May 25

How to grow with Jira? Case study for medium & large businesses

What issues do medium & large businesses encounter in Jira, especially when they grow? Let’s look at the case of Wirecard, a pretty mature German company, but still growing. We’ve recently trained their project management team in Jira & BigPicture and we’d like to share a collection of their hacks and tweaks.

Project managers, training, Gantt chart

BigPicture training course on Wirecard’s premises in Munich, Germany. They’ve recently taken additional office space to accommodate their growing business.

First, a word of appreciation on how thoroughly they had prepared for the training:

  1. Program managers and project managers made up the majority of the trainees. This was a pretty smart decision by Wirecard to have the senior PM staff trained as these people were mandated/capable of redesigning processes, as opposed to “regular” team members.
  2. They had a use case at hand, so the training course could relate to & resolve the real issues Wirecard was facing.

What were these issues?

What issues do medium and large organizations face in Jira?

Dozens of projects per project manager

We may report what we saw: a medium to large organization that employs numerous project managers, each of them running dozens of projects at a time. No wonder they must have employed some visualising tool, namely BigPicture, to control their extensive business. However…

medium and large businesses on the rise often use inconsistent PM tools

They use Jira + Confluence + Microsoft Project across their divisions. With various project management tools utilized within the corporation they can hardly see the big picture. Sure, the MPP export/import feature available in BigPicture + BigTemplate helps to a large degree.

We believe, however, they need to consider giving up Microsoft Project entirely, so that they can really enjoy the big picture of their organization.

Check why is Jira + Confluence + BigPicture the ideal stack of project management tools.

Multiple Gantt charts and how to bring them together

Wirecard uses quite a few BigPicture Gantt charts and during the training course we discovered how helpless their project managers were in bringing those Gantt charts together. Surprisingly they were unaware that by switching from auto to manual task mode, they could avoid all the conflicts that sometimes arised across multiple Gantt charts when a task was moved from its original position.

Goals that last throughout multiple PIs

At medium & large organizations, such as Wirecard, things don’t seem to happen as quickly as in start-ups. Even with 2-month Project Increments, they need to set goals that last longer than that, e.g. 2 or 3 PIs, or 4 to 6 months. And again, during the training course we were able to positively surprise the project managers with the new roadmap that features multiple-PI-long goals that had been made available in BigPicture 7.

Should an Epic have a parent task?

We were made accustomed by Atlassian to the Epic -> Story -> Subtask tree.

Wirecard, however, added a parent “PMO” task to that structure and for a reason. While slightly more laborious to maintain, their “PMO -> Epic -> Story -> Subtask” tree allows third-party Gantt chart modules, such as BigGantt, to load nicely looking work breakdown structure.

Conclusion

The larger the organization, the more painful any change is. Especially adopting new tools, such as BigPicture, involves risk of a tool being rejected by teams. Face-to-face training sessions, such as the one at Wirecard, minimize that risk. Wirecard bet on BigPicture and apparently won. Will you?

Schedule your BigPicture training today at training@softwareplant.com

 

Vietnamese food street Munich

Munich is a perfect Bavarian city. World-class businesses immersed in urban cozy atmosphere.

 

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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.