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How to manage time off in Jira projects

It goes without saying that the success of a project heavily relies on good team coordination. For that to go smoothly, all absences and their possible impact on the project should be thoroughly considered.

Businesses use different methods for organizing time-off calendars where employees note when they will be absent. Excel is one of the tools utilized for managing holiday plans. However, since it’s not integrated with any other system, it increases the likelihood of data discrepancies when transferring information between different systems. When Excel spreadsheets are stored locally on individual computers or shared network drives, it restricts accessibility as there is no option to edit them for more than one person at a time. 

Planning days off with a Jira app 

However, there are also Excel alternatives: Jira add-ons such as Team Planner - Resource Planning and Capacity Planning. Team Planner is a real-time collaboration planning tool with an option to mark users’ days off directly on the plan. Changes can be made simultaneously, so the plan can be easily edited by multiple users at the same time. 

Users can also mark days when technically they won’t be absent from work, but they have a day full of meetings or other activities that will make them practically unavailable. You improve your planning sessions by first marking all planned absences and availabilities. This way, you can make sure that the project plan takes into account potential constraints of team members, and how much capacity there really is left.

Two ways to plan days off with a planning Jira app

When it comes to planning holidays, you can choose from two different approaches: create a separate plan that will only include information about the holidays of users that have been added to the plan, or allow your team members to mark days off directly on the project’s plan.

  • Separate holiday plan 

You can create a separate plan that will only show the holidays of different team members. They can add comments and additional information, e.g. how certain the absence is or whether it’s a full day off or only a part of it.

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With its clear visual representation, the plan makes it easy for you to spot when absences are starting to pile up on specific days. You can then take proactive action in advance and ensure that no crucial resources are left understaffed in any area.

  • Adding days off to a project’s plan

Team members can also mark days off directly on the project’s plan. Then, it will be possible to clearly see how the absence will impact all other tasks and, as a result, the project. 

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This approach is particularly useful for unexpected absences and illnesses. As the app is integrated with Jira, you can quickly assess how the absence impacts particular tasks. It allows you to react immediately, and make necessary changes if needed: reschedule tasks or extend deadlines. Additionally, it’s a convenient way to ensure that you have all the required specialists available on days when their expertise is crucial.


You can also combine the two approaches and mark holidays in both places - choose whatever suits your team best.


In today's business world, where most, if not all projects rely on collaboration among many individuals and involve interdependent tasks, proper holiday planning is essential. As the absence of team members can significantly impact the work of others, efficient planning becomes crucial. By transitioning from traditional holiday Excel plans, which have their drawbacks, to a Jira app, you can choose between creating a separate holiday plan or directly adding days off to the project's plan. In either case, you can take your planning process to the next level, ensuring smoother coordination and improved visibility for all team members involved.



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