MS Project-like resource management


this is an issue that keeps on appearing with our clients: they would like a tool for resource management, which would have a structure of issues you could plan resources from (Ok, Structure from ALM works does something like that), but then still see the members' allocations, capacities, a roadmap and so on - like in Tempo Planner or BigGannt. What was the closest you got to such a solution?


2 answers

That's a problem I haven't been able to completely solve either. Tempo Planner is very good, but it's feels more focused at issue-level. Our project managers were not convinced, mainly because it looked too complicated for them and they couldn't see exactly the views that they wanted (but were unable to explain exactly what it is they wanted). They ended up using Float instead.

I think that's a drawback of using something as flexible JIRA as the core for everything, it scares people off a bit.

I've used Structure before. It's REALLY powerful when set up properly, with synced structures based on issue links. You have your requirements in one "portfolio" project, linked to Epics in development projects, linked to Stories that in turn have subtasks. They would all go to their proper place in the structure hierarchy at creation, and moving them around in the structure would update the issue and epic links accordingly.

But you need someone who's really good with JQL to create and maintain the synced filters, and PMs are not often up to the task. Furthermore, it requires every single person who works with the issues to really use issue links properly. If somebody messes up, the issue is synced and goes elsewhere and causes a big mess. PMs were understandably not interested on playing structure police and watch what everybody was doing. I would set them up with something that they could not maintain or modify on their own, so they'd lose interest and move on to other things.

I feel that Structure mixed with Tempo Planner would have been ideal. I consider those "advanced" plugins though, in the sense they require the users to be JIRA-proficient above the average. I think maybe the top 5% of our user base would have been able to manage it to its full potential. I guess it's like driving a Ferrari: you don't let just about anyone behind the wheel.

BigPicture is the best fit here. It's BigGantt with roadmapping, risk manegement and precisely resource management.

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