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How to stay on top of your time

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Peter Drucker once said: "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it", and here at Actonic, we can't agree more. Time is money, and in over 20 years in IT Consulting we have learnt to treat it as the most valuable asset. If you are trying to build an efficient IT infrastructure, you will invariably have to decide on the optimal way of tracking time in Jira. As agile technologies are gradually conquering the world, project teams have to quickly respond to changing business requirements and allocate their time resources more effectively.

Creating worktime reports in Jira may be time-consuming, however, it is key to analysing the team efficiency and staying on track with their progress, which is absolutely essential for project managers. One of the main challenges that many project managers face on a daily basis is finding a way to manage the progress of their project without micromanaging, as most project managers simply don't have enough resources to monitor the individual progress of each member of their team. Default Jira reports allow you to keep track of the logged time for the whole project or for one user, but it is obviously not enough to get useful insights or make important business decisions. For many companies, the solution lies with time-tracking apps like FastTrack.

There is a great deal of time-tracking add-ons with varying levels of detail currently on the market.  However, for many companies, this amount of detail is excessive and may be distracting rather than helpful. We know for sure that sometimes simplicity is all that matters, that is why we have developed FastTrack - a quick and easy tool which enables you to keep track of the time you or your teams log and create automated reports in a couple of clicks.

We use FastTrack ourselves and absolutely love it for the unique combination of clarity and simplicity. It does exactly what it promises - tracks time fast. Apart from that, it boasts plenty of unique functions which cannot be found in default Jira reports. Thus, we have introduced the option of filtering data by start and end dates, allowing you to get a report for any period you need: days, weeks, months, etc. In the example below, we set the dates from 1 April 2019 to 12 June 2019.

Image: Filtering data by start and end date

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Using JQL you can find any user- or project-related data you need and group the results by multiple criteria. For example, check how much time has been logged by Jane Doe and Max Mustermann for a specific project, then calculate the total amount of time required to complete this project and download your report as a CSV or PDF file to share with your clients and stakeholders — all in just a few clicks. Moreover, now you don’t have to create a report from scratch every month — with FastTrack you can make a template with all the data you need (scope, dates, columns and rows) and download an automatically generated report within seconds.

The possibility to group results by different criteria is absolutely vital for project managers, as it allows for different levels of analysis. Tracking time at the task level will help you allocate resources and budget for similar projects in the future, tracking time at the employee level will help you assess the efficiency and workload of your team while tracking time at the project level will give you a general overview of your progress.

Depending on your business goals, FastTrack enables you to create custom reports by adding extra columns, such as “Summary”, “Reporter”, “Assignee” etc., to your timesheet. For example, see how we extended our Jira report with a Summary column:

Image: Extending a report

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All in all, FastTrack is an invaluable tool if you are a project manager, as it allows you to keep track of the time spent on individual tasks and the whole project. Such visibility will help you assess the accuracy of your estimates, the effectiveness of your teams and the individual contributions of each employee. You may even discover bottlenecks and get useful insights into how you can optimize processes.

However, FastTrack is useful not only for project managers but also for employees, as it provides a clear overview of the hours they've logged in a calendar format and allows them to enter, delete and edit their worklogs within seconds. It will also help them organize their work better, prevent them from side-tracking on non-critical tasks and make them focus more on high-priority issues.

Image: Worklog overview

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Now that you have measured it, you can manage it. Save time, hit deadlines and report easily with FastTrack by Actonic. Download a free trial version now and enjoy all the benefits of this truly intuitive app to make sure that you are always on top of your time.

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1 comment

Looks good , I hope it will maintain its simplicity of use, comparison to other similar add-ons, as mentioned in the article.

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