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Operations Expert Advice Jira Administration

Keeping Track of it All: Jira for Asset Management

by Jenny Choban on January 2, 2018

We’ve talked about what a great tool Jira can be for helping your employees get the right stuff, but what about once they have it. You still have to keep track of what’s in your inventory, what went to whom, how long said item is under warranty and when it’s due for servicing.  In other words, you need an asset tracking system.

Note: This article is one in a series written in collaboration with Rachel Wright, author of the Jira Strategy Admin Workbook. See the bottom of this post for links to the other articles in the series.


Beyond Inventory Tracking - Advantages of Using Jira for Asset Management

An effective asset management system will do more than help you track your inventory. It will guide teams throughout your organization in answering vital questions such as:

  • What items need to be included on a depreciation schedule?
  • How much insurance do we need?
  • How much money should my department budget for hardware replacements next year?
  • Was the cost of the extended warranty worth it?
  • How much time is left on our service contract?
  • Did that product serve me well? Should I buy it again?
  • Do I really need 12 more of those, or do we have some here that aren’t in use?
  • And of course…where the hell is that thing?

As a side note, there are numerous stories of individuals using Jira to track their personal assets. Rachel Wright, author of the Jira Strategy Admin Workbook describes how she used Jira to track her household items while moving - and knew exactly where everything was even before getting unpacked! Others manage their collections, of fine wines, great books, craft beers…

Whether you’re tracking personal or business assets, there are few things you’ll need such as a label maker and an asset tracking workflow.  In their eBook on using Jira Service Desk for Asset Management, Atlassian describes the issue types, custom fields, screens and workflow they use for their asset tracking system.  If you’re tracking multiple types of assets - hardware, software, office equipment, furnishings, etc. you will have different properties for each type of item.  You can minimize the number of issue types (in this case asset types) and custom fields you need by using a form.

Why Use Forms for Jira?

Along with highly simplified Jira administration, forms provide several additional advantages:

  • Forms are easy. They are familiar. Unless it comes from a tax collecting agency, people generally don’t mind filling out forms.
  • You can put form design in the hands of the teams who do the work. Jira admin - the creation of issue types, custom fields, etc. is best left to technically-minded people who know Jira. However, a straight forward form builder can be used by anyone. You can let the Operations team create the form they want for tracking first aid supplies, furnishings and cans of paint, while simultaneously letting the IT support team create the form they need for tracking monitors and laptops.
  • In addition to allowing teams to structure their data collection to their needs, online forms make it easy validate for completion and compliance with business rules.
  • Form data can be easily aggregated and reported on.

How Do I Get Started?

You can create a thorough and effective asset management system with just three simple tools; a label maker, Jira Service Desk and ProForma Forms and Templates for Jira. In fact, you can even have a head start using the asset record template that’s included in the ProForma template library.  The template form can be easily modified by any team to track the assets they are responsible for. Why not add a little order to your life with Jira?

Other articles in this series: