I'm hoping someone has some experience on tools and/or better keywords to describe this problem:
I have JIRA system for developers where they provide estimates and track time completed. The estimate could be captured in a higher level tool, but the time track (effort applied) should not require double-entry and instead pull from JIRA.
There are multiple projects (up to 6 active over a pool of 20 projects) that all have pending work for the limited availability of developers (8 developers).
We might have to handle about 80 tasks a week we want to sort, prioritise, and schedule (an average task takes 2 to 4 hours to finish, we have 8 developers, so in the worst case - 4 hours per task - we have 80 tasks = (40 hrs / 4 hrs) * 8 developers).
Is it possible to manage the resources with deadline/timelines and start dates so the developers know what they should be working on across all projects?
Is there a tool that can be used with JIRA (or a plugin) that developers can update their progress (date, priority, etc.) with low effort?
Disclaimer: we highly discourage tool-specific questions in PMSE, as they're likely to not add much value 5 years from now.
Have you looked at Jira Structure? I'm leading a team with a similar structure and now that we (thankfully) moved into Jira, Structure is helping us a lot to prioritize and keep track of the progress in our tasks. Although it's not a proper Gantt Chart, it may fit your needs as well.
A short video explaining the idea can be found HERE.