WBS Gantt-Chart for Jira by Ricksoft

Big projects, multiple teams, a variety of dependencies. If you’re a project manager in an agile enterprise, it can be difficult managing all the details – and resources – needed to successfully accomplish your mission. That’s where Gantt charts come in.

Gantt charts aren’t new. In fact, they’re over a century old. But they’re no less important today—even in agile organizations—than they were 100 years ago. Especially in large enterprises, where projects can span multiple teams using a variety of development methodologies. Gantt charts give project managers an easy way to see how all the details and dependencies rollup to the big picture.

Yahoo! JAPAN had long relied on Excel and Gantt charts to manage its many IT development projects. In 2015, the company rolled out Jira in its development department and, after seeing how effective it was, subsequently expanded Jira to the rest of the 10,000-employee company to handle all business functions, from accounting to sales and marketing.

“Once you’re accustomed to using Jira,” the team explained, “you won’t want to go back to using email or Excel to deal with bugs. With Jira, we always know what bugs we are dealing with, how many of them there are, who is responsible for fixing each bug, what the deadline and the status are, and so on.”

It’s not surprising that the team soon became frustrated with having to use Excel to create Gantt charts. Project managers complained that Gantt charts were time-consuming to create, files would get corrupted from too many users, and version control was a nightmare. Additionally, using Excel with Jira meant manually transferring data back and forth between the software, causing further headaches and inefficiencies. “The more we used Jira,” commented the team, “the more frustrated and annoyed we became with this issue. That’s why we decided to use a Jira plugin to resolve this.”

Yahoo! JAPAN had three requirements for the solution:

  1. An easy-to-use Gantt chart tool with all the basic functions. Getting users to adopt a new tool is never easy. The team wanted an app that was intuitive and, at a minimum, able to do everything that could be done in Excel.
  2. Full integration with Jira. “However easy to use Excel was for internal users, we knew that if we could find a new tool that brought maximum convenience and time-savings by linking with Jira, then it would be superior to Excel in every respect.”
  3. Combined support and helpdesk. “We have used other plug-ins in the past. Often compatibility with the main platform is quite limited, and there are issues with integration. Support capabilities are the key requirement for us when implementing a plug-in, especially when rolling it out across the whole company.”

After evaluating solutions, Yahoo! JAPAN selected the WBS Gantt-Chart app developed by Ricksoft and deployed it across the company. WBS Gantt-Chart is fully integrated with Jira. That means you don’t need to manage the app and Jira separately. If you modify a project or its progress status in WBS Gantt-Chart, the changes are automatically reflected in Jira, and vice versa for changes in Jira.

“Introducing WBS Gantt-Chart means that Jira‘s project management capacity in our company has been greatly expanded. WBS Gantt-Chart has met all our expectations for ease of use, functionality, and Jira integration. Moreover, when I use it, I’m always struck by how convenient it is, particularly functions like sharing progress with other project members with just one URL notification, or the fact that everything is automatically rewritten in WBS Gantt-Chart once it’s entered in Jira. Other functions such as templates, progress display and resource display are also useful.