Clients keep asking: what can BigPicture and BigGantt do in terms of asset management? You can have an asset registry in Jira + BigPicture. You can also print inventory management documents and manage risks associated with assets. There are, however, dedicated asset management plugins, such as STAGIL Assets, a product of our long-term partner. These let you do the job more effectively. Have a look at these key takeaways on asset management in BigPicture and the third-party plugins, such as STAGIL Assets.
What asset management operations can you do in BigPicture?
Project management and asset management coexist. An entity big enough to run ‘projects’, certainly has plenty of assets. Sample assets are hardware, software, inventory, machinery, people, real estate, customers, contracts, brands.
BigPicture is a project management app, and not an asset management one. Yet, you can perform certain asset management workflows in Jira + BigPicture:
- Very typically, you’ll record your assets as Jira issues. Consider grouping them in the ‘Assets’ project. It is your assets register. Especially with physical assets, you can print forms, such as ‘Acquisition’, ‘Rental’, or ‘Disposal’. This can be done using BigPicture (or BigGantt) + BigTemplate extension. You can customize templates – add Jira and BigPicture fields, as well as QR codes, see the first of the below screenshots.
- Now, what is the Asset Management? It means balancing the costs, the risks, and the performance of an asset over a particular timescale. Note that BigPicture ensures the ‘risks’ part of the definition. Since you store your assets as Jira tickets, you can also put them on BigPicture Risk Matrix, so that an asset constitutes a risk, that you need to keep an eye on. See the second screenshot.
- People are also “assets”, right? BigPicture has the Resources module, which is all about the ‘performance’ part of the cited definition. See the video below on Resources in BigPicture. It mostly shows how to balance the capacity of your human “assets” with their allocation.
Asset management plugins for Jira
If you need more insights into your assets, use a dedicated asset management plugin from Atlassian Marketplace. We can say good things about STAGIL Assets, by our long-term partner from Wiesbaden, Germany. This plugin lets you track and visualize dependencies between assets. At the time of writing, STAGIL Assets add-on has the perfect rating: 4 out of 4 stars :)
Interestingly, Stagil Assets go beyond conventional asset management – namely, you can use the plugin as a project portfolio management ‘umbrella’. You create ‘Portfolio’ and ‘Project’ custom Jira task types, then you add new tasks of those two types, link them using Stagil Assets’ excellent linking capabilities, and finally you observe your portfolio using Stagil’s graph, hierarchical or mindmap-style. Then you can click work packages, which you’ll find one level below your projects, and you are transferred to BigPicture’s Gantt chart and Resources modules.
Adrien Landecker of Stagil showcases such a PPM workflow in the below 20-minute webinar. He covers the portfolio and project levels with Stagil Assets plugin, while the in-depth scheduling of epics, stories, and sub-tasks is done with BigPicture’s Gantt chart and Resources.
Note, however, that starting BigPicture version 8, there is sort of a ‘portfolio revolution’, namely you can create portfolios, projects, phases, agile release trains, and such in BigPicture, while until BigPicture 7 high-level ‘containers’ were represented by programs only. Adrien, on the other hand, reaches a conclusion, that you don’t need to leave Jira to do the portfolio and project parts of the PPM workflow. All you need is to assign the ‘portfolio’ and ‘project’ types to a number of Jira tasks. Just watch the video, his approach is pretty cool.
Back to the true asset management, though. We need to be fair, and name the big player: Insight – Asset Management by Mindville (formerly Riada) – currently the leading asset management plugin for Jira. If you are serious about terms such as:
- CMDB – Configuration Management Database
- ITIL – Information Technology Infrastructure Library
- ITSM – Information Technology Service Management
you likely need an ITAM plugin from the Marketplace.
If you are more into project management and marginally into asset management, try BigPicture. If you need both or you like Adrien’s approach to managing portfolios, try Stagil Assets + BigPicture bundle. A sophisticated asset management add-on for Jira, such as the app by Mindville, may be pricey, depending on your user tier, so compare the features. What will you choose?