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KnowCost for Jira is a Dashboard app that provides organisations building software for themselves, or service providers delivering software for their clients, with with a real-time view of Product versus Spend burn-down on their Agile projects. Often overlooked by Scrum teams during sprint planning and delivery, cost information is key to any successful project and should be used to assist with release planning, team sizing, profiling and utlilisation.

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By comparing Product with Spend-burn-down, users get a real-time view as to whether their project is truly on on-track or not.

KnowCost for JIra
KnowCost for Jira

In bringing financial metrics into Jira, the dashboard breaks down project spend according to Epic, Issue and Team Role, and, by coupling these delivery costs with any supplemental project costs arising, such as those related to licensing, training or hardware, Product stakeholders can review the team's approach to backlog delivery and role utilisation, and determine a more informed opinion as to where and how to best allocate budget moving forward.

 

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In capturing this data, KnowCost for Jira then calculates the projected final costs and release dates based on current run rates, meaning product managers, product owners and scrum masters can make much more accurate and impactful decisions on backlog planning.

KnowCost for JIRA
KnowCost for Jira
KnowCost User Roles

Setting up KnowCost for Jira is simple. Anyone with Administrator permissions on an organisation's Jira instance can download the Cloud or Server versions directly from the Atlassian Marketplace. User roles are automatically created during installation, and these determine which screens users can see in their scrum projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There are two KnowCost screens automatically added to all existing scrum projects: KnowCost settings and the KnowCost Dashboard. Both are accessible via the standard Jira project menu, and all new Jira projects created after installation also automatically have these screens, but only users with the respective roles can see and use them.

KnowCost Settings Page

To use the Dashboard, users can set up and manage their project's financial data using the KnowCost settings screen. With this screen, users can select the currency of their project, set their target project budget, and then create a Rate card for their team. The Rate Card function allows users define all roles contributing to the delivery of the project, set an hourly cost rate to the project per role, and then allocate each team member in Jira to one of these roles. This rate card is used in conjunction with team members' logged time, along with any supplemental project cost data that is also managed on the Settings screen, to calculate cost data on the dashboard.

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By managing cost inputs on the Settings page, organisations building software for themselves can easily track their own costs in real-time against their budget as developers progress through their backlog. But, what about teams who are building software for others, and who are, in turn, charging an end-user and require a means to track revenue and margin information? This might include I.T Service Providers delivering software to their clients, or teams internal to an orgsanisation cross-charging their work. This is where Client Delivery mode, on the Settings page, comes in. This mode is designed to track sensitive financial data that only a subset of users should ever see.

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Enabling Client Delivery Mode allows users:

  • Set a Cost rate and a Sell rate on their Rate cards

  • Manage Discount and Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) values

  • Set Project Financial Targets, such as target revenue, target COGS, and target margin

  • Set up a Statement of Account, which allows I.T Service Providers track and show invoice data

By managing cost inputs on the Settings page, organisations building software for themselves can easily track their own costs in real-time against their budget as developers progress through their backlog. But, what about teams who are building software for others, and who are, in turn, charging an end-user and require a means to track revenue and margin information? This might include I.T Service Providers delivering software to their clients, or teams internal to an orgsanisation cross-charging their work. This is where Client Delivery mode, on the Settings page, comes in. This mode is designed to track sensitive financial data that only a subset of users should ever see.

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Enabling Client Delivery Mode allows users:

  • Set a Cost rate and a Sell rate on their Rate cards

  • Manage Discount and Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) values

  • Set Project Financial Targets, such as target revenue, target COGS, and target margin

  • Set up a Statement of Account, which allows I.T Service Providers track and show invoice data

KnowCost Settings - Client Mode Enabled

With this mode enabled, the Dashboard presents a view according to a user's KnowCost role. Users who have the KnowCost Managers role are presented with an additional section below the standard Dashboard, which shows project financial data featuring a real-time comparison of current revenue, COGS and margin values against project targets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                         

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Users with the KnowCost Customers role do not see this Project Financials section on their version of the dashboard, but both role types see the Statement of Account section, which is typically only used by I.T Service Providers.

KnowCost for JIra - Project Financial Data

Whilst users assigned the KnowCost Customer role never see the KnowCost settings screen in Jira, that user role is most attributable to clients for whom I.T Service Providers deliver software. Service Provider stakeholders would be set by a JIRA Administrator as a KnowCost Manager, meaning they can not only see the settings screen wherein cost data can be configured, but they also see the Project Financials section on the Dashboard, which allows the provider make quick, delivery-led, decisions to optimise their cost overheads and maximise returns. Their client stakeholders are assigned the KnowCost Customer role, and as such only see the Dashboard and the Statement of Account so they have a live reference of aged debt, unbilled cost and balance due. 

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 KnowCost Customer Dashboard view

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 KnowCost Manager Dashboard view

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KnowCost for Jira provides many important benefits for organisations building software for themselves:

  • Review costs and delivery in one place. Project Budget data can now play a factor in delivery review and planning between product managers, product owners and scrum masters. By tracking logged time and supplemental costs in real-time, these users have a more accurate view as to how much value has been realised against investment, understand if they are actually tracking to original budgetary forecasts, and most importantly, see the projected costs and time remaining to complete all epics according to their team's current rate of delivery.

  • Real-time tracking of budget drawdown can help reign in spending by changing work scope or team size. The Dashboard breaks real-time cost and logged time data down according to epic and team role, allowing project stakeholders not only understand the cost burden per role type and therefore the implications in changing team capacity, but also consider the epic costs in planning sessions for similarly-sized epics yet to be started. Potential cost of epic can be factored into prioritisation exercises.

  • Identify areas ripe for efficiencies and optimisations. KnowCost operates on the basis of estimates provided by the team on the epic, user story and sub-task levels. In using this data, along with user-logged time & ticket workflow status during delivery, important measures such as the accuracy of the team's estimates, or the rate of growth in scope creep, quickly surface up. Further, KnowCost is most accurate when Jira tickets are up-to-date in terms of time logged on sub-tasks and in the correct status. 

  • Track the Projected Release Date. One of the most important metrics on the Dashboard is the projected delivery date. The Dashboard displays the name of the current sprint in flight, and the date for the next release. The projected delivery date is displayed ss part of the Product versus Spend burn-down chart and is calculated according to the average rate at which work is moving into DONE.  

  • ESTIMATION EFFICACY. Also have top sub menu jumping to section like benefits, also note somewhere time can be logged on story or sub-task, works according to sub-task time

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