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(This is the second part of our worklog tags series. You can read the first one here.)
Analyzing worklog reports usually provide managers with information on how their team performs and, analyzed further with other capacity manager tools, how the workload is distributed between teams, tasks, projects, etc. In a basic Jira report, however, usually, only the time data and Issues, Projects, or Jira fields are available.
But with apps and custom extra fields like tags they provide, the business value of these insights is greatly improved. Worklog tags help categorize and organize worklogs. Plus, you can add multiple tags to the worklog, so it supports multiple use cases in creating internal or business reports.
Unfortunately, Jira doesn’t offer any solution to mark worklog entries on the issue. This functionality can be added by installing one of the time-tracking plugins.
Timetracker Cloud offers a decent solution for applying tags on worklogs. Moreover, it offers dozens of reporting options to combine worklog tags and other groupings.
Adding tags to the worklogs is super easy, no matter where and how you log work — tagging is added to all worklog dialogs.
And now let's look at the use cases:
In some cases — for example, developing the same product for multiple clients or requests — you couldn’t separate efforts by projects. If you log hours spent for multiple customers within the same project or issues, then you should definitely apply tagging by customers. Having a precise overview of efforts per customer/request helps you follow the investment/income rates.
Tags: Customer1, Customer2, etc..
Goal: Measure how many hours are logged for each customer and create reports of how much time they should be billed for.
If your project requires order/feature-based invoicing, then tags work well for grouping efforts into invoices. To avoid extra work, don’t forget to discuss tagging rules with the team, and include a note in the issue description.
Tags: InvoiceNumber1, InvoiceNumber2, etc..
Persona: PO/PM, CFO
Goal: Measure how many hours are logged to each invoice and create reports of how much time should be billed.
Having multiple contracts and international clients could cause different hourly rates (based on individual agreements) and invoicing in multiple currencies. Plus, development and project management rates aren’t always the same. Providing these details helps the finance team to create invoices precisely.
Tags: USD, HUF, etc..
Persona: PO/PM, CFO
Goal: Provide information for the finance team about different billing rates
Applying an invoiced tag can help in creating the latest invoice — so your finance team won’t invoice the same work twice.
Persona: PO/PM, CFO
Goal: Avoid double-billed clients
Similarly to using tags to group efforts by types, you can create tags by regularly occurring activities. What’s the difference? You don’t need to create tags for all activity types — simply provide tags for the most frequent ones and make tagging an optional requirement on each worklog. Colleagues will definitely appreciate saving time on adding descriptions, plus you can measure hours spent on these activities.
Tags: Meeting, Research, Traveling, Lunch, Administration, Training, etc.
Persona: PO/PM, Scrum Master
Goal: Measure how many hours are logged to different ad-hoc or more general but regularly occurring activities. We can separate it from others, for example, development work in the reports. Get an overview of how much time is spent on things that are not necessarily work-related or billable.
If you want to follow time spent on different functions or product lines, create tags for each component. Overviewing efforts on larger product functionalities help you set priorities and keep the budget planned for each item.
Tags: integrations, backend, admin
Goal: Reporting efforts per product allows companies to create ROI and other financial reports.
If your team makes multiple efforts (even in multiple projects) for the same objective, you can measure and revise the progress easily by creating a report grouped by objective tags.
Tags: objective 1, objective 2, “grow product stickiness, etc.
Goal: If you set priorities among objectives and align resources, it helps you in tracking efforts and keeping the budget under the plans.
Devil is in the details, and if you want to make tagging work, you should consider a few additional tips:
don’t apply to many methods — team members are comfortable with one or two tags per worklogs
involve stakeholders (management, finance team, etc) in setting up tag structure — adding new tags and updating hundreds of worklogs could be overwhelming
organize a quick workshop with the team members and discuss how to use tags, creating a “tagging policy” is also useful
Worklog tags are extremely useful if you want to measure and report team efforts in multiple dimensions. Although it’s not included in Jira's built-in functionality, most of the time, tracking tools - such as Timetracker Cloud offers intuitive options for both tagging and reporting.
The proper usage of worklog tags supports the finance team, management, and product leadership.
Disclaimer: We are EverIT, a Silver Marketplace Partner from Hungary. Tags and billings features were recently added to our Jira Cloud app, Timetracker.
Dániel Ballabás - EverIT