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How to Plan Annual Leaves Right in Jira

Jira Vacation Calendar
This article was written by Teamlead - Atlassian Gold Solution Partner
It's easy to meet a situation when in a company its staff is called not employees, but family. It’s understandable. To get the result everybody should work together like one complete organism. And it can be challenging when one, or not one, part of this organism goes on an annual leave.

Not only an annual leave, but business trips, training courses, and days off can influence team’s work in a not a good way as well. And to prevent not the best outcome it’s better to be prepared for an employee’s absence by any reason in advance by creating an absence timetable.

You can use Excel or Google sheets for this purpose but maybe it’s not the best choice. In our opinion, their month and year schedules are not obvious enough and sometimes it’s easy to get confused with date overlaps. And it can be frustrating to check information all the time in at least two programs to collate dates of your important projects with dates of your team members’ vacation dates. And you have to think about the way you want to inform your employees about changes in their timetable.

But if you like to use Jira for most of your purposes, we think you’ll find it convenient to use Jira to plan annual leaves. Your work is more efficient when you have all the information you need in one place. Moreover, Jira can help you with employees’ annual leaves notifications by sending automatic emails to everyone who is concerned.

For those who are already excited by Jira's tool, we prepared a workflow that shows the full process of an annual leave for an employee is in Jira, from creating a request to getting back to work.

Vivid Visualization for Employees’ Absence

If you want to expand what Jira can give you for scheduling, visualize any employees’ absences in your calendar using the Calendar for Jira app.

You can find it especially useful if you have any kind of absence rules for employees.
As an example let’s take a rule that if in a team some members have the same roles and they can’t be absent at their workplace at the same time because other team members depend on the work done by someone with this role.

So, when employees want to plan their vacation, first of all, they look through Calendar for Jira and look for vacation dates of a person with the same role in the team. Then they pick any free dates in the timetable and mark them as their annual leave dates. Or, they can arrange with that person with the same role about changing vacation's dates.
Calendar for JIRA

Calendar for Jira: Benefits for Teams and HR

Using Calendar for Jira has many benefits for team management and is great for HR’s work optimization.

Flexible Settings

The main benefit is that settings are pretty flexible and you can create rules up to your needs. You can pick any date or a period of time and mark it as any type of issue that you need. It can be a day off, a vacation, or a sick leave. Also, we thought about not obvious, but very interesting ideas we’ve already mentioned before:
  • Business trip
  • Training courses
First of all, it eases the procedure of enrolling for a training course for staff if they are interested in. And it is easy to check that no one is not going to a training course at the wrong time such as at the middle of an important project. Also, HR and coaches have lists of participants for every course.
  • In quarantine
We suggest this type of issue for situations when someone can work from home and looks healthy, but still in the risk and any physical contact must be restricted.
Calendar for JIRA settings

Vivid and Clear Visualization

One more benefit of using Calendar for Jira is vivid and clear visualization.

Use your own color code to mark different types of issues with their specific color. For example, use red for major and urgent issues, blue for vacations and days off, green for business trips.

This color code visualization can really help by saving your time when you are in a rush and just don’t have time to read every issue type to find the right one. The only thing you need to do is to look at the colors.
Calendar for JIRA visualization options
To get even more crystal clear visualization, define personal color settings for groups using JQL. Then the situation when it is time for a new update to be developed but all your key members are going on their leave is impossible.

When you plan your project, just check in advance that there are no overlaps with important training courses or your team members’ vacations.

Check our workflow to learn about using JQL for this purpose.

Friendly Interface for Users

Another advantage of Calendar for Jira is that it’s easy to get how to use it for anyone! If users want to plan a day off, for example, they just need to create an issue right in Calendar.
Calendar for JIRA interface
Then users need to pick up the “day off” issue type and set the timeline.
Calendar for JIRA set up
In a situation when an HR member wants to mark in the Calendar that an employee is out for a training course or a business trip, the HR member goes through the same procedure and also set the *Assignee field.

Every plan and change is made in Jira so you don’t have to think about the right way to notify users about training courses or business trips. You can set that any type of information in Calendar is available to any user anytime.

If you have any questions about the app, its setting or usage, we are happy to consult you.