Apr 08
source: studiollc.com

BigPicture Enterprise helps Studio llc manage resources and schedule projects in minutes

One of the most important aspects of BigPicture plugin for JIRA is the fact that it noticeably speeds up operations. Instead of clicking through many reloading pages and comparing data manually, things are calculated for you and a single move can schedule any part of your project.

JIRA’s limitations

Studio llc is a Creative Technology and Product Development Studio. For 13 years they have worked hand-in-hand with brands and companies to conceive, architect, design, build and maintain the very best digital products: websites, mobile apps, online software, content management systems, Facebook and other social media apps, full scale social media platforms, rich media ads, and games). Their clients represent the entire range of the modern economy from world-wide media outlets (ESPN) to local food chains (Shake Shack).

They have used JIRA for ticketing system for 2 years now, and the developers love it!  However, JIRA by itself, is not a perfect tool.  This is especially true for service-related companies like Studio llc. They have a finite pool of resources, each with their own specialties.  This becomes extremely important when planning both current, future, and unforeseen maintenance work.  As a result, everyone struggled with planning start dates for new projects based on best guesses for when active projects would end.

Some might say that if they had all tasks estimated, they would have a fairly accurate idea of project status.  As their Director of Technology comments:

I agree, but for us, we also have maintenance work that is random, but must be worked into our current plans as it comes in. Maintenance can include bugs, or new features that are sometimes hard to estimate without digging into the code. When a 6+ hour maintenance task shows up, there is no easy way to understand how a specific resource pulled from an active project will affect that project as a whole.”

Solution? BigPicture!

BigPicture not only helps the good folks at Studio llc find the best  resource to work on a given task, but also allows them to easily update the start and due dates for every task in the entire project by simply dragging a milestone or other sub-task marker out as needed. No need to update every ticket manually; it’s all done by the tool.

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Another benefit is the ability to get a better idea of when they are assigning too much or too little work to a resource.  The PMs have set up one BigPicture program to use a custom filter for pulling all open tasks that are assigned to a developer.  The entire team was assigned to this project, so when they view the resources, the screen shows planned hours for all projects.   Adding every team member is only necessary for cases where no active tasks are assigned to the developer (Most often, this is for freelancers).

A surprisingly welcome benefit to planning projects in BigPicture, is the ability to set client and third party dependencies without needing to create an actual JIRA issue.  Building a basic Gantt chart with this information and sharing it with clients helps Studio llc set expectations on all sides, and show how a single dependency can affect the project as a whole.

They have also recently started using BigPicture Programs to help estimate or “ball park”.  The end result is an exportable timeline they can return back to clients that outlines the understanding of the project.

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The tool is used collaboratively by everyone – PM Team, Sales, Dev Team, Creative, Finances, Administration and even contracted Freelancers. This truly gives Studio llc the Big Picture of their company.

“We’ve been searching for a way to streamline our project intake and resource planning for years.  BigPicture Enterprise is the first tool that allows us to do this in one place, without requiring duplicated efforts in multiple places/documents.  As an added bonus, BigPicture Enterprise also allows us to generate timeline documentation to share with our clients.”
Frosty Meyer, Director of Technology, Studio llc.