Business Transformation

Strengthening project management processes with Jira Connector

November 1, 2022

Modern business processes operate at an ever-increasing speed, requiring more efficient tools to keep up with the tempo and information volumes they digest. The better project management tools you have, the more efficiently your collaboration is centralized, the better the workload is managed, the more precisely relevant cost can be allocated, and the fewer risks the project faces. At least that is our experience.

Ever since Jira Connector hit the marketplace, it has been maximizing the project management efficiency within the MS Business Central – Jira – Tempo circle. If the above issues resonate with you and you would like to improve your profitability by having better tools, then read below how your business may benefit from leveraging the possibilities of Jira Connector.

Why tools rule

A successful project leans upon the synergy between a team of professionals, the project manager, and management tools that help organize the processes within teams. And a project manager is the one responsible for monitoring the progress in project management tools, gathering the information needed to progress, modelling the project’s economics, and, most importantly, converting time to money.

Ever since Global Mediator was founded in 2012, we have been very much into Atlassian Jira as it fits perfectly with our requirements. If your team feels comfortable with agile, Jira is an exceptionally good pick. If you run a waterfall or hybrid project, Jira might work well with your team as well. Selecting a project time-tracking tool that can be later used for accounting and invoicing is also important. We use Tempo Timesheets from Atlassian as it is easily installed in Jira in any environment. And though these tools work great on their own, with Jira Connector, it is possible to add the cost component to the mix and thereby push the limits of standard solutions.

More than a standard solution

It is vital to simplify processes within teams by using shared and standardized tools. This seems indisputable, but a good deal of programs or tools often lack synchronization. To us, the option of having the team stick to using siloed tools, and struggle not to miss anything out along the way, was not acceptable. Instead, we opted for optimizing their processes by effectively joining our tools into a single integrated ecosystem. This has not only made our specialists’ and customers’ lives easier, but it has given us a much more detailed understanding of what the financial drivers are in our development organization.

“Our attempt to eliminate manual work of calculating project profitability and invoicing routine by synchronizing data from Jira, and Tempo Timesheets to MS Business Central, was a success. We aimed to expand the efficiency of project management with economical parameters, with the full ERP functionality on the side of Business Central. Our desire to make processes more comfortable and fruitful resulted in launching Jira Connector for 365 Dynamics Business Central, a product that significantly streamlines project management.”

– Anastasiia Sakhnenko, Product Owner at Global Mediator

What is it about Jira Connector?

So, what makes Jira Connector special? Jira Connector’s magic is happening under the “Safety first” slogan. Just like our other products - Meta UI and Global Galaxy - Jira Connector is strictly aligned with the highest security policies – Atlassian’s and MS Business Central’s in this case. With Jira Connector, we do not have access to customers’ data.

Automated upload of project details to Business Central

With processes, synchronized by Jira Connector, the project details from the task management system (Jira and Tempo) are automatically submitted to Business Central. We keep the project management routine inside Jira Software and add financial functionality with such instances as invoices, prices, planning lines, and billing from the standard Business Central invoicing process on top.

Consolidated information, familiar hierarchy from Jira and invoicing flow in BC

After the first synchronization, the projects and issues, as well as the worklogs and timesheets, will be imported and processed on the BC side. The projects from Jira are Jobs, Issues are Job Task Lines, and Worklogs are Job Ledger Entries. The structure and hierarchy of the epics, tasks, and sub-tasks from Jira are presented in Business Central. Also, the standard functionality of Business Central was not changed during the product development. So, what you basically get are jobs, job task lines and job journal lines with a standard flow of posting routine and creation of sales invoices. And now, with Jira Connector, you get a general overview with comprehensive, consolidated information from the 3 tools for project management (Atlassian Jira, Tempo Timesheets, and, of course, Business Central) on one page.

Personalized synchronization process

Jira Connector Setup, filled according to your business needs, will make the process of synchronization personalized (according to the project management and invoicing rules in your company), yet simple. The setup covers the period of synchronization, connection details, resources, customers, jobs, worklogs, projects, billing setup subscription information, and more. As a rule, this setup is filled on a one-off basis. Later, the synchronization aligns with the setup and can even be automated and scheduled.

Smart suggestions for billing

“Suggest Billable Lines” is Jira Connector’ functionality that helps create Billable Job Planning Lines. As worklogs are coming to a Business Central journal for automated posting routine, Jira Connector can automatically suggest billable planning lines for further invoicing based on received worklogs and project contract type.

Covering logic for various Contract types

Since Jira Connector is a one-way synchronization tool, we did our best to consider a huge variety of use cases in Jira as the master data storage and cover options of how changes are displayed in Business Central. These changes may directly affect the invoicing process, so we implemented a range of ideas that boost it. We have developed functionality based on business logic related to different Contract types such as Fixed Price, Time and Material, Time and Material Detailed, Monthly Pay, Daily Pay, and Nonbillable.

A holistic view on project data empowering more efficient decision-making

Having such information synchronized provides a great overview of the project’s progress for the management team. We have every confidence that having all project-related data (including financial details) in one place (Business Central in our case) will empower businesses to use it more efficiently for reporting and visualizing with Power Platform products (Power BI, Power Automate, Power apps), cubes, api pages, web services, and more. Presented in a user-friendly manner with Power BI such information – comprehensive, up-to-date, and synchronized – fuels financial analysis and management decision-making.

Obviously, as a modern way of synchronizing data and the automated connection between the MS Business Central – Jira – Tempo Timesheets, Jira Connector saves room and time for more important challenges than manual processing of Jira’s issues. It gives a general overview of the project management reinforced with financial details. A progressive project management tool, Jira Connector is here to drastically overhaul your project management and empower it to gain more – no matter how demanding it might be. Faster and more productive collaboration flows within teams, more consolidated data and insights, more efficiency within your Business Central – more prospects for your business.

If you are up for a discussion about how project management tools can be improved and/or have ideas that can make the way we work even better, then we would love to have that discussion. Feel free to reach out at any time.

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