I'm currently working with an organization that is using the Jira Tempo Timesheets plugin to track developer time, but the way that Jira stories and tasks are being used fails to capture overhead accurately without a lot of manual tweaking.
For example, if the team has a user story with two tasks:
- Two people might collaborate on one of the tasks. If both people log work on the task, it doubles the time Jira thinks the task took.
- One person might spend two 30-minute blocks working on a task, but two hours blocked.
- The unblocking process (e.g. making calls, chasing resources, holding meetings) could theoretically be allocated towards the blocked task, but then the dashboard (especially the Agile view) looks really skewed.
- Not allocating that time towards the blocked task hides details about lead time, and makes the level of effort look smaller than it was.
- Sometimes an activity could be charged against multiple tasks/subtasks, but entering it in both causes the roll-up values to be ridiculously large and ultimately misleading.
- On the other hand, splitting the time between separate activities that just happen to share a common dependency makes it look like task performers have spent half the time they really did to complete something.
In short, I'm not sure how to reconcile Jira as a epic/story or task/subtask tool (especially for collaborative user stories) with its organizational role as the "source of truth" for individual time sheets.
While I personally think Jira is not the right tool for a truly Agile process, especially for projects that follow Scrum or XP, that's not my decision to make. I just need a better process for tracking work, billable hours, and cycle time within Jira.
What process changes can I make so that the time allocations to stories/tasks are meaningful at the executive level without making it look like every calendar week consumes 300 man hours of each person's time? And how do I make Jira account for process overhead, so that time allocated to specific activities (which is often smaller than the actual elapsed time to reach the Definition of Done) doesn't ignore the real cost of completing the stories?