Is it worth buying a time tracking app for Jira? 

Is it worth buying a time tracking app for Jira blog article banner

Many of you who are using Jira and checking the apps on the Marketplace might have the question that: “Why would I need a Time tracking app when it is already implemented in Jira itself?” As we, Everit Kft., maker of Timetracker (one of these apps) have a pretty good knowledge of this segment of the marketplace, we would like to compare the Jira integrated tracking system with the features of Timetracker.

Before arriving at the question in the title it is necessary to understand why it is important to track the time in the first place. We all know it is a pain in the khm… to manage it every single day but there are benefits of it both for the users and for the company as well. First of all, if you plan your day your productivity will improve for sure, meanwhile keeping you safe from overcharging your workload. Secondly, it provides transparency as you can check what your colleagues worked on recently.

Needless to say, the company can also benefit from tracking time. It can help with better resource allocation, forecasting, and decision-making. It can be even a necessary thing to do because of invoicing.

Built-in Jira time tracking functions 

Unfortunately, the possibilities with only Jira really limited. You can log your work only on each Issue tab, there isn’t a separated page where you could collectively manage your worklogs. Adding a log to an Issue is really simple and easy to understand. You can set the start date and how much time you spent on the specific issue and write some description of the work. That’s it as Jira is an Issue and bug tracker, they aren’t focusing on time management. If you have an estimated time there, you can also adjust or edit it. 

The log work dialog of Timetracker

On the other hand, there is not much else you can do, there are no restrictions or setup options about the loggable times. You can only check the logged works under each Issue. There isn’t a dedicated page where you could check the summary of your or other’s logged times. There are only basic reporting features that might not provide enough information to a manager.

As you can see it is not user-friendly for the employees nor for the employer that is the reason why there are so many time tracking applications that they even deserved a separated “Time tracking” category on the Marketplace.

Tracking time in Jira with Timetracker 

We approached the logging a little bit differently. We believe that the users want to log their whole day at the beginning or at the end of the day so we made that easy by adding the Timetracker main menu to the panel where you can access all the features. Instead of opening each Issue and add your work there, we have a separate page where you can manage daily tracking.

The main page of the Timetracker

Reporting with Timetracker 

It is obvious that it is easier to track your time with Timetracker than with the built-in option, but the difference is not that significant. The biggest value comes from the Reporting feature.

Timetracker provides powerful reporting options to help you analyze your team’s work. Create detailed reports with multiple search criteria or one of your favorite filters and view every work log related to the users and additional information about the projects and the issues.

You can change between two sub-pages on the reporting page:

  • Details: The detailed view will show all the worklogs as a list. Each row will be a work log.
  • Summary: The summary view will show all the worklogs summarized by the selected parameter.

The same criteria will apply to the query in both cases. This means, that you don’t need to run the report creation again for a detailed or summarized view.

The reporting page of Timetracker

You can see the total amount of time for the query in the right corner of the page. This value is the sum of all logged times based on the results of the query.

The other option is the Timesheet Report which provides a timesheet table and a view of the worklogs in a structured form, summarized by Project, Issue and User. You can drill down on each level simply clicking on the rows on the left side of the table.

Timesheet view of reporting in Timetracker

Apart from the several time tracking management views, with the help of the Missing Days Report you can also make sure you didn’t miss a single day. This can help companies where employees required to work an exact number of hours in a week/month/year. You can check that the selected user(s) or group(s) have enough work logged between the given dates. You can send warning emails to selected users. 

This feature helps you when there is a very strict rule applied for time tracking in the company. 

Normally, all users have to fill at least as much working time (hours) for each working day as is set in the Jira “Time Tracking” settings. In case a user did not work as many times as expected, they can use the configured non-working issues to fill the day. If there is no worklog for a day it will be shown in the “Missing days” tab of the plugin. 

You can also create Pie and Bar charts for your presentations or if you need a visual report about many issuer or users.

Calculate the cost of your project and features! 

As we are constantly working on new features, we recently added the cost rate options to our newest version. From now on, you can add cost rates to each employee so besides the total time needed to finish a project or feature, you can also check how much it cost. We believe that this will help you to plan your future projects even better as you can analyze the cost of a previous project or feature.

Cost rate view of Timetracker

There is two cost rate type that Wage Managers can configure for users:

  • Default cost rate: The default cost rate will be used with users who do not have an hourly rate defined in the user cost rates table.
  • User cost rate: Define the hourly cost rates for each Jira user. Hourly cost rates will be used in reporting to calculate the costs of work logged by the users.
    • Users in default rate: A subpage where you can filter and view users who have default hourly cost rates. This will help wage managers identify time periods when users do not have a specified cost rate and in which the reports calculate cost values with the default value.

Which Time tracking add-on should you choose? 

After deciding that the built-in features are not enough for you and would like to extend the options with an add-on, you might find it hard to decide which plugin would be the best for your company. There are several apps with different methodologies and different prices. How could you decide which is the one that suits your Company? Well, first of all, you have to have to consider that you want a simple or complex solution. Do you need only a tool that would be used instead of a spreadsheet or which could substitute your entire existing processes? Luckily, next to the well-described marketplace pages the prices also speak for themselves. What is more awesome, that you can request a trial for all of them, so there is nothing to lose!

Good luck with finding the most suitable apps.

You can find and try our Timetracker app for free on the Atlassian Marketplace.

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