Projectrak Jira Project Tracking and Reporting

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Natively, Jira lacks the capability to store project-specific information. Details such as the budget, start and completion dates, tech stack used, and even information on the project stakeholders are crucial for project managers who handle multiple projects at once. Having this data accessible and presented in a visual way allows not only the project manager, but the whole team, to give better insights and make calculated decisions easily.

Unfortunately, storing and displaying this information is not possible in Jira by default. That is why the team at Deiser built Projectrak (formerly Profields), available on the Atlassian Marketplace. This Jira add-on leverages and improves Jira’s information-tracking capabilities to not only cover information on the issue level but on the project level as well.

Projectrak Jira Project Tracking Allows You To:

  • Create and configure custom fields that support up to 14 different field types to store all the necessary information needed for a project. 
  • Display all the project information in a single customizable view which will allow you to make informed decisions regarding a project.
  • Search and filter your projects using basic filters or using Project Query Language (PQL) for complex queries. Using these features will help you categorize and manage your project organization.
  • Add Projectrak gadgets to your project dashboard based on the data saved using Projectrak. This will provide team members with constantly updated project information. 
  • Perform bulk operations on your projects such as modifying the project status of a group of projects. This will save you a lot of time instead of performing the update manually.
  • Implement permissions to control the amount of information that your team may access.

Additionally, Projectrak allows you to use Groovy (JavaScript library) to personalize the behavior of the fields (e.g. adding the values of two fields). You can also integrate Automation for Jira with Projectrak to automate your actions based on the values of your project properties. Furthermore, the information stored using Projectrak can be used together with Custom Charts for Jira to generate charts for data visualization. This blog will explore some of these features in detail.

Custom Jira Project Fields

Out of the box, the only project details saved in Jira when creating a new project are the project name and project key. Projectrak fixes this limitation by allowing users to save as much project-specific information as you need.

You can store this information using any of the field types supported by Projectrak: Text, Number, Duration, List, Date Picker, User Picker, Project Picker, Cumulative Field, and Status. You may then associate these field types with particular layouts.

Creating a Project Status field

If you navigate to the Fields Manager tab, you will be able to see the list of the custom Jira project fields that you have created. You will also be able to see their descriptions, type, and the layouts they are associated with.

List of Jira project fields

Jira Project Layouts

Projectrak for Jira allows its users to easily create and reuse layouts to display the project information all in one place. This gives you the freedom to categorize related information in the layout as you see fit. For example, you may wish to keep all Jira project tracking information in one section, and the default information in another, but have both in the same view. This will keep your layout organized, so that your team members may find the information they need in one glance.

Projectrak Layout

Jira Project Search and Filtering

Projectrak provides a Project Navigator view, which lists all the projects in your portfolio. It serves the same purpose as the Jira Issue Navigator, but for projects.

Whereas the native Jira projects list lets you filter projects by name or key, the Project Navigator expands this by allowing you to search and filter your projects against all the field types you have created. For example, you may want to filter for projects where the Status field is set to “In Progress”, or you may want to see the list of projects where the Tech Stack used includes the Django framework.

You may also perform advanced searches using Project Query Language (PQL), which works similarly to Jira Query Language (JQL). Using PQL allows you to make structured queries to search for projects. A simple PQL query consists of a Projectrak custom field, such as Project Status, followed by an operator, followed by one or more values. As an example, the query Project Status = “Done” will find all projects whose Project Status is set to Done.

Jira Project Permissions for Projectrak

Projectrak provides a permission system which gives team members access to create, modify or view project details depending on their role in the project. The role of the Projectrak Administrator limits the user to only create fields and layouts, and associate projects with layouts.

Meanwhile, the role of the Jira Project Administrator is to view and change field values, which includes performing bulk updates on the field values. Furthermore, the Jira Project Administrator also has the permission to associate projects with layouts. Finally, the Project User role allows the user to only view the project field values.

Administration Tab for Projectrak Permissions

Projectrak Integration with Custom Charts for Jira

What good is storing all the data of your projects if you can’t make use of it? Data is best conveyed through visuals, and charts allow data to tell a story. Projectrak integrates with Custom Charts for Jira to help translate project information into meaningful charts viewable from Jira Dashboards. This allows you to communicate your findings visually to the team so that they can easily identify patterns and trends and gain newfound project insights.

To integrate Projectrak and Custom Charts, you will have to first install the Custom Charts add-on from the Atlassian Marketplace. Once you’ve done that, navigate to your preferred dashboard (or create one) by clicking on the Dashboards menu. Once in your dashboard, click “Add gadget”, then search for the term “Custom Charts” and select it.

By default, Custom Charts for Jira lets you create dynamic and easy-to-read charts based on your Jira issues. The Projectrak integration lets you create them based on your projects instead. All you do is click on the dropdown next to the “Count” field and click “Projects” instead of “Issues” (as in the image below).


The dropdown next to “Chart By” has a list of values and will include the custom fields you’ve created using Projectrak. One of the custom fields is “Project Status”. When using Projectrak with Custom Charts, “Project Status” is a premade custom field that automatically maps into a Jira issue custom field, as seen below.

Don’t forget to select a Source and a Chart Type to generate your charts. You can further customize the appearance of the charts such as by changing the colors, ordering and positioning of the components. Save your configuration and the charts will be available to view and share on your Jira Dashboards.

Conclusion   

Projectrak Jira Project Tracking is the perfect plugin to store project-specific information in Jira. Deiser are constantly adding new features with every released version and will continue to do so to help their users. Furthermore, when combined with Custom Charts for Jira, Projectrak will allow you to take full advantage of all the Jira project information you saved by creating neat and customizable charts to easily convey project information to your team.

Chris Cooke CEO Old Street Solutions

Chris founded three successful startups in Thailand: one was a Scuba Diving School/ Eco-Tourism company dedicated to saving turtles. Once he’d saved enough turtles, he moved back to the UK to pursue his dreams in software.

It was while working for the Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner Clearvision that Chris met Jacek. The two decided there was a gap in the market for easier-to-use Atlassian tools for Jira and Confluence users who don’t have a clue how to code (of which there are many).

“If we’re not making mistakes, we’re not trying hard enough.”