I can’t think about inventory and asset management without remembering the brilliant words of George Carlin, “Their stuff is s#@t and your s#@t is stuff.” One of the things that differentiates s#@t from stuff is how much you know about it. For instance, do you know:
- Where it is?
- What it’s for?
- When and why it was purchased?
- Who’s using it now?
If the you’re answering no to those questions, that could indicate that:
- The stuff is actually s#@t and should be disposed of accordingly; or
- You need a better way of tracking your assets.
Let’s assume it’s the second. Jira is a great tracking tool, and therefore a great tool for tracking assets. In fact, Atlassian has put out an eBook on how to do asset management in Jira. However, there is a catch. Tracking assets in Jira requires creating new issue types and custom fields. These “Jira assets” will have to be created and supported, and if there’s too many of them, they may even have a negative impact on your application’s performance. In other words, tracking assets in Jira requires more Jira assets. Oh, the irony.
ProForma Forms vs More Jira Fields
There is a way to have it all – to have all of the details about a particular item, broken out and structured the way you need it, without creating new issue types or hordes of custom fields. The solution lies in that most humble and mundane of business tools – forms.
Forms have persisted because they are a good business tool that keeps getting better. The evolution of electronic forms meant that users could be compelled to fill out the form accurately and completely. Online forms add the advantage of being easy to update. Online forms in Jira are even better because they are backed by a workflow.
Just as Jira makes forms better, forms make Jira better. Every field that’s included on a ProForma form is a field that doesn’t need to be added to the issue. Let’s take a closer look using asset management as an example.
Asset Management with Jira and ProForma
Following Atlassian’s instructions for tracking items in Jira, we would need to follow five steps:
- Create a project.
- Define your issue types and issue type scheme.
- Add custom fields.
- Configure your screens.
- Enable permissions and security.
Steps 2, 3 and 4 can get rather involved, especially if you’re tracking a lot of different types of assets. IT wants to track computer hardware. Operations wants to track furnishings. Accounting wants to track big items that are on a depreciations schedule. Clearly, each team is likely to have multiple types assets to track and therefore need multiple issue types, each with it’s own array of custom fields. Refer to Atlassian’s example of IT asset management.
Source: Jira Service Desk Guide to Asset Management
Or you could just have teams create a form for each of their asset types, add the form to the issue and be done.
ProForma forms are easy to create, easy to modify and easy to embed in Jira issues where they can be easily viewed. You can capture limitless data on a form and only need to use a Jira field for data that you need to query or report on. In that case, you can easily set up a form field to pipe to a Jira field on the issue.
An asset management system is the key to caring for your stuff. ProForma makes it easy to create an asset management system in Jira.