You can judge an IT consultant by their approach to your business requirement: are they trying to fit a circle into a square and push what's simplest for them? Or are they trying to come up with innovative solutions by understanding the needs of your company?
Stijn Adams, an Application Lifecycle Management Consultant at Realdolmen, a Platinum Atlassian Solution Partner belongs to the latter group. He gets up every morning to forge the future of infrastructure-as-a-code with a customer-focused mindset.
Not long ago he delivered a custom, advanced Jira timesheet reporting solution for a customer by combining two Jira apps, Tempo Timesheets and Better Excel Exporter for Jira. The company wanted to gain deeper insights into how time is spent on projects and new insight to optimize the productivity of their teams.
We discussed with Stijn how he created an Excel report from Jira that went beyond the customer's request.
What’s your biggest motivation as an Atlassian Solution Partner in helping customers?
I love that being able to speak both languages (technical and business) with an analytical mind makes it possible for me to explore new solutions for our customers.
A few years ago I started focusing more on DevOps solutions and helping customers looking to embrace the DevOps mindset. The Atlassian software family turned out to be perfect for this field and combined with an amazing ecosystem of apps, I have everything to deliver great solutions.
You were involved in a complex project recently to improve Jira timesheet reporting. What was the business problem to solve?
We have a customer, a national service operator for the mobility industry in Belgium. In addition to roadside assistance for cars, motorbikes, and bicycles, they also offer travel assistance, second-hand cars, they run a driving school and a diagnostic center. So, they have a pretty diverse operation.
The company's management needed an in-depth Excel report of the logged time of employees using both the default Jira work log feature and Tempo Timesheets. They specifically wanted a Jira timesheet report per team, project and organizational unit. In addition to spent time, their requirements included reporting on various other KPIs.
They also wanted to avoid any post-export work, like converting CSV or HTML or formatting the contents.
We used Better Excel Exporter to blend the built-in Jira worklog data with the one from Tempo Timesheets in an Excel report. The app allowed us to work with "raw" data from both Jira and Tempo Timesheets, and bring everything together into a report that neither of the apps could deliver on their own.
Excel report using Tempo Timesheet work log data and Tempo custom fields values (Illustration)
The customer benefited nicely from the seamless integration of Better Excel Exporter and Tempo Timesheets.
What are the benefits Better Excel Exporter brought in the above use case?
As I mentioned, it's a flexible Jira reporting app that allows you to build Excel reports from Jira data.
It has many integrations with important other apps, like Tempo Timesheets, and you can freely combine data sources into one comprehensive and customized report. This integration made it possible to use not just the logged time data, but other values stored by Tempo Timesheets, like Account or Teams. This is a huge advantage.
Also, the report was made available to the managers via the Jira interface, so they can generate the report themselves without any assistance.
What's your message to anyone thinking about trying Better Excel Exporter?
Customization through scripting may sound frightening to someone not familiar with software code or the technical details, but there are all kinds of useful reports that come with the app by default. If you decide to develop your custom template, you are not alone either: great documentation is there to help and you can also always ask the Midori support team if you need guidance.