Project Planning with Transparency! Tempo

Project Planning with Transparency! Tempo


With many software projects executing at the same time and at different stages it is crucial to have a transparent planning tool for your organization. Welcome to the Tempo/Jira Planner.


Jira is a commonly used defect/task tracking tool for software development.  It’s part of the Atlassian suite than includes Confluence and Tempo.


ContentActive creates weekly sprints with tasks that can be accomplished within one day. This is done to ensure that projects stay on course and creates development transparency. The problem was trying visualize this in a weekly view to determine priorities as projects move through their course. 


Tempo provides this view plus much more and works within Atlassian's Jira Project Management Tool.


Tempo has a very useful planner add-on for Jira that can be used to provide visibility into development projects that typically use an Agile methodology.  As you may know, the Agile method is light on planning and documentation, and heavy on action.  Given that, some projects that require more planning may seem ‘loose’ or less well coordinated when run under Agile.  This can lead to excessive cycles and inefficient use of resources. Sometimes this is called ’thrashing’ - especially when the design/specs keep changing because there was not sufficient detail in the planning from the outset.


The Tempo planner allows you to map out tasks into the future so you can see if you will make your timeline or not.  You can see all the steps in your process and be able to insert new ones if needed to provide more clarity and keep thrashing to a minimum.  Seeing this overview can also give you an early indication if you need to bring more resources to bear, or make other adjustments in your project.  You can mix and match people and tasks in the planner to get the right fit for your project simply by clicking and dragging.


At ContentActive, we use the planner in this capacity because many larger applications require more planning and have more interdependencies than typical small-scale applications or websites.


A few tips about Tempo and Project Planning with Jira:

  1. Planning is manual.  While this gives flexibility, it does require you to rely on chronological sequencing for dependencies and standard Jira task assignments for any resource leveling.

  2. Always add a little slack time for the inevitable ‘uh-oh’!  A project manager can get used to a PM tool adding an automatic preset amount of slack for a project.  But Tempo doesn’t have that feature.  So if you don’t add it, any deviation in a task will have a cascade effect on all subsequent tasks that are linked by dependency or common resource. On the positive side, you will see the impact immediately in the planner and will be able to take corrective action.


All in all, it’s a great add-on for Jira!