Jul 16

How to Quickly find the right Assignee in Jira? [Skills, Remaining capacity]

Quick, smart, semi-automatic Jira task assignee

Five best-matching individuals or teams can BigPicture recommend, depending on which of the two ‘target’ icons you click.

Lots of advice on either fully automatic or utterly manual task assigning in Jira, huh? Is there anything in between – a ‘smart, calculated, and quick assignee’, but up to the discretion of a human project manager? Starting BigPicture 7.4 there is. Choose among five best matches, based on skills and remaining capacity. Simply press Enter for the first in a list, best-matching resource. Or pick from the other four. Assign resources to Jira tasks semi-automatically. Process 5 to 10 tasks per minute.

The new ‘Find a Perfect match’ feature works with epics, stories, tasks, sub-tasks, and custom types.

When do you need the ‘Quick Assignee’ feature?

Project managers often deal with extensive scopes. 100s or 1000s tasks need to be quickly assigned in an effort to compile a preliminary plan. Still, a PM shouldn’t assign people (or teams) to tasks in a fully automatic manner. The Quick/Smart Assignee feature kicks in here. It’s user-friendly; it promotes rough, quick but relatively precise planning; and a task assignee can always be altered at some later point.

Where to look for the new feature?

You need BigPicture project management app for Jira, version 7.4 or higher. Once you’ve got the plug-in, you’ll find the smart assignment feature here:

BigPicture’s Resources component > click on a task’s bar

A bubble with the Smart Assignee feature, among others, will pop up.

Jira Big Picture, find a perfect assignee

Five best candidates for an assignee are being offered. Note that you could also look up five best teams for a task.

Note: BigGantt doesn’t have the Quick Assignee feature. You need BigPicture.

How does BigPicture determine the best matching resource?

Five matching assignees will be offered, sorted by relevance. The first on the list is the best, the second one is second best, and so on.

  • Resources matching will be cut off after the fifth-best one.
  • You can assign both Individuals and Teams with the feature.
  • Five best candidates are established based on:
    • skills required to complete a task,
    • skills that an individual or team members have,
    • the remaining capacity of resources – individuals or teams. The remaining capacity is calculated depending on the mode that has been selected in the Resources module of BigPicture, namely Original estimate, Remaining estimate or Story Points.
  • Skills weight most in the algorithm (approx. 80%), but the remaining capacity is important, too (20%).
  • If you don’t manage skills in Jira, then the remaining capacity is the only contributing factor.
  • The remaining capacity can be time or story points.
  • You can always reassign a task to another individual/team at a later time.

We use linear regression – statistical modeling – to determine the list of five. On a related note, we’ll later follow with machine learning and AI in BigPicture.

 

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The workflow

How to take off with the smart assignment? What data does Jira BigPicture need to provide the right candidates for a task?

  1. Apply required skills to tasks, that you’ll be seeking assignees for at a later point. Check a screenshot and docs.
  2. Assign skills to each resource – individuals or teams – depending on whether you wish to assign individuals or teams to the tasks. See the Resource manager’s docs.
  3. Have workload and holiday plans in place for your resources, so that BigPicture sees their capacity.
  4. Use resource planning in BigPicture so that the app knows the remaining capacity of each resource. Have a look at the documentation.
  5. The Smart assignee feature works with both time-based and story points-based resource management.
  6. Now you are ready to assign people/teams to tasks semi-automatically.

You can skip 1. and 2. – then the best matching candidates will be determined based on the remaining capacity.

If you do skills management, i.e. you use 1. and 2., compile the dictionary of skills within your organization pretty generously. For instance, instead of a ‘developer’, you’ll be better off with ‘Java developer’, ‘Angular Developer, ‘Python developer’, and ‘PHP developer’. As a minimum, split the ‘Developer’ skill into ‘Front-end developer’ and ‘Back end developer’.

Conclusion

It makes sense to put effort into configuring BigPicture before you put the ‘Find a perfect match’ feature into action. Expect improved efficiency and semi-automation of the chores inherent to the planning process.

The good news
Aug 2019
BigPicture 7.4 for Jira Server, Data Center and Cloud is now live. It has new Quick assignee, Multi-select, and Time Tracking (Spent) features, among others.
July 2019
New Reporting component for BigPicture 7.3 and the corresponding version of BP Enterprise is scheduled for a release in July. Pie and column charts, as well as spreadsheet-style reports,  will be available – more.

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About The Author

With his automotive background Marcin goes beyond the 'Jira + software development' standard. He likes simple, up-to-five-sentence answers to complex questions.