Guest Post: How HomeAway Uses JIRA and Tempo Timesheets

Name: Michael Kuhl
Title: Senior Manager of IT Operations
Company: HomeAway
Website: www.HomeAway.com
Industry: Travel
Location: Austin, TX, USA

Michael Kuhl is a Senior Manager of IT Operations at HomeAway.com. Michael’s team manages Atlassian applications including JIRA, Confluence, and HipChat serving over 2,000 team members in 20 offices around the world. HomeAway, Inc., based in Austin, Texas, is the world’s leading online marketplace for the vacation rental industry, with sites representing over one million paid listings of vacation rental homes in 190 countries. HomeAway vacation rentals are whole houses, villas, or condos where whole families and groups of friends can enjoy a whole vacation together.

At HomeAway, we use JIRA to manage our team’s workflows and enhance collaboration from the Service Desk to the Product Development team on to Marketing. For many teams, Tempo Timesheets is a critical component for managing and monitoring our work efforts.

If you want to make work logging for your team virtually friction-free and really feel like you have the insight into that logging, along with the capability to effectively manage the process, you should take a serious look at Tempo Timesheets.

Teams at HomeAway manage their projects the way that works best for them—whether using traditional project management, Scrum, or Kanban.

As our teams adopted JIRA and began to utilize its work logging capabilities, they soon realized they needed more sophisticated capabilities to manage, forecast, and report on their time. In 2013, we discovered Tempo Timesheets and instantly realized greater visibility and control with our work logging.

The successful implementation of JIRA and JIRA Agile among many teams at HomeAway led to our biggest adoption challenge and ultimately success. The product development team had been using Rally Software for Agile project management. One of the significant limitations of that product at the time was a lack of built-in management tools for work logging and accounting. This weakness resulted in a number of automated and manual frameworks built up around the tool in order to ensure the accuracy of work logging in general and proper attribution to specific development initiatives, in particular. While this framework was effective in maintaining appropriate controls, it was awkward, time consuming, and generally unpopular.

One of the key selling points for adopting JIRA, JIRA Agile, and Tempo Timesheets was the built in features for managing and controlling work logging and project accounting. With Tempo Timesheets, our development management team and our accounting teams could easily coordinate work logging periods, account lifespans, and the exceptionally easy auditing of worklogs. Reviewing, approving, and closing time reporting periods went from days to hours and a lot of custom code and manual procedures were gladly retired.

Work logging, managing time, and reporting went from being a rather painful process to a natural part of our development and accounting process. Developers can now log time as they work in a JIRA issue, and, with a few keystrokes using keyboard shortcuts, they can turn on the real-time time tracker and let it do the tracking work, or update their worklogs daily or weekly using Tempo’s timesheet view. It’s up to each developer’s style and preference. With the reliable reporting and controls built into Tempo Timesheets, we can give team members the freedom to log their time the way that works for them, knowing that the numbers are reliable and auditable by using the built in Tempo controls.

Accounting team members can manage project accounts and time periods independently with the confidence of knowing that when they close a period or a project account, it is closed. There’s no need to send out an email notifying people to stop logging their work and then double-checking that using scripts and reports. The accounting team can move on to reporting that time and bringing it into our accounting application.

In the past, development managers were the time logging police, who had to make sure that accounts were set correctly, that all time was entered, etc. Now, they have team timesheets that they can review at any time, knowing in real-time where their team stands. Instead of nagging, they simply let Tempo remind their team that the period will be closing soon.

With Tempo Timesheets’ strong permissions scheme, my team can confidently delegate the account, team, and reporting period management to the people who own those roles in the business, rather than having to make every change on their behalf. This lets us focus on innovating, with teams across HomeAway using JIRA to make them more effective, get their work done faster, and go home sooner.

If you want to make work logging for your team virtually friction-free and really feel like you have the insight into that logging, along with the capability to effectively manage the process, you should take a serious look at Tempo Timesheets. For us, it makes JIRA even more powerful as a process management tool than JIRA alone.

 

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Leifur
Leifur is Tempo's email marketing specialist. When he's not in the office finding new and interesting content to be delivered to your inbox, you'll probably find him out and about in Reykjavík, most likely golfing or disc golfing.

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