This article is part of a blog series!

Part Title
1 JIRA for asset management: Overview
2 JIRA for asset management: Inventory setup
3 JIRA for asset management: Workflow setup
4 JIRA for asset management: Reporting setup
5 JIRA for asset management: Physical implementation

 
We’ve created issue types and custom fields for the assets we want to track. We’ve also built workflows to reflect the business process around our inventory. Now it’s time to use the visualization capabilities of JIRA to help the organization see and manage inventory effectively.

If you’ve never used JQL or created a filter in JIRA, I recommend taking a look at my JQL primer, especially section 3 or the JIRA documentation for filters. In this article, we’ll configure a JIRA dashboard tuned for asset management. What’s a dashboard? Dashboards are a collection of gadgets on a page that allow you to visualize the data in JIRA.

asset_tracking_dashboard_2

Enabling users to see inventory

By default, all users see the system dashboard when logging into JIRA. The system dashboard contains items that are contextually relevant for all users of JIRA. It’s the perfect place to show which company assets are assigned to the logged in user. That way, each employee knows what company hardware they are responsible for.

Let’s create a simple query that pulls all issues from the asset tracking project that have the logged in user as the current assignee.

1
Project = TAG AND assignee = CURRENT USER

We can then use the filter results gadget on the system dashboard to show which assets are assigned to me.

asset_tracking_my_assets

One of the key advantages to JIRA is that everyone in the organization can use it. When anyone logs into JIRA, they can see the assets they have, alongside other important company and project information.

Making key assets visible

JIRA allows users to create dashboards specific to users or teams in addition to the system dashboard. In Atlassian’s workflow, the service request status and the off-site service status are important statuses as they place the IT group in the critical path. The IT team wants to quickly turn around the hardware back to the original user so they can be productive again.

Let’s use the filter results gadget again with two different JQL queries to find issues in both states.

Service request

1
project = tag AND STATUS = "Service Request"

Off for repair

1
project = tag AND STATUS = "Off-site Service / Repair"

Once we have two instances of the filter results gadget, we can then see all of the assets in these two important states.

asset_managment_out_for_repairIn Stock

The filter results gadget also can be used to track hardware that’s on site. When using this gadget, it’s possible to add a configurable list of columns to each instance of the gadget. Here we have a list of hardware in stock so it’s easy to see which machine is best suited for the task before deployment.

asset_tracking_stock_apple_laptops

ProTip: JQL is a powerful way to find specific configurations out in the field. We needed to apply a patch to laptops with a certain configuration to enable the webcam. JQL made it easy to see how widespread the problem was and which users were affected.

Monitoring overall inventory health

JIRA can also provide high level statistics about inventory as a whole. Let’s take a look at how we can track the relative quantities of computer hardware on-site. Let’s use a pie chart to visualize the amount of Macintosh computers we have in stock, out in the field, and requiring service. We can use the simple JQL query to drive our pie chart.

Project = TAG and type in (“Computer Asset”) AND vendor ~ Apple AND statusCategory != done.

We want to exclude all statuses were hardware has been disposed. Adding statusCategory != done excludes all of the green statuses in the workflow diagram from part 3.

Binding this query to the pie chart shows us where all of the active hardware is.

asset_tracking_mac_laptop

Another powerful gadget in JIRA is the two-dimensional filter statistics gadget. While the name is a mouthful, this gadget packs a lot of punch for data visualization. I’ve created two instances of this gadget to track key metrics for the inventory. Clicking on any link in the gadget brings up the assets that compose that statistic.

As a global company, it’s important to understand where particular assets are located. We need to ensure we have healthy stock in each office so that users aren’t impacted by long order times. This gadget uses the following JQL

1
Project = TAG AND STATUS = IN stock.

I’ve used the issue type field on the x-axis and the custom field, office location, on the y-axis. I can easily browse relative quantities of inventory at each of our office locations.

company_assets_2In the second example, the query is even simpler.

1
Project = TAG

I’ve again used issue type on the x-axis but this time used status on the y-axis. This gives an overview of all of the hardware across our organization. We can use the same type of infrastructure to track software assets as well.

As a whole unit, our dashboard becomes a powerful way to manage inventory across the company.

company_assets

ProTip: To go beyond dashboards, JIRA can export any issue list to XML, CSV, or Excel for further analysis. Just click tools from the issue list view to get started.

Over 23,000 customers use JIRA to plan track and deliver work. Integrating asset management into JIRA provides a flexible way for the business to manage its inventory.

Ready to get started? Download a 30 day trial of JIRA today!

Try JIRA free!

About Dan Radigan

Software has been a passion since the days of the floppy disk (you know, the actual 5.25 inch floppy ones). Agile has had a huge impact on me both professionally and personally as I've learned the best experiences are agile, both in code and in life. You'll often find me at the intersection of technology, photography, and motorcycling. Find me on twitter @danradigan.

View all posts by Dan Radigan »