fields in Jira. Strategy "Two dates picker fields" is also suggested, when assignees work on multiple tasks simultaneously.

Date picker field and time estimate field 

If you prefer to base scheduling on an estimated time and resource availability, by assignees working on one task at a time, choose one Date picker field and a time estimate field (Original estimate or Time spent + Remaining estimate). End or Start Date will be determined by task duration (time estimate field value). Changes made in BigPicture by dragging a task will directly change the value of a mapped time estimate field.

Example of End Date calculation:

Start Date mapped to custom StartDate
End Date mapped to Time Spent + Remaining Estimate 

Start Date = 20.12.2021
Time Spent =1d
Remaining Estimate =2d

End Date = 20.12.2021 "+" 3d = 22.12.2021 

"Not synchronized"

Option "Not synchronized" works well in Agile projects, where Sprints introduce a way to organize your workload, and dates at a single task level are needless. Simply put, when you plan to use the Gantt module and keep changes to date estimates only in BigPicture.

Keep in mind that if you map a field that's different from the one currently, the option of migrating existing values will appear. Please correctly move corresponding values to the new fields.

The general settings are applied to all tasks in the scope of the BigPicture program unless you add custom mapping for selected Projects.

Synchronization settings are done once, and they require Admin permission. 

If you want to learn more, check the video tutorial on Task Synchronization. 



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