As the business world is growing fast and huge, sometimes even consultants cannot keep everything in their strides and it becomes hard for them to plan their schedule effectively. Consultancy is a difficult job, sometimes even overwhelming: dozens of incoming or calls and emails, upcoming meetings, business trips, and consultations…
So in order to be a great consultant, you have to be a great ‘Planner’ and for this, you need the best tools like…
hmm, let us think… 🤔
In the 21th century we can use lots of different efficient tools and one of them is a well known project tracking software – Jira. So, what’s the buzz around this application, why it’s so trendy? Let us show you.
Jira allows users to plan their working process within agile project planning framework – Scrum and Kanban boards at your service.
There is no need to search for the available resources in your office or to ask the secretary to find a free person to complete a task. With Jira you may assign the needed person to the specific task immediately from your workplace.
A comprehensive view of the working process. It is very important for consultants to see all of the ongoing projects and their success in one place in order to be aware of the situation.
A variety of useful plugins for Jira may improve your working process, save a lot of time and money.
This is not a complete list of Jira’s advantages but we will cover some of the crucial things.
It’s up to you which project planning method to choose, but if you need a flexible one, take a look at agile planning and don’t be afraid to choose Jira as an organizing tool. Consultancy Services have many different projects in queue so the simplest way to track them is to choose Scrum or Kanban boards in Jira.
Kanban board is comfortable as it shows all available tasks in the selected project and explains in what progress status every issue is.. but consultancy tasks are very different, so issue types and statuses are numerous and may become overwhelming.
It’s hard to understand whether a task is in progress or completed and what is the timeframe? Everything is just mixed.
Not very attractive, yeah?
Another possible option is Scrum planning. You may organize your time in sprints and create different issues within them, but Scrum has quite fixed procedures and artifacts that have to be followed and it might be difficult to do it, with such changing type of work as consultancy.
For the most demanding, Jira made a Next-gen project type, which allows to combine the previous ones and add some custom features.
You may also try other Classic Business Templates.
Planning work with Jira is advantageous, but what if we say, that you may receive even more adjustments except for main Jira features?
It’s very important for the consultancy companies to have a clear view of their work, with a maximum flexibility and capability to adjust the schedule as easy as it could be.
There is great news for you: if you use Activity Timeline, you have a comprehensive planner inside your Jira. It is a kind of calendar, organizer, project, and schedule tracking tool.
It is a Jira add-on, which is also compatible with Outlook, Google, and Apple calendars.
Activity Timeline provides great visibility across multiple projects and teams, which’s very important in consultancy as it gives a possibility to see the whole picture. It gives you a compact view and allows you to set and adjust the schedule because it’s a more sophisticated and comprehensive solution.
Here’s a simple use case.
Mark works in a consultancy firm and holds the post of team lead. He is a skilled professional who is responsible for his team, a couple of projects, and has dozens of clients. Every day he comes to work, opens Activity Timeline, and plans his work.
On the left side, Mark sees all of his current projects, issues, and their statuses. He shouldn’t create issue task in Jira anymore, he creates it directly from Activity Timeline Dashboard and assigns people in a moment. Mark can also do that by drag-n-dropping issues from the left sidebar to the Dashboard. All information from Activity Timeline is synchronized with Jira and vice versa.
Take a look :
Mark enjoys the appearance of ActivityTimeline as there is a possibility to modify this planner according to Mike’s preferences.
Moreover, Mike can see all of the teams and team members, their capacity, skills, and positions! It’s very comfortable and gives a clear view of the resources situation.
Mike can divide tasks between multiple employees and between different days (what’s even more important), as usually task cannot be done in one day and is worked on for certain time across different weeks.
What Mark likes most, is that he sees a clear picture of the schedule of his consultants and can adjust it with no effort.
Activity Timeline is highly flexible and it’s easy to adjust the schedule, as appointments and tasks appear all the time.
There is a great variety of custom events in the application, such as a day off, vacation, holiday, etc. which are not available in Jira. Mike may even add custom ones, for example some specific meetings or corporate events, in order to improve time and resource management.
We know that Mike as many others uses Google Calendar quite often and needs a previously planned schedule to be combined with another one that was planned in Activity Timeline. The good news, it’s not a problem as the application integrates with external calendars.
After a little magic in the configuration of the application, all of your previously planned Activity Timeline tasks will appear in Google or Outlook Calendar.
You may see this feature in action here – How to display Jira tasks in my Outlook Calendar?
When considering the right Project Management software, it’s important to try and practice different solutions, objectively compare them. We believe that appropriate management tool may increase effectiveness and lead the company to success.
If the consultant has everything organized it becomes more simple to deliver the best assistance to clients and build the company’s success.
Just look around, try different applications, keep in mind common world practices and choose the best for you.