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Start/End Dates vs Target Start/End. Pros & Cons across Cloud?

Dean Shirley
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May 03, 2023

We've used Target Start/End dates for years (on project Epics). We've configured our Advanced Roadmaps to display this information in the Gantt as well. 

Is there a benefit to using Start/End Date fields over the Target Start/End date fields across Jira or in Advanced Roadmaps?

Why I ask...
I know Roadmap (image below) is available in each Project and uses the Start/End date fields. If we switched away from Target fields across our org and in Advanced Roadmaps (Plans), could a person update the dates in the Roadmap area and that information would carry over to Advanced Roadmaps?


Use case:

Scrum master uses project Roadmap functionality to update Start/End Date fields on Epics.

Program Manager builds Advanced Roadmap (Plan) to read Start/End Date fields. 


Any functionality concerns? Most of our scrum masters have learned how to make updates in Advanced Roadmaps then publish, so maybe we don't need Project Roadmaps. I didn't want to leave functionality on the table. That's all. 

If this works, we can switch and the simplicity of Roadmaps will carry over to AR training overhead as we scale. Thanks

Roadmap in a project.png

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Walter Buggenhout _ACA IT_
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May 04, 2023

Hi @Dean Shirley and welcome to the Community!

Long story short: all date fields you mention are just custom fields used on issues. If you use different start and end date fields in the basic roadmap vs advanced roadmaps, you end up with 4 date fields on your issues.

From the field names, you may get a different interpretation of the fields. Target start may sound as a start date you aim for, while dropping the target part may suggest an actual start date. You may want to use both to explicitly compare your plan with how things turn out in reality, but that is very much an agreement you should reach within your organisation and/or team(s).

If I could choose, I would definitely use the same date fields across the basic and advanced roadmaps. Simply because that would lead to a consistent planning experience: no matter where you update the timeline, it will always display the same information across the board. And that can only help avoid confusion.

Hope this helps!

Dean Shirley
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May 04, 2023

Thanks @Walter Buggenhout _ACA IT_ !!!
Always good to get a second opinion. 
We began using "Target" to avoid the confusion when speaking to stakeholders, just as you mentioned. Changing an entire org from one set of fields to another will be a stretch goal and I will gladly "TARGET" for another date. 

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