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7 min read

Earned value tracking: how to track projects in Tempo Budgets for Jira

From Team '23

Tempo Team

If you’re a Project Manager, a fan of EVM, and wish to track project financials seamlessly within JIRA, then this post is for you.

Earned Value Management is a project management method, and a PMI approved concept, that is loved by some and not so much by others. This post assumes you’re already familiar this method and the benefits of EVM, but in a nutshell, it’s essentially the practice of tracking the work done at each stage of the project and calculating the Earned Value (EV) as well as planned and actual costs.

This is why Tempo Budgets for JIRA makes it really simple to choose which kind of project to create and to switch back and forth between using EVM and traditional project management techniques easily.

Setting up your EVM Project in Tempo Budgets

In order to create an EVM project, you simply create a folio using Earned Value Management.

From the "Manage Portfolios" page, click on the create folio icon in the top left.

You’ll then be presented with a window asking you what you would like to track. Simply choose the "Earned Value" option, as seen below:

Don't worry if you decide later on that you no longer want to track earned value (EV). You can easily turn this on and off in the folio configuration at any point.

Defining your project scope

The next step to getting your EVM folio, or project, up and running is to define the scope.

Scope is very important if you’re working with Earned Value Management. It’s essential to have clearly mapped out the work required for the project, so that the earned value is accurately calculated. It might be a tedious task to have to set this up in advance, but the little extra effort will save both time and money in the long run.

Luckily JIRA Software, JIRA Core, or JIRA Service Desk combined with Tempo Budgets provides a great solution to plan the scope of your project as painlessly as possible.

If, for instance, you already have a JIRA project set up, which encompasses all of the anticipated issues for the project and time estimations, then most of the planning is already done!

Tempo Budgets will automatically create a folio around your chosen scope, which can be defined by any of the criteria seen below:

Next step: Planning

Once you’ve created your folio and defined a scope, the hard part is over.

Now, you just need to add your staff, planned costs, and planned revenue (if you are tracking revenue).

Add your folio's staff

You can add staff members to your folio in many ways.

It’s possible to:

  • Add individual JIRA users

  • Import the staff from a previous folio

  • Add a Tempo Team

We suggest that you set up Tempo Teams to have all of your team members centralized in one place to easily use across Tempo products. If you’re unsure how to do that, see here.

Step by step

  1. To add a staff, go into the folio overview.

  2. Click on the staff tab. Here you will be presented with different options to add staff members.

  3. Go ahead and add a Tempo Team. It’s also possible to add more than one team, if you like.

Plan the costs of your folio

The next step is to plan some costs for your folio. Again, there are many ways to plan the costs depending on what works best for you.

The below screenshot shows you all of the available options:

  1. In this case, I’m going to plan from staff and allow Tempo Budgets to populate the planned costs based on the staff members.

  2. Once you click on that option, you are then again presented with even more options. If you’re using EVM and already have the issues within the scope clearly defined and assigned to your staff members, it might be a good idea to plan from staff based on staff members’ assigned issues. In this case, I have not yet assigned any issues to my team, so I’m going to plan based on staff member’s availability.

  3. Once I’ve done that, my planned costs have been automatically populated. Any extra expenses or positions can be easily added manually afterwards by planning an expense.

As you can see in the above screenshot, it says DRAFT in the top right above the expenses. This means that your baseline has not yet been approved. If you’d like to approve it, you just click approve. It’s also possible to create multiple baselines to compare and contrast different scenarios.

This feature is really useful if you’re the one creating a budget for a project, but your superior needs to approve it. In this case you can keep it in draft mode until they approve, or even create multiple baselines for them to review.

Actual costs

If you’re using JIRA worklogs or Tempo Timesheets for time tracking and reporting, worklogs will be automatically converted into actual costs. If not, the cost rates for the JIRA users or roles will be converted in real-time.

If you also have other expenses that are not human resources related, then you can easily copy them to actual or simply book expenses in the actual section as expenses come in. Article that might interest you: Track project time using EVM with Tempo Budgets & Tempo Timesheets in JIRA

Planning Revenue

If you wish to track revenue, you can plan it in much the same way that you plan costs, so I’m not going to go into detail here. One great option is to plan revenue based on your planned costs and simply add a mark-up, allowing Tempo Budgets to automatically populate the planned revenue section.

You can turn revenue tracking on and off at any stage of your project in the folio configuration.

Tracking costs in real-time

Once you’ve set up your folio and added all of the data you have, you can start tracking the progress in real-time. If you’re tracking earned value, then the data and the charts will reflect that.

Earned value report

You can also easily generate an earned value report, which gives you the periodic earned, planned, and actual value for the expense types you have selected.

Easily set the parameters for this report according to timeframe, frequency, account, label, or custom fields. It’s also possible to filter it further by category, role, or type of expense.

To do this, simply go into the report tab and click on “earned value report”. You will then be presented with a report that looks like this.

Easily export this information to Excel, or print it if needed.

Final thoughts

Now you should know how to set up your folio to plan and track the costs of your project using Earned Value Management.

Happy budgeting adventures!

Interested in learning more about Tempo Budgets? Start your 30-day free trial or book a demo with our product expert to see it in action: