This menu allows you to set up all configuration concerning task within BigGantt or BigPicture: task period, progress or baseline configuration. It is highly recommended to go through this and all the following setup.
General and custom settings
In order to sychronize task attributes with appropriate Jira fields modify the mapping presented in this section. Basically, define your general synchronization settings that are applied to all issues within existing and new Jira Projects. In case you need to define different field mapping for some Projects, custom your synchronization settings by creating separate configuration for particular Projects (general settings are no longer applied for such Projects).
The process of adding custom synchronization settings is easy and it goes like this:
1) Click on button "Add Jira Project"
2) Search for external catalogue by enter the partial or whole name of it.
3) System displays a list of catalogues that match your query. Pick the name of the project.
4) Set custom configuration for selected Project
5) Click 'Save' to save your settings.
Task Period Configuration
In this section we are able to choose from app's recalculation methods for Task's Start Date Field and End Date Field. As our tasks must be displayed on the Gantt chart in some way, they do need those fields to be populated one way or another. Without them, the application wouldn't be able to locate the beginning and the end of a Task Bar. As there is no native Start Date of an Issue in Jira we have to specify one. It is configured as a Custom Fields ('Start Date' & 'End Date') by default.
As a general rule, everything set in the fields described below will be synced both ways. The default and recommended configuration is: 'SoftwarePlant's Custom Fields'. If we decide to add a Task with no Start and / or End Dates, the app will pick the Original Estimate value as its default and place it starting from today, unless of course, its creation took place in the past, in which case, the creation date will be used. Following this logic, if no Original Estimate value is present, the app will treat the creation date for Start Date and when the End Date is empty, then it picks the resolution date (if the issue was Resolved) instead. This usually means that a Task will be set as a 1-day Task for today unless the Task was resolved a while ago and just recently imported into our application. With Original Estimate mapped as the Start or End Dates, it will represent the duration of a Task. For example, a Task starting on the 1st with 7 days of Original Estimate will end on the 7th. Likewise, a Task ending on the 5th with Original Estimate of 6 will always start on the 1st day of a given month.
This is of course a specific situation when no days off were set in the 'Working Schedule' (which in Jira is set to 2 days by the default).
'Data Migration' is a feature which manifests itself when we try to switch 'Task Period Configuration' method in 'Task Configuration'. It is applied only to 'Start' and 'End' date fields. What does it do? It assigns new settings to data which already exist in Jira environment and our application shifting the type of the' Time Period Configuration' (from Start-End Dates recalculation to Due Date - Original Estimate and vice versa). The checkbox which enables this feature will only appear whenever the app recognizes that a change within these mentioned fields has been made. The operation of 'Data Migration' can be very time consuming and may highly affect the performance of our Jira environment. This is a direct result of the fact that during the migration process, the app has to recalculate and input new values to the structure of BigGantt and BigPicture and update each and every Jira issue.
Results of testing the 'Migration' feature look as follows:
During tests which we performed on Jira 7.4.0 which is stored on 3GB RAM machine with i7 2.26 Ghz processor and 256 GB memory SSD drive, a migration of 10 000 issues took about 7 minutes.
Before starting the Migration process it is crucial to make sure that following conditions are met:
- All Programs are synchronised properly with a valid status (meaning that their mapped fields: Star / End date are properly populated in Jira). This can be done by accessing every program and waiting for the synch-up to start and successfully execute.
- Jira is indexed properly ( More info on Jira indexing can be found in this Atlassian article)
- All tickets which are to be migrated need to be 100% valid, meaning all their required fields have to be filled out properly. If this condition is not met, it may cause the app to end up in an endless update progression state.
- Jira backup was performed! This step is crucial, as in unlikely case of migration failure, this is the only way to recover the environment to its previous state (More information can be found in this Atlassian article)
- Migration is being performed when Jira is not accessed by any other users than the one performing this action!
We have to remember that the migration may take some time (even few hours), depending on the size of the project and capabilities / specs of the device on which our environment is ran. During that time the screen does not implement and show any progression indicator, therefore to track a progress it is required to observe logs which will return an information on Migration being finished.
In case of any issues during or after the migration, please restore previously backed up instance od your Jira and contact the SoftwarePlant support team via our ServiceDesk.
This field stores Task Progress in numeric value starting from 0 (no progress) till 100 (task completed). We can map a variety of fields in this setup. The list of fields look as follows:
- Story Points - Measurement of a complexity and/or size of a requirement.
- Business Value - Measurement of a business value of a requirement.
- Progress - Progress field used by SoftwarePlant plugins (BigPicture, BigGantt).
- Scheduled Duration - Scheduled duration created by JIM (Jira Importers Plugin) during import process.
- Days - Days created by JIM during import process.
- Time Tracking Progress (timeTrackingProgress).
As we can see, this option allows user to select either standard Jira's 'Time Tracking' field, or a Custom Field value of our choice. Our app comes with its standard Custom Field called: 'Progress' which defines and allows to measure the Task Progress with scale 0 to 100.
Each issue with values for Time Tracking or the Custom Field present will not only have its progress shown in the appropriate column on the left side of the Gantt chart, but also on its issue bar on the chart itself (darker shade of Task's color).
By dragging the small triangle on the Gantt's Task Bar to the left or to the right, we can quickly change the progress of such Task, much faster than by opening the Task and manually changing that value in Jira. Once we set the 'Progress' as an option, the value updated once we drag the slider/progress bar is our 'Remaining Estimate'. In order for it to get updated, we have to define this value, even if it was to stay at: "0", as the blank field is not allowed.
Task Baselines Configuration
In many cases Baselines can be very helpful! They are the "phantoms" or "footprints" of a Task. When set to 'ON' (for the whole chart or a given issue), if the user moves a Task on the Gantt chart, an opaque phantom of that Task will be visible in its initial position. This is very often used to track work progress and to confront the current state versus estimates. Users can configure the Start and the End Date of a Baseline (just like they can with Tasks, described above).
As we already know, our app is nested within Jira environment, therefore it is very dependent on its internal customization. Two aspects revolving around our Task Config, which need to be properly set in Jira itself are: Custom Fields and Issue Links. As per instructions in previous paragraph, we are now aware that Task's and Baseline's Start and End dates are custom fields predefined by the app in Jira environment. Same goes for Issue links. In order for issues displayed on the Gantt chart to be linked properly and to present a correlation between Tasks in Jira, a proper settings in both cases has to be applied in that environment.
Additional settings - Task mode
The latest version of the app allow to store the information about the task's mode as a Jira field so that it can be changed directly using Jira instead of via the app: